Social justice conference attracts hundreds of students

And Social Justice For All partial poster

Close to 1,000 secondary students will attend “And Social Justice for All: Student Voice – Student Action,” a conference and fair that will explore fundamental social justice and human rights issues Wednesday at York.

And Social Justice For All PosterJamaican-born Asante Haughton, who suffered from depression as a teenager in Toronto and now inspires others to talk about mental illness and the associated stigma to raise awareness, will be the event’s keynote speaker. Haughton turned to poetry, therapy and family support to get through his depression. He is one of the people featured in the documentary Three Voices that looks at the mental health journeys of three youth.

The free conference will take place May 7, from 8:30am to 2:30pm in Vari Hall, Keele campus. It is presented by York’s Department of Equity Studies, the Toronto District School Board and the Halton District School Board with the support of York’s Centre for Human Rights.

“And Social Justice For All, consistent with York University’s vision for social justice and equity, will bring together GTA students from different ages and backgrounds to examine how to achieve a more equitable and just world,” says Professor Tania Das Gupta of York’s Department of Equity Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.

There will be several speakers who will address issues and practices relating to race and ethnicity, faith, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, various abilities, aboriginal education, and mental health and wellness.

Tania Das Gupta
Tania Das Gupta

Some of the session topics will include: “Gender-based violence promoting gender equity”, “Turning your passion in social justice into action”, “Bridging research and action to improve policing” and “Fight to raise the minimum wage”. There will also be displays of students’ work, resource displays and performances, including one by musician Delon Omrow (BA Hons. ’08), an environmental studies doctoral student at York.

Noël Badiou
Noël Badiou

“The positive impact of this event cannot be overstated as it provides junior and senior high-school students interested in social justice issues with a unique opportunity to learn about what other students are doing, as well as learning about not-for-profit social justice focused organizations working in the GTA,” says Noël Badiou, director of the Centre for Human Rights.

“For York, the Department of Equity Studies and the Centre for Human Rights, it is an incredible opportunity to demonstrate our social justice ‘DNA’ and to expose possible future students to a vibrant and exciting campus with much activity happening all around them.”

Spaces are limited. Register online using the York University registration form or the Toronto District School Board and Halton District School Board registration form.

Join the conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag #SJFA14.

For more information, visit the Centre for Human Rights website.