New video series highlights Faculty of Education’s impact
York University’s Faculty of Education has unveiled a four-part series, called “Leaders Supporting Future Leaders in Education,” which showcases its efforts to innovate in education and create positive change through bold leadership and more just communities.
In particular, the four videos – which consider the Faculty’s impact and philosophy around students and alumni, community partners, as well as research and scholarship – highlight how the Faculty’s new Five-Year Strategic Plan (2023-2027), launched earlier this year, builds upon its long-running commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization. The new strategic plan also aims to sharpen how the Faculty continues to deeply consider and respond to ways in which inequities play out in the 2020s.
Students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners appear in the series to reflect on the positive change that the Faculty has, and continues to, drive. The series is also a part of the Faculty’s efforts to commemorate its 50th anniversary.
“Meaningful education is ever-changing, engaging as it does, as it must, with society. As a Faculty, we are thinking holistically about this dynamism across all of the ideas, innovations, partnerships, sectors, and fields with whom we engage, to continue to provide transformative research, teaching and experiential learning experiences and environments for all our diverse students as they go on to become future leaders in all our communities,” says Dean of the Faculty of Education Robert Savage, who appears in the video series.
The videos can be watched individually below, or as a playlist here.
Spring Convocation set for 2023 graduands
Beginning June 9, graduating students will experience the time-honoured tradition of crossing a stage to accept a diploma when York University’s 2023 Spring Convocation gets underway.
Running from June 9 to 23, this year’s spring convocation will feature 13 ceremonies at both the Keele and Glendon campuses, as well as new celebrations for Black and 2SLGBTQIA+ graduands.
This year’s events will reflect the first changes recommended by a working group assembled in August 2022 by York President and Vice-Chancellor, Rhonda Lenton, tasked with exploring updates to the University’s convocations that further embed decolonization, equity, diversity and inclusion principles, embody respect for Indigenous ways of knowing and being, and align with the institutional value of sustainability.
Among the changes taking effect this year will be clearer language around existing policies regarding First Nations, Métis or Inuit students, faculty and guests being encouraged to wear traditional ceremonial dress of their people and culture; the Canadian national anthem occurring after a land acknowledgement and, where possible, an Honour Song; and further reductions in plastic and paper waste and such as digital programs available via QR codes onsite.
New this year are special celebrations for Black and 2SLGBTQIA+ graduands that will take place on Wednesday, June 28 and Thursday, June 29 respectively. These events will celebrate and recognize the achievements of the Class of 2023 and the professors, staff, classmates, alumni, friends, family and allies who have supported their journey. The events are open to all members of the YorkU community.
As before, all Convocation ceremonies will be webcast live and a link to the feed, as well as a schedule of ceremonies, will be available on the Convocation website.
Osgoode grad hopes scholarship will help inspire Indigenous youth
Osgoode Hall Law School graduand Justin Thompson hopes a major scholarship he recently won will help inspire other Indigenous youth to reach for the stars.
The member of Nipissing First Nation near North Bay, Ont., who officially graduates from York University’s Osgoode at Spring Convocation, was recently named a recipient of the $10,000 John Wesley Beaver Memorial Award. John Wesley Beaver was a former chief of the Alderville First Nation in eastern Ontario who served as a fighter pilot in the Second World War and rose to become a high-ranking executive at Ontario Power Generation. The scholarship is offered annually by Ontario Power Generation through Indspire, a national Indigenous charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.
“Indigenous students want to see someone like themselves who is achieving things,” said Thompson. “So getting the award helps to show that anything is possible for Indigenous students and the sky is the limit.”
Thompson, who is the first in his immediate family to attend university, said the award also represents for him one more sign of hope that Indigenous youth and their communities can look forward to a brighter future after many generations of suffering under colonial oppression. His own great-grandmother, Agnes, was a residential school survivor.
In 2014, for example, his community enacted its own constitution, effectively supplanting the federal Indian Act. In addition, Nipissing First Nation is currently developing its own citizenship law, which will allow the community – not the federal government – to decide who is a citizen. Alongside these developments, he added, the community is enjoying better times economically and is eagerly awaiting the results of the Restoule case, a landmark case currently before the Supreme Court of Canada that could see members of the Anishinaabe Nation in northern Ontario win better compensation for the lands they agreed to share with the Crown under the 1850 Robinson Huron Treaty.
“We’ve seen all these exciting changes,” said Thompson. “So I want to play my part in helping my community become more sovereign and to exercise its rights of self-determination, loosening the grip of the Indian Act.”
Even as a teenager, he said, that desire drove his decision to become a lawyer. The scholarship has helped him to realize that dream, he added. In July, after completing his bar admission exams, he will begin articling in the Toronto office of Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, one of Canada’s leading Aboriginal law firms.
As an aspiring Indigenous lawyer, Thompson said, Osgoode was his first choice of law school after he completed undergraduate and graduate studies at Trent University in Canadian and Indigenous studies. His graduate research there focused on the issue of Indigenous over-incarceration and the lasting impacts of the Indian Act related to the criminalization of Indigenous individuals.
“I came to Osgoode specifically for the Indigenous Intensive,” he said. “And the Indigenous faculty here have been an amazing source of support.”
The only program of its kind in North America, the Intensive Program in Indigenous Lands, Resources, and Governments (IPILRG) explores the legal issues related to Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous rights through the combination of a rigorous academic experience with challenging placements in Indigenous, Aboriginal or environmental law.
“The Intensive was my favourite aspect of law school,” said Thompson. “It was a bit disrupted by COVID, but [Professors] Amar [Bhatia] and Jeff [Hewitt] made sure we had all the support we needed.”
As an Indigenous law student, Thompson said, other highlights of his Osgoode experience included participating in the Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Moot and his leadership roles with the Osgoode Indigenous Students’ Association (OISA).
“We took on a lot of important initiatives,” he said, citing in his third year the association’s ReDress Week event, its Moose Hide Campaign against domestic and gender-based violence and its Orange Shirt Day, which featured guest speaker and Osgoode alumna Kimberley Murray, the federal government’s Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites associated with Indian Residential Schools.
York ranks among top universities making global impact for positive change
By Ashley Goodfellow Craig, YFile editor
York University continues to stand out as a global leader in building a more just and sustainable future by driving positive change through the shared vision and collective actions of its faculty, course directors, staff, students, alumni and community partners.
The University is positioned among the world’s top 40 universities for advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the 2023 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings which measure how more than 1,500 universities work to address the most complex and compelling societal issues of our time.
The results of the rankings – the only global report of its kind – recognize York’s interdisciplinary research and innovation strengths in sustainability, inclusivity and equity that have earned the University placing in the top three per cent of universities in the world overall.
Work to advance the SDGs is rooted in the University Academic Plan as reflected in York’s vision to provide a broad demographic of students with access to high-quality education at a research-intensive University that is committed to enhancing the well-being of the communities it serves.
“York University continues to be recognized worldwide for its leadership in advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. York’s top 40 ranking is a testament to the ongoing commitment of our faculty, staff, students and instructors who have taken up the challenge outlined in our University Academic Plan to strengthen our impact,” says President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton. “I am grateful to the entire York community for driving positive change and building a better future for everyone.”
The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings considers factors such as research, stewardship, outreach and teaching to determine the rank for each institution. York’s position in the rankings speaks to its strong global standings in the SDGs, with nine of 17 ranked in the top 100. Learn more about the rankings here.
York’s commitment to answering the call to right the future reflects the dedication of faculty, instructors, staff, students and alumni to research, academic pursuits and campus initiatives that advance more inclusive, equitable and sustainable communities.
York community members are encouraged to update their email signatures with the latest rankings and see other ways to amplify this achievement by using this toolkit.
Pride Month a time to celebrate, reflect, learn
Dear York community,
June marks Pride Month, a time to celebrate and reflect on the lived experiences of 2SLGBTQIA+ community, and to learn about the history, culture and contributions they have made to our campuses and to Canadian society.
Members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community have been historically, structurally and systematically excluded. These barriers very much exist today in Canada and around the world. For example, more than 70 countries today still criminalize same-sex conduct, and members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community still experience disproportionately high rates of gender-based violence and harassment.
York continues to fight for the equal rights and safety of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community standing against all forms of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, discrimination and racism. These actions are central to York’s core values of equity, diversity, inclusivity and social justice.
We invite you to visit the Pride website to learn more about the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, and their ongoing work and accomplishments. We also encourage you to attend the events that are happening during Pride Month through the Central Events Calendar and Student Event Calendar. Join us for the Pride 2023 Opening Ceremonyon June 7 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Vari Hall. The Ceremony is hosted by The Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion in collaboration with Student Community & Leadership Development.
Rhonda Lenton President and Vice-Chancellor
Alice Pitt Interim Vice-President Equity, People & Culture
Déclaration à l’occasion du Mois de la Fierté
Chers membres de la communauté de York,
Le mois de juin est le mois de la Fierté, une période de célébration et de réflexion sur les expériences vécues par les membres de la communauté 2ELGBTQIA+, et de découverte de leur histoire, de leur culture et de leurs contributions à nos campus et à la société canadienne.
Ces personnes ont été historiquement, structurellement et systématiquement exclues. De telles barrières existent encore aujourd’hui au Canada et dans le monde. Par exemple, plus de 70 pays criminalisent encore aujourd’hui les comportements homosexuels, et les membres de la communauté 2ELGBTQIA+ subissent encore des taux disproportionnés de harcèlement et de violence basée sur le genre.
York continue de lutter pour l’égalité des droits et la sécurité de la communauté 2ELGBTQIA+ en s’opposant à toutes les formes d’homophobie, de biphobie, de transphobie, de discrimination et de racisme. Ces actions sont au cœur des valeurs fondamentales de York, à savoir l’équité, la diversité, l’inclusion et la justice sociale.
Alice Pitt Vice-présidente intérimaire de l’équité, des personnes et de la culture
National Indigenous History Month honours histories, cultures, contributions
La version française suit la version anglaise.
Dear York community,
June is National Indigenous History Month. It is a time to honour Indigenous histories, cultures and contributions to society.
York University is taking important steps to integrate Indigenous knowledges and perspectives as part of our well-being strategy and commitment to decolonization.
In early May, the University launched the Decolonizing, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEDI) Strategy. York University is among the first post-secondary institutions in Canada to include decolonization in a meaningful and thoughtful way within an equity strategy. Doing so acknowledges that decolonization is essential to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion.
We have continued to make progress on the recommendations in the Indigenous Framework and the Decolonizing Research Administration Report. In July, the first wholly autonomous Indigenous Research Ethics Board (IREB) will launch at York University – a first for a post-secondary institution in Canada. York also completed the pilot round of Indigenous Research Seed Grants and secured an additional three years of funding at $250,000 per year. A full-time traditional counsellor position was also created for the Centre for Indigenous Student Services. These actions will support decolonization in research and administration while enhancing the experiences of Indigenous students.
While progress is being made, the journey towards decolonization and reconciliation is ongoing and requires consistent action and a conscious commitment to meet our goals.
We invite you to visit the Indigenous History Month website to learn about and participate in the events around campus, including a lecture titled “Writing Home: How to begin a conversation with the Land,a personal journey of walking, listening, looking and making” featuring keynote speaker Bonnie Devine, an Anishinaabe artist, painter and curator. The lecture will take place on June 12, 4 to 6 p.m. at the Helliwell Centre, Room 1014, Osgoode Hall Law School.
We are grateful for the opportunities to continue dialogue, raise awareness and take meaningful action.
Thank you. Merci. Miigwech, Anushiik.
Rhonda Lenton President and Vice-Chancellor
Alice Pitt Interim Vice-President Equity, People and Culture
Susan D. Dion Associate Vice-President Indigenous Initiatives
Déclaration à l’occasion du Mois national de l’histoire autochtone
Chers membres de la communauté de York,
Juin est le Mois national de l’histoire autochtone à York. C’est l’occasion de rendre hommage à l’histoire, à la culture et aux contributions des Autochtones à la société.
L’Université York prend des mesures importantes pour intégrer les savoirs et les perspectives autochtones dans le cadre de sa stratégie de bien-être et de son engagement en faveur de la décolonisation.
Au début du mois de mai, l’Université a lancé la Stratégie de décolonisation, d’équité, de diversité et d’inclusion (DEDI). L’Université York est l’un des premiers établissements postsecondaires au Canada à inclure la décolonisation de manière réfléchie dans une stratégie de DEDI. Ce faisant, elle reconnaît que la décolonisation fait partie intégrante des principes d’équité, de diversité et d’inclusion.
Nous ne cessons de mettre en œuvre les recommandations du Cadre stratégique autochtone et du Rapport pour la décolonisation de l’administration de la recherche. En juillet, un comité inaugural d’éthique de la recherche autochtone (IREB) entièrement autonome verra le jour à l’Université York, une première pour un établissement d’enseignement supérieur au Canada. York a également conclu le projet pilote du Fonds de stimulation de la recherche autochtone et a obtenu un financement supplémentaire annuel de 250 000 $ pour trois ans. Un poste de conseiller traditionnel à temps plein a également été créé pour le Centre de services aux étudiants autochtones. Ces actions soutiendront la décolonisation dans la recherche et l’administration tout en améliorant l’expérience des étudiantes et étudiants autochtones.
Bien que des progrès aient été accomplis, le parcours vers la décolonisation et la réconciliation se poursuit et nécessite une action cohérente et un engagement conscient pour atteindre nos objectifs.
Nous vous invitons à consulter le site Web du Mois de l’histoire autochtone pour en savoir plus sur les événements organisés sur le campus et y participer, notamment une conférence intitulée“Writing Home: How to begin a conversation with the Land, a personal journey of walking, listening, looking and making” avec l’oratrice principale Bonnie Devine, artiste, peintre et conservatrice anishinaabe. La conférence (en anglais) aura lieu le 12 juin, de 16 h à 18 h, au Centre Helliwell, salle 1014, École de droit Osgoode Hall.
Nous nous réjouissons des possibilités qui nous sont offertes de poursuivre le dialogue, d’encourager la sensibilisation et de prendre des mesures significatives.
Thank you. Merci. Miigwech, Anushiik.
Rhonda Lenton Présidente et vice-chancelière
Alice Pitt Vice-présidente intérimaire de l’équité, des personnes et de la culture
Susan D. Dion Vice-présidente associée aux initiatives autochtones
Mpox outbreak leads to stigmas, blame toward 2SLGBTQIAP+ community
York University researchers have furthered their study of the global mpox virus by publishing a new paper on the dangerous stigmas the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community face as the outbreak continues.
Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared mpox an international public health emergency on July 23, 2022, over 100 countries have been affected by cases. A month earlier, York Postdoctoral Fellow Nicola Bragazzi, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics Jude Kong and Distinguished Research Professor Jianhong Wu contributed to that decision by leading critical research identifying symptoms in a paper called “Epidemiological trends and clinical features of the ongoing monkeypox epidemic.”
Since the outbreak of mpox, and the paper, research has found that the Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual and pansexual (2SLGBTQIAP+) community, has been heavily and disproportionately impacted. Concerned with the risk the community faces in being stigmatized and blamed for transmitting the virus, Bragazzi, Kong and Wu turned from studying the clinical impact of mpox, to studying its social impact. They wanted to learn just how significant the stigma for the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community had become, because marginalized and minority populations being blamed for spreading a disease, can increase hesitancy to seek help when symptoms emerge or impact mental health conditions.
The result is a new study, co-authored with York’s Zahra Movahedi Nia (postdoctoral researcher) and Professors Ali Asgary and Dr. James Orbinski, which used two forms of artificial intelligence-driven natural language processing – topic modelling and sentiment analysis – to assess relevant popular discussions on Twitter and Facebook, identifying stigmatization sources, their hot spots and their sentiments.
“The 2SLGBTQIAP+ is a hard-to-reach community and social networks can be a useful venue to sample from this community and collect relevant data,” says Bragazzi.
The researchers discovered that online mpox has become tightly linked to the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community, with the majority of sentiments negative. Out of the 10 topics related to mpox and 2SLGBTQIAP+, eight were directly focused on blaming the community for spreading mpox.
“This study shows that the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community is being widely stigmatized for spreading the mpox virus, which turns the community into a highly vulnerable population. As a result, people are discouraged from seeking help upon observing the symptoms and the prevalence of the virus increases. Such stigmatization broadens disparities, brings social isolation and increases mental health disorders,” says Kong.
The academic quantification and proof of ongoing social stigmatization is meant to aid public health officials in determining the direction of policies, informing them with data-driven outcomes that can help counter stigma which, if it increases, can lead to lack of treatment, thereby making it more difficult to contain and control the mpox outbreak.
“Our work will enable health officials to identify hotspots, control fear and stop discrimination among the population,” says Wu.
Congress panel explores pathways to equitable and sustainable world
From the climate crisis to the next pandemic, how can individuals work together to solve complex global problems while ensuring the promotion of an equitable and sustainable world? Zeynep Güler Tuck, a producer, journalist, social entrepreneur and York alum will unpack these issues during Congress 2023.
The President’s Office at York University sat down with Güler Tuck to delve into what to expect at this engaging and thought-provoking session on June 1.
President’s Office: At Congress, you will moderate a panel discussion that aims to understand and address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) through the lens of decolonization, equity, diversity and inclusion (DEDI). Why is this topic so timely and important right now?
Güler Tuck: For those who have been working toward these goals with organizations, NGOs, and institutions since the SDGs were introduced by world leaders in January 2016, these goals have either become second nature or have gone through a number of interpretations and iterations over the years. The same goes for DEDI. Especially for those who have been directly impacted by inequitable, colonial practices, policies and systems, this work has been ongoing for quite some time. However, the last decade has brought many more of us face-to-face with the kinds of disasters, pandemics, injustices and crises we might have only seen on CNN. For some, it took a crisis or emergency to happen right in their own backyards to realize the importance of centering our communities and their needs. Taking an intersectional approach to the SDGs with a DEDI lens is top of mind as a result of the social and environmental reckoning of recent years. The intersectional DEDI lens is long overdue, which has put the development goals at risk. It has never been more timely and important to address and take action toward prioritizing DEDI in the advancement of SDGs.
President’s Office: How are you advancing the SDGs in your personal and professional life? What are you hoping to learn from the panel?
Güler Tuck: Professionally, I’ve supported the SDGs through my work in the media and non-profit spaces. With Microsoft News, I collaborated with global news outlets to curate ethical story packages that raised awareness and over $1 million in funds for causes like COVID-19 relief, disaster recovery, racial justice, poverty, climate action, LGBTQ+ representation, and STEM education for girls. When Microsoft laid off MSN’s digital producers in the height of the pandemic due to automation and AI systems, I was one of them. I adapted to the change by starting my own social impact business to support organizations working in the gender equity space.
With non-profits, I have supported the economic advancement of equity-deserving entrepreneurs who run impact-driven startups in North America’s tech and innovation sector.
Personally, when it comes to SDGs and humanitarian aid, I sprung into action when the devastating earthquakes hit Turkiye and Syria in February 2023. While the Turkish community across the world was mourning, we knew we needed to act fast. I mobilized community organizations, private-sector partners, allies, neighbours and the Turkish Consulate in support of relief and recovery efforts. We continue to rely on this support as we fundraise and implement long-term projects that help earthquake survivors, including refugee families to Canada and child amputees.
For this panel, I’m eager to learn from each of the illustrious speakers about the ways organizations, institutions, and individuals have started to reframe the SDGs in the context of DEDI, and perhaps dive deeper into why it has taken this long to bring this intersectional approach to these global issues.
President’s Office: How has your experience as a York U student and now an alum prepared you to take on these challenges in your own way?
Güler Tuck: I didn’t realize until after I graduated that my experience at York had given me more than a higher education. While York taught me about the media landscape in North America, it also taught me a lesson in adapting to changes in the industry. I experienced these changes first-hand when the decline of print media met the mercurial rise of digital media, requiring me to transition from a role as the editor-in-chief of a magazine to the digital producer of an online content platform.
Though, my “a-ha” moment occurred when I realized that my BA in communications and sociology could lead me into purpose-driven work for social good. It was a revelation and came later in my career than I had expected. So, I hope more students in comms and humanities can make the connection sooner because we need all hands on deck.
The transition wasn’t overnight. I knew I wanted to be a storyteller, so I began building narratives in the sales pits of PR firms then devising content strategies in the boardrooms of the private sector. However, it wasn’t until I came head-to-head with challenges and barriers as a woman in tech – and saw many other women facing those same obstacles – that I recognized how storytelling and narrative-building could lead to change in the world. I began mentoring and championing other women in the field, speaking at conferences and volunteering with women in STEM organizations to help amplify their work. One of the highlights of my career was releasing the Gender Equity Roadmap with Women in Tech World in 2018. As the most extensive qualitative data set on the experiences of Canadian women in tech, it was based on research collected from 1,600-plus voices in 30-plus tech communities across Canada with the collaboration of 100-plus community and national partners. In regions like the Yukon, New Brunswick and northern Ontario, partnerships allowed us to cater action plans to advance the women and gender-diverse folks working in these areas.
Now, as I double down on my advocacy and DEDI work in line with the SDGs, I am grateful that I’ve been able to come back to York as a speaker, moderator and a stakeholder in the future of this great institution.
President’s Office: Congress will include thousands of scholars, students and experts in the social sciences and humanities. How will their perspectives, research and knowledge be critical to solving complex societal issues from pandemics and global health and climate change to political conflict and racism?
Güler Tuck: This is definitely a question that keeps me up at night. However, it starts with showing up. Whether virtually or in person, Congress facilitates a crucial opportunity for us to come together to spark dialogue, share stories, have difficult yet important conversations, and walk away with actionable ideas for the future. When we bring the right people together, the discourse can have a butterfly effect that can impact how we approach a number of critical environmental and social issues. I cannot speak directly to how Congress might help resolve political strife and conflict in our world, but I can speak to the importance of acting fast, as we speed toward 2030, to use opportunities like Congress 2023 to ideate community-first action plans at local, regional and global levels that can serve as roadmaps for governments, private sectors, civil societies and individuals to visualize their next steps.
President’s Office: What action do you hope students and scholars will take from the panel discussion, and from the experience of Congress?
Güler Tuck: Luckily, this is a question that gets me up in the morning. Understanding the full scope of the SDGs as a whole can be a lot for people to wrap their heads around in the context of their everyday lives. It’s not easy to find time to end poverty or fight injustice when you are rushing to get the kids off to school, running a small business, relocating to a new country, finishing your degree or living paycheck to paycheck. Distilling them down to the impact you and I can make in our local communities and neighbourhoods makes them more digestible. Then, once we see that change, we’ll be empowered to take on larger-scale projects. The head of World Wildlife Fund-Canada, Megan Leslie, had the perfect response when I asked her in an interview how we can reverse the damaging effects of the climate crisis. She suggested that simply planting a Black-Eyed Susan flower in your garden or on your balcony can trigger a chain of natural events that could lead to the creation of a micro-habitat for the animals in your neighbourhood. You can also support businesses owned by underrepresented founders, get involved with a neighbourhood fundraiser, or join one of your company’s ERGs. There are many ways to advance these development goals at the local level. It just takes showing up. By attending Congress, either virtually or in person, students and scholars will have taken a crucial first step toward these goals. All they have to do is keep up that momentum.
President’s Ofice: Anything else you wish to add?
Güler Tuck: I’m incredibly privileged to get to host this panel at Congress and want to thank all the incredible people who made it possible. It’s always been an honour to be an active part of the York U community. It all started with the Mid-Career Conversations Series, organized by the amazing team at the York U Alumni Engagement Office.
Finally, as a takeaway for Congress attendees, I encourage you to choose one or two of the development goals to focus your efforts on at the local level this year. We all need to get involved to reach these goals. It’s better if we do it together.
The panel “Understanding the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) through the lens of Decolonization, equity, diversity & Inclusion (DEDI) is taking place on Thursday, June 1, 10 to 11 a.m. and features panelists and experts: President & Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton; Founder and Co-Director of Future Ancestors Larissa Crawford; Deputy Minister & Commissioner of Emergency Management Bernie Derible and York Associate Professor of Biology Sapna Sharma.
Call for inclusive mathematics education research published in prestigious journal
York University Assistant Professor Molade Osibodu is the lead author on a paper titled “A Participatory Turn in Mathematics Education Research: Possibilities,” a paper published in the prestigious Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, which calls for greater participation in research involving minoritized communities.
The journal is considered the foremost publication on mathematics education research, making Osibodu’s achievement a notable one with the promise of significant impact. “I feel really grateful to have the paper in this journal and have the ideas that we talked about be discussed with a wide group of readers,” says Osibodu.
The theoretical paper argues mathematics education research rooted in minoritized communities often risk excluding or only superficially accounting for their perspectives and experiences. Furthermore, it is often led by those with dominant social identities (white, male, well-funded) who attempt to comment on realities of inequity as objective observers when they may not be.
Complicating the power dynamic tension between researchers and studied communities is how mathematics education positions minoritized students and families as outcomes of politically motivated reform, which has the potential to cause harmful or dehumanizing mathematical experiences.
“Humans are a part of this work and so you have to include their voices and particularly for those of us who claim to want to do work that is equity focused, that is socially just then we have to recognize that it is paramount to center the voices of those whose experiences we seek to better,” says Osibodu.
“If we really want to have meaningful change in mathematics education, we can’t keep doing research the same way. If the goal is to engender positive social change, then we have to also recognize the community members have a lot of knowledge to bring in – especially if you are not part of that community.”
The paper offers several recommendations towards a more participatory research paradigm, which integrates those for whom mathematics education research is most consequential:
historically marginalized communities should be co-researchers;
disparate forms of knowing should be re brought into continuous contact with emphasis on conversation around where marginzalition is most felt;
people, institutions and practices need to be acknowledged as historicized;
tensions should be embraced as spaces for learning with outside researchers understanding that their participation may unintentionally colonize the research process; and
practices should be renegotiated toward making social change that outlasts the research project or promote structural changes that shift resources in more equitable ways.
“In however many years of math education research has been going on, youth of colour, and other marginalized groups are still struggling in their experiences,” says Osibodu. What’s called for here is a sentiment she credits to academic Katherine McKittrick, and her book Dear Science and Other Stories. “If you want to get new, different answers, you have to ask different questions. That includes the types of methodologies that you are embracing. You have to try different things,” she says.
The approaches outlined in Osibodu’s paper highlights a promising route. “I hope that more math education researchers consider doing work this way.”
York community invited to Pride 2023 Opening Ceremony on June 7
Join the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (CHREI) in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Events and Student Community & Leadership Development for the York University Pride 2023 Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, June 7 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Vari Hall Rotunda.
The ceremony will feature opening remarks followed by the unfurling of the Pride flag. Attendees can enjoy free treats, snap a selfie with York’s mascot Yeo and learn about 2SLGBTQIA+ resources and services available at York. Engage in the conversation on social media using #YUPride and share what a campus free of homophobia and transphobia looks like, feels like and sounds like to you.