Events honour the Ecole Polytechnique victims and inspire community to act against gender-based violence

The following is a message from Debbie Hansen, executive director, community support and services:

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the December 6, 1989 massacre of 13 female students and one female administrator at École Polytechnique in Montreal. Each year since, a pan-University ceremony is held to honour the victims and inspire our community to act against gender-based violence. This year’s ceremony will be held on:

Tuesday, Dec. 3
11 a.m. – noon (Ceremony)
Noon – 1 p.m. (Workshop)
Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence
First Floor Eatery & Room 125
Lunch will be provided at the workshop – RSVP here.

Following the ceremony, the Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education will host a workshop led by activist and advocate Leroy Milton on crafting healthy relationships. The workshop titled “Toxic Masculinity is a Choice – How do I make the Right Choices?” will take place in Room 107A, Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence. A safe space will be available and staffed by counsellors from Student Accessibility Services.

As part of the larger 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, there will also be a variety of events happening across campus to inspire, educate and honour the 14 victims as well as the thousands of female-identified individuals from all walks of life, who experience and have lost their lives to violence.

Events include:

  • Nov. 25 to Nov 29 (Vari Hall): Feathers for our Women installation spreading awareness about Missing or Murdered Women, Girls, Transgender & Two-Spirit peoples in Canada
  • Nov. 25: Healthy Relationships Seminar – Presented by the Centre for Sexual Violence, Response, Support & Education
  • Nov. 27: Film Screening of the documentary Polytechnique & Community Discussion – presented by the York Federation of Students
  • Dec. 2: Intersectionality & Sexual Violence Seminar – Presented by the Centre for Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion

We honour the memory of these women while also inspiring change – ensuring acts of violence like this never happens again. Challenging attitudes and beliefs that perpetuate misogyny and ensuring we provide safe spaces free of barriers for those who are accessing supports & resources are integral.

Education and awareness are key to enact meaningful change and so we invite you to take action, whether you do this by attending the 30th Anniversary Memorial and workshop or one of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence events, or through a personal contribution to an organization that supports action against gender-based violence – we encourage you to educate yourself and be a part of ending the violence.

This pan-University memorial ceremony and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is fully supported by President and Vice Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton, Provost and Vice-President Academic Lisa Philipps, Vice-President Finance and Administration Carol McAulay, Vice-Provost, Students Lucy Fromowitz and Vice-President Equity, People and Culture Sheila Cote-Meek.

These events have been made possible through a collaboration between the Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education, the Community Safety Department, the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion, the Centre for Aboriginal Student Services, York Federation of Students and the Lassonde School of Engineering.

Community members who wish to attend one or all of the events should RSVP.