Panel to tackle tough issues during World Day of Social Justice

Poverty in the world

Join “the world dialogue” Thursday, Feb. 20 on the United Nations World Day of Social Justice when a panel of speakers will discuss social justice issues and more at York.

The panellists will include: David Leyton-Brown, master of McLaughlin College, as the moderator; Avvy Yao-Yao Go, barrister and solicitor, clinic director, Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic; Professor Lorne Foster of York’s School of Public Policy & Administration and the School of Equity Studies; York Professor Peter Dawson of the Department of Sociology; and Michael Kerr, coordinator of Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change.

David Leyton-Brown
David Leyton-Brown

The panel discussion will take place from noon to 2pm at McLaughlin College Senior Common Room, 140 McLaughlin College, Keele campus.

Brief presentations will be delivered on the significance and importance of the notion and concept of social justice, and the necessity of working to achieve a socially conscious and just society and world order.

The panellists will draw on national and global examples of social inequities and highlight what is being done, as well as what else can be done to address issues, such as the marginalization of vulnerable persons, stereotyping groups, systemic discrimination, serious to severe human rights violations and breaches to fundamental human dignity. The discussion will also focus on the violence of poverty, the supreme indignity of acts of aggression and the recourse of armed conflict, whether international or intrastate, for the resolution of disputes.

Lorne Foster
Lorne Foster

A Q&A session will follow, along with an open discussion of the topic. The panel is intended to inform and stimulate debate and discussion, as well as a critical assessment of the importance of addressing seriously the social injustices that are most evident and morally repugnant in the world today.

The official opening ceremonies for the Multicultural History Society of Ontario’s photo exhibit, Many Rivers to Cross: The African Canadian Experience, will take place the same afternoon. The exhibit will be on display at the McLaughlin College Art Gallery, 001 McLaughlin College, starting Feb. 18 as part of Black History Month celebrations at York University (see YFile Feb. 13 issue).

Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson

This event is co-sponsored by the School of Public Policy & Administration, McLaughlin College, the Centre for Human Rights, the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, the Centre for Refugee Studies, and the York Centre for Public Policy & Law.

For more information, contact Lorraine Myrie at ext. 33825 or

About the UN World Day of Social Justice:

The UN World Day of Social Justice website states, “Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.”

Observance of day should support efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.