Remembering victims of violence

On Dec. 6, 1989, 14 women (13 students and one staff) were tragically killed at l’École Polytechnique in Montréal. These women were murdered because of their gender. In response to the tragedy, the federal government established Dec. 6 as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Beyond commemorating the loss of these 14 women, this day represents a time to pause and reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also a time to bring to light all the women who daily resist violence, endure threats of violence, or who have died as a result of deliberate acts of gender-based violence.

York University has organized a day of events and displays to commemorate all women who are victims of violence. The commemoration will take place on Monday, Dec. 6. This year, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women at York University will begin with programming on York’s radio station CHRY 105.5FM. Starting at 7am, the station is dedicating 17 hours of broadcasting to coverage of violence against women.

At 11:30am, members of the York community can view a commemorative display in the Bear Pit located in Central Square. The display pays silent tribute to the 14 women slain in Montreal. Running concurrently with the display will be a screening of the documentary film After The Montréal Massacre, Without Fear in the York Student Centre. The film will be shown from 11:30am until 2:30pm.

During the evening, the play “Reasoning With My Sisters”, presented by York’s student-run Upfront Theatre and the Underground Restaurant, will take place in the Contact Room located in the Underground Restaurant at 6pm. The play is based on the women from the book, Dread Culture, written by Masani Montague and published by Sister Vision Press. Through weekly meetings, the five women reason about issues in the Caribbean community, including domestic violence, sexual assault, abortion and custody of children following a divorce.

Following the play there will be a live concert titled Women and Song. The concert begins at 9pm and will feature the Canadian music group “Shaye” (Kim Stockwood, Damhnait Doyle, Tara MacLean) for an evening of music. Proceeds from the concert will go to the December 6 Fund of Toronto which supports victims of violence

All events take place on the Keele campus. For more information, contact the Centre for Human Rights & Equity at ext. 55706 or the Office of the Advisor to the University on the Status of Women at ext. 55380.

The daylong series of events is sponsored by: The Office of the Advisor to the University on the Status of Women; The Centre for Human Rights and Equity; Upfront Theatre; the Underground Restaurant; York University Faculty Association; York University Student Centre; Graduate Students’ Association (GSA); Graduate Women’s Studies Students’ Association (GWSSA) and CHRY 105.5 FM.