York hosts discussion to address topic of ‘everyday activism’

An event to explore themes of everyday activism will take place at York University during Black History Month, and will feature three high-profile guests.

“Everyday Activism, Critical Resistance: A conversation with Angela Robertson and Robyn Maynard facilitated by Dionne Brand” runs Feb. 15 at Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University from 7 to 8:30pm. Admission is free.

In this conversation, award-winning Canadian poet, novelist and documentarian Dionne Brand engages in dialogue with Toronto social activist Angela Robertson, and Montreal community organizer and author of Policing Black Lives (2017), Robyn Maynard.

The discussion will reflect on the ways in which, in their activism, people of African descent resist the daily acts of gendered, classed and sexual racialization in Canadian society.

Brand was awarded the Order of Canada in 2017, and from September 2009 to November 2012 she was was Toronto’s Poet Laureate. She was born in Trinidad and Tobago, and emigrated to Canada in 1970, and earned a BA at the University of Toronto in 1975 and an MA in 1989 from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).

Roberston, who earned an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University in October 2017, is a social justice activist and advocate for women’s and low-income people’s rights. She is also a York University alumna who has served in many roles including: editor of social issues manuscripts at Women’s Educational Press, adviser to the Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, manager at Homes First Society and the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, executive director of Sistering – A Woman’s Place for more than a decade; and a directorship at Women’s College Hospital. She is currently the executive director of Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre.

Maynard a Black feminist who has spent many years researching and documenting racist and gender-based state violence. Much of her work has been frontline harm-reduction outreach work in Montreal, and she continues to provide training for health and social service providers on the harms created by systemic racism, criminal laws and stigmatization.

There will be a reception prior to the event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Martin Family Lounge – Room 219 Accolade East Building.

This event is sponsored by Unifor, The Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora and the Faculty of Education.

Please RSVP by Monday, Feb. 12.