An international conference about addressing inequality, was held at Museum London, on the weekend of March 24. The event was hosted by members at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS) at Western University.
The three-day conference featured over a hundred academics, activists, artists, and organizers who presented their work, research, and art among their peers. The speakers featured included Dr. Vandana Shiva, Glen Coulthard (University of British Columbia), The Beehive Design Collective, and Black Lives Matter Toronto, among many others.
Introductions & Opening Keynote
Young and Bold
From Openwide Editor-in-Chief Erica Wallis, to activist Rowa Mohamed, these young adults both listened and partook in the discussion all weekend.
Dr. Vandana Shiva
On Friday evening, a full audience gathered at the Community Gallery to listen to Indian academic and Western University Alumnus, Dr. Vandana Shiva, on organizing equality within diversity.
Organizing Equality Student Coalition
The following excerpt was taken from the Organizing Equality program re: the Organizing Equality Student Coalition (OESC) panel.
"2016-2017 has been a year of heightened tensions. Whether between racialized groups and the state, or between self-proclaimed free speech advocates and marginalized persons fighting for acknowledgement of their identity, students have brought these tensions to a forefront at Western University. The OESC led programming throughout the year to unpack these tensions, fostering courageous discussions between polarized viewpoints and building the capacity of young organizers throughout the process."
Black Lives Matter Toronto
Sunday morning saw a significant turnout of public audience members, as they gathered in the community gallery to listen to the Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLMTO) keynote address. Sandy Hudson, BLMTO speaker, spoke on important issues that the Black community face, including police brutality in Canada and the issues that lie within our borders as well as in the United States. Ravyn Wngz, BLMTO speaker, spoke on the importance of inclusive discussion on issues that affect the Black community — including trans-Black individuals, Black individuals with disabilities, and Black members within the queer community.
By Sunday evening, conference-goers were left with a lot to think about in the battle for equality, and the reminder to find ways to stand by each other in solidarity with every aspect. Debayudh Chatterjee summed up the conference best During the closing panel, when he said, "although the language of oppression is different from country to country, the tone of oppression is the same."
Photos © Jenny Jay / The Double Jay Collective