The #YUBlog Goes to International Women’s Day 2018

Posted by York & U on March 13, 2018

Events | Goings-On around York | York & U

Diversity and inclusivity are core values of York University, and the “Reimagining Women’s Rights” panel discussion held in honour of International Women’s Day last week offered an excellent opportunity to celebrate and enact those values. York U supports equitable access to learning by providing resources including:

Although these services work year-round, events like International Women’s Day provide a special opportunity to come together to consider and discuss inclusivity and diversity on the university campus.

On Thursday March 8, The Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion brought the York U community together during International Women’s Day to discuss equality and advocating for women’s rights. The #YUBlog attended this inspiring event to see what it was all about and gained a deeper understanding of the best ways to advocate for equality. Take a look at our photo diary for more!

Image by York University
The panelists joined in a roundtable discussion specifically focused on intersectionality, inclusivity and the diversity of experiences within the broad parameters of ‘women’s rights’. The panel was moderated by Supriya Dwivedi, Host of The Morning Show on Global News Radio 640 Toronto, and included Shyra Barberstock, President and CEO, Okwaho Equal Source, Minha Ha, PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering and Kyisha Williams, Film Director and Public Health Professional.

International Women’s Day 2018: “Reimagining Women’s Rights”

 

Image by York University
From left to right: Supriya Dwivedi, Host of The Morning Show on Global News Radio 640 Toronto, Shyra Barberstock, President and CEO, Okwaho Equal Source, Minha Ha, PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering and Kyisha Williams, Film Director and Public Health Professional.

If you were unable to attend “Reimagining Women’s Rights” 2018, check the International Women’s Day event page in the next few weeks to view the video of the event.

Image by York University
Michael F. Charles, Executive Director of the Centre for Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion, noted that events like International Women’s Day present the chance to create “…a more responsive framework for procedural fairness” to ensure the lasting impact of important social movements in support of women’s rights. Attending the panel via video, York U President Rhonda Lenton reflected on the history of International Women’s Day and commended all in the audience for a continued dedication to inclusivity, and offered that “The world needs inclusive and diverse leaders, and to hear voices from all backgrounds.”

 

Image by York University
When asked about ways to form a support network of allies, mentors and women dedicated to equality, panelist Minha Ha (second from left) advised that attendees “Set a common vision”, while Kyisha Williams (far right) encouraged the audience to “Tell the people in your life that they are capable of being a leader.”

Taking Action to Reimagine Women’s Rights

 

Image by York University
After the panelists concluded their discussion, they engaged in a warm and collaborative Q&A period with the audience, who asked thought-provoking questions. The panelists and audience members discussed topics including how to be a strong ally, self-care for activists and how men can support women’s rights. Lucy Fromowitz, York University’s Vice-Provost, Students also participated in the Q&A to thank the panelists and audience, and noted the progress that intergenerational feminism has made.

At the end of the session, REI left the audience with two questions to consider and carry forward to take action on advancing the rights of women:

1. How will you move forward the dialogue on rights, diversity and intersectionality within the York University community and beyond?

2. Based on your own experience, what are key factors to be considered when creating a plan that would enable you to feel included at York University and beyond as we reimagine rights together?

As we left the event, the #YUBlog team thought about our answers to these questions and the importance in engaging in frequent conversations about equality. By discussing our common goal of equality, we realized that we can form strong support networks of women and allies to create collaborative leadership opportunities and safe spaces for those who need support. Together, we also recognized the importance of identifying oneself as both a leader and an ally, and letting those in your community know that you are here for them. If you weren’t able to attend the “Reimagining Women’s Rights” event yourself, consider these questions and ask them of the people in your communities to keep the conversations inspired by International Women’s Day going and to enact change.

Image by York University
The “Reimagining Women’s Rights” panelists and REI staff members, Heather Shipley and Michael F. Charles.

Connect with REI

The “Reimagining Women’s Rights” event provided an excellent opportunity to listen and learn about creating an inclusive campus community. If you were unable to attend the event this year, visit the REI website website to learn more about their upcoming events, resources and workshops. You can also follow @YorkURights Twitter and Facebook or check out the REI events calendar.

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