McLaughlin lunch talks discuss social justice, anti-Black racism in Canada

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The popular McLaughlin Lunch Talk series continues next week with events focusing on social justice and the importance of understanding anti-Black racism in Canada. The long-running series continues this winter in a virtual format via Zoom.

Students who attend six or more lunch talks throughout the year will receive a Certificate of Participation, while those who attend 10 or more will receive a Certificate of Honour.

Feb. 22 and 24 – Advancing social justice through developing your leadership capacity and community organization skills, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Join Olivia Chow, distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University and a fellow of McLaughlin College, and the members of her Institute of Change Leaders (ICL) as they deliver a highly interactive two-day joint session with students from Ryerson University and Trent University, in collaboration with a number of NGOs and advocacy groups, including Canada-Hong Kong Link.

The sessions will explore two themes:

Realizing and Building your Leadership Potential and Skills (Feb. 22)

This session will focus on how to identify your innate leadership abilities and potential and how to develop these further in order to advance the “common good” on those things that move you the most. The session will also introduce you to Harvard University Professor Marshall Ganz’s “Model for Community Organization.” It will demonstrate how through your personal initiative and effort you can mobilize support and action to further social justice causes and to affect positive change that will benefit your community.

Taking Positive Action to Advance the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Feb. 24)

UN Sustainable Development Goals infographic

How can you individually and together with others help to advance one or more of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? This session will outline the positive steps that you can take to help to further the SDGs and in doing so further positive social change in your local community. The session will illustrate how others have initiated simple and practical measures to affect positive change on various SDG goals.

To be part of this exciting new cooperative and collaborative effort with students, educators, community leaders and others across three universities and a number of NGOs, register online.

Feb. 23 – UN World Day of Social Justice 2021, 12:30 to 2 p.m.

World Day of Social Justice

On Feb. 23, McLaughlin College will mark the UN World Day of Social Justice with a presentation featuring a panel of experts on migration, human rights and refugee law. The discussion will be moderated by Professor James C. Simeon, Head of McLaughlin College and an associate professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration.

McLaughlin College Fellow Elspelth Guild will present a talk titled “Migrants and Social Rights: The UN’s Marrakesh Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.” Guild is a partner at the London law firm Kingsley Napley and Jean Monnet Professor ad personam at Queen Mary University of London. She regularly advises EU institutions on migration and asylum-related matters and has written studies for the European Parliament on the European dimension of the refugee crisis in 2016.

Obiora C. Okafor, professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School, will give a talk titled “Global Social Justice: The Solidarity Imperative.” Okafor is the inaugural York Research Chair in International and Transnational Legal Studies (Tier 1), the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity and a former chairperson of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.

Anna Purkey, a lawyer, assistant professor and the director of the Human Rights Program at St. Paul’s University College at the University of Waterloo, will present a talk titled “A More Decent World: Resisting the Criminalization of Solidarity.” Purkey’s research employs an inter-disciplinary approach to examine international refugee law and policy, with a special emphasis on protracted refugee situations.

Register for the panel presentation via Zoom.

Feb. 25 – The Importance of Understanding Anti-Black Racism in Canada, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Lorne Foster

The reality of the Black experience in Canada has been thrust into sobering light by recent, dramatic and violent acts of anti-Black racism in the United States that have sparked global protest. The long journey toward a racial reckoning has inspired deep reflection across Canadian society about anti-Black racism, revealing a thirst to transform protest into policy and improve social outcomes. The employment sector is the most important, and the most intransigent, to progressive organizational change. Lorne Foster, professor of public policy and human rights at York University, will provide insight into how it is even more imperative today for employers and unions to begin to meet their responsibility to root out systemic anti-Black racism in the workplace.

Foster is the director of the Institute for Social Research (ISR), which is a leading university-based survey research centre in Canada. He is past academic director, Statistics Canada Research Data Centre (RDC); and the inaugural Faculty Chair, Race Inclusion and Supportive Environments (RISE) at York. His current research focus is on human rights and public policy linkages as they relate to the area of race and ethnicity.

Register for the presentation via Zoom.