The Ontario Ministry of Education updated its sexual education curriculum for the first time since 1998 on Feb. 23. Two youth activists who started an online petition – We Give Consent – about the new sex-ed curriculum, which was signed by more than 40,000 people, will deliver the 2015 Alexander F. Chamberlain Speaker Series in Children’s Studies talk at York University on Tuesday.
The petition garnered the two Grade 8 students, Tessa Hill and Lia Valente, significant media attention, including an interview on CBC’s “Metro Morning” and other major media outlets, speaking engagements and a meeting with provincial Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Education Liz Sandals.
Hill and Valente, who describe themselves as “Grade 8 feminists” from City View Alternative Senior School in Toronto, will give their talk – Shaping the Curriculum: The Importance of “Consent” and the Voices of Youth – Tuesday, March 3, from 10 to 11am, at 135 Vanier College, Keele campus.
Professors Cheryl Cowdy and Kabita Chakraborty will moderate the discussion and there will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions of the students. Following the talk, there will be an informal reception in the Renaissance Room, 001 Vanier College. From 11:15am to noon, a pizza lunch will be served. Team Limpopo 2015 (students participating in the Children’s Studies second international field course, Children’s Culture in Context, in South Africa in Summer 2015) will offer treats at the event as part of a fundraising bake sale.
For some time, the Children’s Studies program in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies has been interested in inviting youth to deliver its annual Chamberlain Speaker Series talk. “Our program is dedicated to respecting children and youth as social actors and agents, human beings with voices and ideas and rights, including participation rights, people who can make a difference in the world,” says Peter Cumming, coordinator of the Children’s Studies program. “Too often, children and youth are the last people consulted about matters that are of concern to them. We are delighted to have Tessa and Lia speak to our students, faculty and others interested in children, youth, education, health and well-being, and political engagement.”
For more information, contact the Children’s Studies program.