Inclusion Day takes aim at free versus hurtful speech

What is the difference between free speech and hurtful speech? That is what York’s Centre for Human Rights hopes to shed some light on during Inclusion Day.

Members of the York community are invited to participate in discussions, presentations and debates about the power of words, language and speech on Monday, Oct. 5, from 9am to 7pm, at Founders College, Keele campus. In addition, a new social justice campaign will launch in Vari Hall at noon.

Alan Borovoy (left), general counsel emeritus of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and course director of Glendon College’s Canadian Studies Program, will wrap up Inclusion Day with his keynote address at 6pm.

Borovoy was the general counsel of the CCLA from 1968 to 2009. In addition, he has worked with the National Committee for Human Rights of the Canadian Labour Congress, the Ontario Labour Committee for Human Rights and the Toronto & District Labour Committee for Human Rights. As general counsel, he presented and testified at public inquiries and parliamentary committees on mandatory drug testing in the workplace, wiretapping and police race relations.

Right: Kathy Gould Lundy

A columnist for the Toronto Star from 1992 to 1996, Borovoy was appointed an officer of the order of Canada in 1982. He is the author of The New Anti-Liberals (Canadian Scholars’ Press, 1999), Uncivil Obedience: The Tactics and Tales of a Democratic Agitator (Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1991) and When Freedoms Collide: The Case for Our Civil Liberties (Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1988), which was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 1988.

Left: Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt

Some of the topics to be discussed during Inclusion Day include "Human Right and Political Subjectivization: The Case of Cosmopolitans" and "Sexy Spaces: Creating Respectful Spaces for Open Discussions of Sexuality", from 9:30 to 10:45am. As well, York’s Kathy Gould Lundy, coordinator of the Destination Arts project in the Faculty of Education, will look at "Teaching Fairly in an Unfair World" and Jamie Whitecrow will examine IN-DIGI-NATIVE during Sessions 2A and 2B, from 11:15am to 12:30pm.

Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt (BA Spec. Hons. ’78, MFA ’86), associate vice-president, academic learning initiatives, will moderate a panel discussion on "Introducing the Respect and Inclusivity Awareness Tutorial: RIAT" for Session 3A, while Aaron Turpin of the York chapter of Engineers Without Borders will present "Bridging the Cross-Cultural Communication Gap" in Session 3B, both from 2 to 3:15pm.

York administrative studies Professor Ron Ophir (right), chair of the SexGen York Committee, will moderate a discussion on "Positive Space: Identifying Future Directions for a Safe Campus Environment" and Health as a Bridge to Peace, a student group, will examine "What Role can Healthy Play", during session 4A and 4B, both from 3:45 to 5pm.

For a complete listing of sessions and topics, visit the Inclusion Day Web site.