Community Conversations bring together academics, community members for discussions about current issues

Since 2016, the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies’ Community Conversations have engaged people across Toronto in discussions about pressing and important current issues, including social media, the Black community and identity in Canada, mindfulness, and girls and identity. These events offer a platform for engaging in discussion about various topics, sharing knowledge, raising questions and concerns and adding experiences, and expressing lived realities in an inclusive space.

The Community Conversations event series was created as a unique opportunity for academics to talk directly with the public about their research, and to hear from communities about its potential impacts in spaces outside of the University campus.

There are three upcoming opportunities to attend a Community Conversation.

Ruth Koleszar-Green

What is a Guest? What is a Settler?
Wednesday, March 6 from 3 to 5 p.m.
Curtis Lecture Hall B, York University
Host: Ruth Koleszar-Green, assistant professor, School of Social Work

Throughout this discussion on the complexities of guests’/settlers’ roles and responsibilities, Ruth Koleszar-Green will engage non-Onkwehonweh people and encourage them to look with fresh eyes at their understandings of their attendant responsibilities.

Soma Chatterjee
Soma Chatterjee

Real Jobs, Living Wages
Saturday, March 16 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Oakridge Community Centre (60 Pharmacy Ave., Scarborough)
Host: Soma Chatterjee, assistant professor, School of Social Work, and Sultana Jahangir, executive director, South Asian Women’s Rights Organization

The labour market challenges of skilled immigrants, especially women, will be discussed. This conversation will also explore a research project administered by the South Asian Women’s Rights Organization in partnership with COSTI Immigrant Services to better understand the barriers faced by immigrant women.

The event will feature a panel of Bangladeshi community leaders and allies who contributed to the project to discuss the recommendations and possible next steps for the project.

Sylvia Bawa
Sylvia Bawa
Mary Goitom
Mary Goitom

Black Continental Africans in Canada: Exploring Culture, Identity and the Immigrant Experience
Wednesday, March 27 from 3 to 5 p.m.
Scadding Court Community Centre (707 Dundas St. W., Toronto)
Host: Mary Goitom, assistant professor, School of Social Work, and Sylvia Bawa, assistant professor, Department of Sociology

This conversation will discuss how African-Canadian immigrant identities are formed to limit homogenizing tendencies on people of African descent in Canada. At this event, there will be discussion on the role of race and racial discrimination in identity formation, how the cultural attributes of Black continental African immigrants, such as language and religion, have changed because of their immigration and how their socioeconomic status has been influenced when coming to Canada.

If you are interested in hosting your own Community Conversation, contact the Global & Community Engagement team at