Award-winning Canadian columnist and social justice activist Michele Landsberg was invited to speak to 27 international students at a luncheon June 13 hosted by York’s School of Women’s Studies Summer Institute.
On campus to receive an honorary degree from York at convocation that afternoon, Landsberg arrived early to dine with students from Mexico, the United States and across Canada attending a three-week summer institute on women’s human rights, citizenships and identities.
In her remarks to the summer institute students, Landsberg stressed the importance of international awareness of women’s issues.
Right: Meg Luxton, director of the Graduate Program in Women’s Studies, presents Michele Landsberg with a ceramic bowl created by Toronto artist and former York student Cori Sandler
The annual institute is part of a larger Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) project for North American mobility in higher education. Coordinated by women’s studies Prof. Patricia McDermott, the institute started June 5 and ends tomorrow (see YFile June 9). Participants have heard lectures and seen films on a range of topics, including the United Nations, women’s rights and international law.
For two Mexican regional development students from the Colegio de la Frontera Norte, the institute has been an eye opener.
“My experience here at the institute so far has been intense and interesting,” said Luz Helena Salgado. “Trying to understand all the different perspectives everyone here has of women’s issues is difficult. Not only are you dealing with people from different countries of origin but with the different economical and political situations of those countries as well.”
Left: Institute participants Luz Helena Salgado (left) and A’dina Moloman
A’dina Moloman, originally from Romania, called the courses “controversial and productive”. She said: “When discussing women’s issues with this multicultural group we can see that our perspectives are very different. We can see their weaknesses and they can see ours, this allows us to work together and deal with these issues.”