Congress 2023 a success

Harriet Tubman Institute and Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages at Congress 2023

York University’s Keele Campus welcomed more than 10,000 guests and over 400 volunteers from May 27 to June 2, when the University hosted Congress 2023 in partnership with the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

The seven-day event – Canada’s largest academic gathering – invited scholars, graduate students, policymakers and community members to identify and discuss the decisions we need to take today to build a better world for all, as part of conference’s theme “Reckonings and Re-imaginings.” 

Andrea Davis speaking during Congress 2023
Andrea Davis speaking during Congress 2023

The theme was implemented as a guide for knowledge sharing during the hundreds of events taking place at the Keele Campus, including presentations, panels, workshops, art exhibits, community activities and more.

“My desire over the many months of planning was to create a culture shift at Congress 2023 – to create a space where Indigenous and Black knowledges, and community and artistic practice, could enter and transform the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences and impact the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in a way that was tangible and real, beyond the written word,” says Professor Andrea Davis, Congress 2023 academic convenor.  

“I truly believe that we accomplished that, and I am deeply grateful to the many York community members who walked with me on this journey and executed this vision with passion. None of this would be possible without the unparalleled, team-centred leadership of Congress Director, Liz McMahan, and my fearless colleagues on the scholarly planning committee who guided and contributed to every aspect of the vision of Congress 2023 from the planning of Indigenous initiatives, to the centering of art, and the building of community relations. I am indebted to them, and to all our staff teams and volunteers. I have such an increased understanding and appreciation of the work they do quietly every day to make the University function. I am truly grateful to have been able to lead this partnership of ideas.”

York’s team of dedicated staff, faculty and volunteers were pivotal to the success of conference, which included more than 250 faculty and scholars from York presenting their research to Congress participants affiliated with 67 academic associations.

“I am deeply grateful to the nearly 900 staff and over 400 volunteers who made Congress 2023 a reality. Hosting an event of this magnitude on our campuses required a tremendous amount of collaboration and creativity. The community really came together to provide all of the services and support that were needed that made for an exceptional experience for attendees,” says McMahan. 

See more stories about Congress here. To view images captured during Congress, go here. For a video with highlights from the week, see below.