Spring Convocation set for 2023 graduands

File photo Convocation students

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.

Pride Month a time to celebrate, reflect, learn

Pride Month banner 2023

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.

York is focussing on ways to remove systematic barriers to ensure that our campuses are experienced as safe spaces where everyone feels that they belong. This focus can be seen through York University initiatives such as the Decolonizing, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEDI) Strategy, the Provostial Fellows Program: 2023-24, and the newly announced President’s award for Excellence in Decolonization, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEDI) which recognizes sustainable and measurable change on campus, with an intersectional social justice lens, especially for equity-deserving groups such as women, visible/racialized minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities and 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

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 Ceremony on 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.

York se concentre sur les moyens d’éliminer les barrières systématiques afin de garantir que ses campus soient des espaces sécuritaires où tout le monde se sent à sa place. Cette orientation se traduit par des initiatives de l’Université York comme la Stratégie de décolonisation, d’équité, de diversité et d’inclusion (DEDI) et le programme de bourses de la rectrice  2023-2024, ainsi que le nouveau prix de la Présidente pour l’excellence en matière de décolonisation, d’équité, de diversité et d’inclusion (DEDI), qui récompense les changements durables et mesurables sur les campus, dans une optique de justice sociale intersectionnelle, en particulier pour les groupes en quête d’équité (les femmes, les minorités visibles/racialisées, les peuples autochtones, les personnes en situation de handicap et les personnes 2ELGBTQIA+).

Nous vous invitons à visiter le site Web de la Fierté pour en savoir plus sur la communauté 2ELGBTQIA+, ainsi que sur son travail et ses réalisations. Nous vous encourageons également à participer aux événements du Mois de la Fierté en consultant le calendrier central des événements et le calendrier des événements pour les étudiantes et étudiants. Joignez-vous à nous pour la cérémonie d’ouverture du Mois de la Fierté 2023 le 7 juin de 12h30 à 14 h au pavillon Vari. La cérémonie est organisée par le Centre des droits de la personne, de l’équité et de l’inclusion, en collaboration avec Développement de la communauté étudiante et du leadership (SCLD).

Sincères salutations,

Rhonda Lenton
Présidente et vice-chancelière

Alice Pitt
Vice-présidente intérimaire de l’équité, des personnes et de la culture

Mpox outbreak leads to stigmas, blame toward 2SLGBTQIAP+ community

Colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (teal) found within an infected cell (brown), cultured in the laboratory. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID

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.

York community invited to Pride 2023 Opening Ceremony on June 7

Pride Month banner 2023

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. 

All York community members are welcome.  

Event details

York University Pride 2023 Opening Ceremony
Date: Wednesday, June 7
Time: 12:30 to 2 p.m.
Location: Vari Hall Rotunda 

York professors lead Queer Comics Symposium

coloured pencils sketch cartoon

Building upon the work of the just-published and Lambda Literary Award nominated publication, The LGBTQ+ Comics Studies Reader: Critical Openings, Future Directions (University Press of Mississippi, 2022), York University Professors Alison Halsall and Jonathan Warren will host a Queer Comics Symposium on Friday, April 28.

This event, presented by York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and the Departments of English and Humanities, will focus on transdisciplinary and international LGBTQ+ comics scholarship and creativity. Taking advantage of the appearance of the Reader as a field-defining publication, organizers say the symposium will mobilize the specific kinds of knowledge that it showcases: putting scholars in conversation with creators, providing a forum for the work of thinkers at different stages of their careers, and featuring a diversity of analytical approaches with the aim of generating further contributions to the field.

The day begins at noon, in Accolade Building East (room 005), with a plenary lecture given by Professor Michelle Ann Abate (Ohio State University), author of Tomboys: A Literary and Cultural History (Temple University Press). She will discuss “Queering Conformity in Postwar America: The Li’l Tomboy Comic Book Series and Gender Rebellion in the 1950s.” Following this lecture will be a panel that features papers by Professor Lin Young (University of Calgary), Joti Bilkhu (York University), as well as Halsall and Warren.

The second session takes place at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander St., Toronto) at 6 p.m. It will feature a public address given by Professor Justin Hall (California College of the Arts), cartoonist and editor of No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics (Fantagraphics). This lecture will be followed by the first Canadian screening of the award-winning documentary, No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics (Compadre Media, 2021), directed by Vivian Kleiman.

The Queer Comics Symposium will feature contributions from established and upcoming scholars in the field, as well as comics creators and students, at an event that is committed to inspiring and diversifying conversations about LGBTQ+ sequential art and its production around the world.

Via slideshow presentations and a book display, there will also be a presentation of a creative curation of queer comics art.

All are welcome to attend.

Wendy Michener Memorial Lecture features Carolyn Taylor


The 2023 Wendy Michener Lecture, titled “Queer Feminism and Comedy: A Serious Talk,” will be hosted at the McLean Performance Studio in 244 Accolade East Building on Tuesday, April 4 from 2:30 to 4 p.m.  

Carolyn Taylor

This year’s lecture features Carolyn Taylor, co-creator, showrunner and star of CBC’s acclaimed Baroness von Sketch Show. Throughout her career, the award-winning comedian, actor, writer, director and artist has brought a queer perspective to her work and a commitment to the personal as political. Taylor’s lecture will explore the intersection of queer feminism and comedy, elaborating on her own body of work and experiences in the field. She will explore what it means to centre, rather than other, the feminist perspective in comedy, and how nuanced and empathetic characters can be created through a feminist lens. Taylor will take up a number of timely topics, ranging from examining gender identity and drag in sketch comedy, to using comedy to infiltrate dominant discourses, to blending the esoteric and the relatable – we’re all laughing, but why? Along the way, she will showcase scenes from her subversive and groundbreaking comedy series, Baroness von Sketch Show.

Taylor developed her skills in improvisation and social satire at The Second City in Toronto. She’s written and performed political commentary for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos and CBC Radio’s This Is That. Since Baroness von Sketch Show premiered in 2016, Taylor and the show have received national and international critical acclaim, as well as won 20 Canadian Screen Awards, an ACTRA Award for Best Ensemble, two international Rockies for Best Comedy, The Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content and an international Rose D’or.

Currently, Taylor can be seen on the hit CBS comedy Ghosts as a lesbian organic farmer opposite Saturday Night Live cast member Punky Johnson. This fall she will appear as a quixotic would-be choreographer on streaming platform Crave’s upcoming figure skating comedy I Have Nothing

Taylor’s discussion is the latest entry in the annual Wendy Michener Memorial Lecture, which is named in commemoration of the Canadian arts critic and journalist, and was established at York University in 1986 to provide a forum for discussion of vital issues and developments in culture and the arts. This year’s event is co-presented by the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, York University’s Department of Theatre and Performance, Department of Dance, Centre for Feminist Research, and Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts & Technology.

Tickets for the event are available online for free. Additional information is featured on the event registration page.  

EUC visiting scholar to explore anti-colonial, queer perspectives in environmentalism

Usa globe resting in a forest - environment concept

The Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change (EUC) will host Fabio A.G. Oliveira ­– adjunct professor in philosophy of education and permanent member of the graduate program in bioethics, applied ethics and collective health at Brazil’s Fluminense Federal University (UFF) – as a visiting scholar from March 15 to May 31.

Oliveria’s research encompasses a diverse and interdisciplinary approach, highlighting queer, anti-colonial and animal perspectives. His relationship with York began in 2022 when he translated EUC Professor Andil Gosine’s article, “Non-White Reproduction and Same-Sex Eroticism: Queer Acts against Nature” into Portuguese.

Fabio A.G. Oliveira ­close-up portrait
Fabio A.G. Oliveira ­

Gosine’s article exposed the tendency in popular environmentalist discourse surrounding overpopulation to disproportionately place blame in the hands of non-white and impoverished peoples. It also considered how the romantic activity of queer people in natural spaces is portrayed in literature as an affront to nature – thereby highlighting race, class and sexuality as critical perspectives from which environmentalist discourse should be evaluated.

Oliveira’s translation of the article – to be released in 2023 in a special dossier of Revista Psicologia Política ­– greatly expands the accessibility of Gosine’s work to the Portuguese-speaking world, including Brazil, where discussions of environmental protectionism, population expansion and queer rights are particularly relevant.

Oliveira’s current project, to be pursued while at York, is titled “Queerifying the social-environmental debate: undesirable bodies as territories of ecocide.” He will also participate in Gosine’s spring and summer lectures. EUC student researcher Danielle Legault spoke with Oliveira for a Q-and-A in preparation for his visit.

Q: What are your goals during your visit to York University and Toronto?

A: Every trip abroad is filled with new experiences, and one must be open to the unpredictable. I expect that, during my visit to York, I can expand the dialogue with faculty and students to deepen the research that I’ve been developing on socio-environmental issues from an anti-colonial and queer perspective.

I’d also like to know more about the research being developed here and to evaluate the possibility of international partnerships between York and UFF.

Q: What are the issues or problems that your current work addresses?

A: Currently, I work in an interdisciplinary program in rural education in an upstate campus of UFF – located in Santo Antônio de Pádua, Rio de Janeiro. This is a relatively new degree, the result of demands from social movements that for decades have been fighting for access to land and the right to food and basic health. We primarily work with peoples from the forests, such as peasants, riverine, Indigenous, and Quilombola, as well as communities from the urban peripheries of Rio de Janeiro.

At the post-graduate level, I work in two different programs: one program in bioethics and another in education. In both programs I research how colonialism has determined a perspective based on “hierarchical binarisms,” which has influenced the way bioethical issues are addressed. Among these issues I highlight environmental, animal, gender and sexuality aspects.

In this context, I’ve approached queer and decolonial theories to identify and decipher how colonialism has impacted the body-territories of queer and racialized people in Latin America, especially in Brazil.

Q: What impact do you see your work having, outside of its impact on academic debates?

A: My performance outside the academy, through activism, started before my professional academic performance. I say so because I understand my social dislocation as a “choreography.”

What I mean is that although my childhood was spent in a region of Rio de Janeiro that lacked economic resources, my family did everything possible for me to access the education that they never had. I understand that this was, in fact, an attempt to subvert a destiny produced against a large part of the impoverished population in Latin America.

I call this a subversive act of choreography because from an early age I was marked by “deviation,” that is, by being observed as a queer subject. Being “discovered” made me realize very quickly that formal institutions would not always easily shelter me. In this sense, activism often became the fundamental place from which I observe the world.

For this very reason, my research has been primarily thought and articulated on the frontier between activism and academia; my academic research is impacted by my activism and vice-versa.

Q: What do you envisage your work addressing in the future?

A: My project is to continue promoting actions that deepen the anti-colonial queer thought committed to eco-territorial and animalist agendas. To do so, I would like to advance theoretical discussions on the subject while also challenging myself to adopt new artistic languages to communicate my ideas… my visit to York University is a key part of my plans for this future.

York’s peer-reviewed undergraduate research journal issues new volume

writing in notebook

York University’s interdisciplinary and peer-reviewed undergraduate research journal Revue YOUR Review (RYR) has published its ninth volume as part of its collaborative mission to promote experiential learning and open-access publishing.

Sponsored by York University Libraries in support of undergraduate research and in collaboration with the annual Undergraduate Research Fair and Art Walk, the journal’s focus is to provide faculty and librarian mentorship for undergraduate researchers and to guide them through the process of publishing in a peer-reviewed arena.

RYR gives voice to authors from traditionally underrepresented segments of the University community and highlights their innovative research.

Cover of Revue YOUR Review Volume 9
Cover of Revue YOUR Review Volume 9

In this volume, Dara Dillon provides a thought-provoking critique of Liberalism and its systemic failure to confront anti-Black racism, while discrimination and a history of pathologization of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities are the topics of articles by Jacob McGuire and the team of Ryan Yacknovets and Meaghan Landry, respectively. Ayeda Khan confronts the colonial legacy of Western medicine in India, while both Jacqueline Saunders’ and Hannah Santilli’s contributions analyze social inequities for people with disabilities. A collaborative effort from Alexandra Markwell, Danika Wagner, Andreja Stajduhar and Lucas Norton on the psychology of extroversion, competitiveness and humour rounds out the volume.

The volume’s editorial draws on a conversation between one of the journal’s co-editors, Kevin Reynolds, and the artist of the image borne on the cover of RYR’s Volume 8, Natalia Bonczek, reflecting on the possibility of nonbinary language in French. Volume 8’s cover artwork “Misster E” is a portrait of the homonymous alter ego of the artist, a nonbinary “gender-bending, glamorous drag king.” The conversation works through the challenges presented by the translation of the artist statement that describes the cover artwork. French is characterized by grammatical gender as a structural feature that not only challenges expressions of gender ambiguity, but that is entirely rooted in gender binarity. How does one reconcile a binary gender-based language with nonbinary, “gender-bending” identities? As a result, in the artist’s statement for Volume 8, unconventional orthographic means are used to assert the nonbinary identity of the artist in French. The dialogue that ultimately led to these complex decisions of translation is the subject of the co-authored editorial of Volume 9.

In addition to Volumes 8 (2021) and 9 (2022), the journal has released, retroactively, two previously unpublished editions from 2018. The combined issues in Volumes 4/5 and 6/7 are available on the journal’s website.

Cover of Revue YOUR Review Volume 6/7
Cover of Revue YOUR Review Volume 6/7
Cover of Revue YOUR Review Volume 4/5
Cover of Revue YOUR Review Volume 4/5

In his introductory editorial to Volume 6/7, “Stepping into Tomorrow,” Professor Emeritus Paul Delaney (Physics & Astronomy) writes to “citizens of the future” about the importance of scientific literacy and the courage it takes young scholars to go through peer review. The cover image for each of these volumes is the work of Cree-Métis artist and York alumna Marissa Magneson, who also contributed the editorial for Volume 4/5. In the editorial, Magneson reflects on her photograph “Frozen Chains of Childhood” and the brutal legacy of residential schools in Canada: “Like the swing in the cover photograph, many Indigenous children felt isolated, frozen, neglected, and immobile at these schools.”

Volume 6/7’s cover image, “Reflections,” symbolizes the coming-together of two cousins, Magneson and wood carver and Nuu-chah-nulth language activist Joshua Prescott, whose artistic collaboration reflects a gradual reclamation of their Indigenous culture and identity.

“While Frozen Chains of Childhood looks to a past where Indigenous peoples were not allowed to express their culture(s), Reflections looks to the future, as we carve a path forward where future generations know what it means to be Indigenous and are proud to share who they are,” says Magneson.

All volumes are available online.

Career change bears fruit for artist/curator

Pile of sharp coloured drawing pencils on table. Rainbow colors - red, yellow, blue, green, purple.

By Elaine Smith

If Marissa Largo needs confirmation that becoming an academic was a wise career move, she can simply look at the two awards she won in November at the 2022 Galeries Ontario/Ontario Galleries Awards gala, celebrating the outstanding achievement, artistic merit and excellence of arts institutions and professionals in the public gallery sector.

After only one year at York, where she is an assistant professor of creative technologies in the School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design, Largo won the Exhibition Design and Installation (Budget over $20,000) award for her curatorial project at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham, Elusive Desires: Ness Lee + Florence Yee. Largo also took home the award for Curatorial Writing, Text Between 2,000 and 5,000 Words, for her essay about the show, “Elusive Desires: Queer Feminist Asian Diaspora and Suburban Possibilities.” She was also a finalist for Best Exhibition, Budget over $20,000 (Thematic).

director-curator Marissa Largo
Marissa Largo

“It is truly an honour to be recognized by my peers in public art galleries,” Largo remarks. “It is equally wonderful to do this critical curatorial work and to have it widely appreciated.

“Curatorial work is a form of research and York University has a capacious understanding of what knowledge production can be.”

Largo, an alumna of York’s undergraduate Visual Arts and Education programs, began her career as a secondary school art teacher over a decade ago. As one of the few teachers of Filipino descent in a school board with a large Filipino population, Largo had many questions about lack of representation in certain fields such as education and art. This prompted Largo to learn more about social justice, the topic she pursued for her PhD at the University of Toronto. She was considering whether to remain in the secondary school system when the pandemic hit.

“I thought it might be time to pivot in order to mentor other racialized leaders to become professors, artists, educators and curators so they may assert their presence in Canada,” she says. “Being at York University allows me to effect change on a grander scale.”

Prior to joining York University, Largo was an assistant professor at NSCAD University and a sessional instructor at OCAD University.

Largo’s research, her curatorial work and her art criticism focus largely on the Asian diaspora in Canada and its intersections with race, gender and settler colonialism. Her PhD thesis forms the basis for a forthcoming book Unsettling Imaginaries: Filipinx Contemporary Artists in Canada (University of Washington Press) examines the art and oral histories of four Filipinx artists who are asserting their presence in Canada and pushing back against colonialism with their work.

“The Filipinx artists of my study offer radically different alternatives to national belonging,” Largo says.

She appreciated the juxtaposition of curating a show of Asian diasporic artists in a gallery named for Frederick Varley, a member of the Group of Seven.

“Unionville, where the Varley is situated, celebrates its settler heritage through its preserved Victorian style architecture,” Largo says. “Differences of race, class, and gender are obscured to promote a quaint, picture-perfect milieu. The artists of Elusive Desires not only point to the omissions in the Canadian cultural archive, but they create a space for belonging in this context.”

From left: Pictured at the 2022 GOG Awards are Marissa Largo, Anik Glaude (curator of the Varley); artists Lan Yee and Ness Lee; Director of the Varley Niamh O'Laoghaire and artist Annie Wong
From left: Pictured at the 2022 GOG Awards are Marissa Largo, Anik Glaude (curator of the Varley); artists Lan Yee and Ness Lee; Director of the Varley Niamh O’Laoghaire and artist Annie Wong

Meanwhile, Largo is successfully carving out her own space for belonging at York. This past summer, she curated an exhibition titled X Marks the Spot: Filipinx Futurities at the Gales Gallery on the Keele Campus. She paired three established Filipinx artists with three emerging Filipinx artists, including two York students.

“Their work connected and diverged in compelling ways, which guided my curation,” Largo says. “These partnerships also acted as a method of mentorship. I am thrilled to mentor the next generation of Asian diasporic scholars and artists, so our knowledges, cultures, and histories may be recognized for their importance and vitality.”

Statement: International Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender flag waving against blue sky,

La version française suit la version anglaise.

On Nov. 20, we recognize the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). TDOR is an annual observance that honours the memory of Trans, Two-Spirit, non-binary and gender-diverse people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-trans violence due to discrimination, stigma and hate. TDOR was started in 1999 by trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a Black Trans woman who was killed in 1998. To this day, Hester’s murder remains unsolved. In addition to the violence and discrimination that Trans, Two-Spirit, non-binary and gender diverse people face, it is important to remember that Trans Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) continue to be disproportionately affected by acts of violence, discrimination and transphobia.

There is much work to be done to educate and raise awareness about gender-based violence in our communities. At York, we believe that universities can and must play an important role in leading by example. The Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion, for example, offers a variety of resources for students, staff and faculty with the aim of promoting a respectful, equitable, diverse and inclusive University community. A French language session on positive spaces (Créer et maintenir des espaces positifs) will be held on Nov. 17 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. as part of the ongoing REDDI Series for the Fall/Winter. Learn more here about available resources.

Core to York’s values is to champion diversity and inclusivity, embracing different perspectives, peoples, and ways of knowing, and fostering global fluencies and cross-cultural knowledges. York stands in solidarity with the Trans, Two-Spirit, non-binary and gender diverse community in the fight towards civil and social rights, justice and equity. Everyone, regardless of how they identify, deserves to feel a sense of belonging. Learn more about what you can do to support TDOR.

Join us on Nov. 21 for a TDOR Vigil in Vari Hall from noon to 2 p.m. All are welcome. Learn more about the event here.

Thank you. Merci. Miigwech,

Rhonda Lenton 
President and Vice-Chancellor 

Sheila Cote-Meek 
Vice-President, Equity, People & Culture 

Déclaration sur la Journée internationale du Souvenir trans

Le 20 novembre, nous célébrons la Journée du Souvenir trans (TDOR). TDOR est une commémoration annuelle qui honore la mémoire des personnes trans, bispirituelles, non binaires et de genre divers dont la vie a été enlevée par des actes de violence transphobes en raison de la discrimination, de la stigmatisation et de la haine. TDOR a été lancé sous forme de veille en 1999 par la militante transgenre Gwendolyn Ann Smith pour honorer la mémoire de Rita Hester, une femme noire transgenre qui a été tuée en 1998. À ce jour, le meurtre de Rita demeure non résolu.

En plus de la violence et de la discrimination auxquelles sont confrontées les personnes trans, bispirituelles, non binaires et de genre différent, il est important de se rappeler que les personnes trans autochtones, noires et de couleur (PANDC) continuent d’être touchées de manière disproportionnée par les actes de violence, de discrimination et de transphobie.

Il reste beaucoup à faire pour former et sensibiliser à la violence sexiste dans nos communautés. À York, nous pensons que les universités peuvent et doivent jouer un rôle important en montrant l’exemple. Par exemple, le Centre des droits de la personne, de l’équité et de l’inclusion, offre diverses ressources aux membres de la communauté étudiante, du personnel et du corps professoral dans le but de promouvoir une communauté universitaire respectueuse, équitable, diverse et inclusive. Une séance en français sur le thème Créer et maintenir des espaces positifs (Positive Spaces) aura lieu le 17 novembre de 13 h à 14 h 30 dans le cadre de la série REDDI pour l’automne/hiver. Apprenez-en plus ici sur les ressources disponibles.

Au cœur des valeurs de York se trouve la défense de la diversité et de l’inclusion en accueillant des perspectives, des personnes et des modes de connaissance différents et en encourageant des savoirs mondiaux et des connaissances interculturelles. York est solidaire de la communauté trans, bispirituelle, non binaire et de la communauté de la diversité des genres dans la lutte pour les droits civils et sociaux, la justice et l’équité. Toute personne, quelle que soit son identité, mérite de ressentir un sentiment d’appartenance. Apprenez-en davantage sur ce que vous pouvez faire pour soutenir la TDOR.

Rejoignez-nous le 21 novembre pour une veille TDOR dans la salle Vari de 12 h à 14 h. Tout le monde est le bienvenu. Pour en savoir plus sur l’événement, cliquez ici.

Merci. Thank you. Miigwech.

Rhonda Lenton 
Présidente et vice-chancelière 

Sheila Cote-Meek 
Vice-présidente de l’équité, des personnes et de la culture