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Robarts Centre Fellows Symposium

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Whose voices do you hear? (Re)defining the Margins of Solidarity in Canada.  

Friday, 6 May (Robarts Lecture) & Saturday, 7 May 2022 (Virtual Symposium)
Organized by the Robarts Centre Fellows

*Live transcription will be available. ASL interpretation may be possible on 7 May, please contact us at for more information.

Canadian society is oftentimes portrayed as multicultural and peaceful, even if these representations obscure historical and ongoing forms of oppression for various communities. In recent years, Canadians of all backgrounds are coming to understand the inner workings of such dynamics. This symposium will offer participants a safe space to explore how solidarities are formed at the margins of Canadian mainstream society. The core objective is to bring together various perspectives that confront and redefine how Canadians view themselves, and to present some avenues to change and question the mainstream narrative. Hosted by York University’s Robarts Centre Fellows, this symposium is for students, activists and scholars alike to discuss, create and perform what the future image of Canada could be. 

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Registration Information:

DAY 1  |  6 MAY

3pm, EDT

Opening remarks and Robarts Lecture by Anna Hudson entitled Qummut Qukiria! Art, Culture, and Sovereignty Across Inuit Nunaat and Sápmi: Mobilizing the Circumpolar North 

DAY 2  |  7 MAY

*ASL interpretation may be possible, please contact us at for more information.

9:30am, EDT

Indigenous Language Advocacy and Activism
Indigenous languages have been oppressed and banned throughout Canadian history. The current reclamation of Indigenous languages is bringing forward cultural reclamation, but are Canadians doing enough to promote Indigenous language learning? This panel will discuss what community members are doing to advocate for Indigenous languages across Canada.

Susan Dion, PhD, Associate Vice President, Indigenous Initiatives, York University
Elaine Gold, PhD, Canadian Language Museum
Ian Martin, PhD, English, York University-Glendon College
Brock Pitawanakwat, PhD, Humanities, York University

11am, EDT

The Black Canadian Experience: Intersections, Responsibilities and Activism
Canada has a legacy of racism and discrimination towards Black Canadians that still continue systemically in the 21st-century. This roundtable of activists will discuss some of the challenges of advocating for anti-black racism in the wider community, notably as it intersects with other structures of oppression.

Rose Ndengue, Assistant Professor, Department of History, York University, Glendon campus
Ruth Ogunyebi
, York University alumnus
Natasha Henry, Assistant Professor, Department of History, York University
Célia Romulus, Assistant Professor, Department of International Studies, York University, Glendon campus

1pm, EDT

Student Activism in the 21st century
The future of Canada rests with its younger generations. This panel focuses on the ways in which young people navigate ever-changing national and global landscapes.

Lauren Cristoforo, undergraduate student, York University
Rejean Ghanem, undergraduate student, York University
Cyrielle Ngeleka,
undergraduate student, York University

2:30pm, EDT

A Conversation with MPP Kathleen Wynne on the Politics of Solidarity
A virtual fireside chat with former Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne where participants will have the opportunity to hear her thoughts on the politics of solidarity followed by an intimate Q&A.

4pm, EDT

Solidarity, Activism and the Arts
Art is a multi-dimensional form of storytelling that helps us understand the past, recognize the present and envision a better future. This panel aims to centre the voices of artist activist artists, art educators and art lovers in supporting shared causes. 

Kasfia Chy, Social Media Manager, Able York
Francesca D'Amico-Cuthbert, PhD, Community-Engaged Early Career Fellow, Jackman Humanities Institute 
Nataleah Hunter-Young,
PhD Candidate, Communication & Culture, York University/Toronto Metropolitan University
Gabriel Levine, PhD, Coordonnateur et professeur assistant adjoint/Coordinator and Sessional Assistant Professor
Ola Mohammed
, Assistant Professor, Humanities, York University