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Blogue

Taking on Anti-Oppression through Interdisciplinary Research

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Megan Perram (she/her), PhD Candidate in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta 

In an interdisciplinary feminist panel, hosted by the Canadian Sociological Association (CSA), speakers explore difficult and important issues of settler colonialism responsibility, the gendered implications of colonial violence, Black resistance to ongoing white supremacy, and violence against disabled women. A stand out aspect of the “Bridging Divides, Building Solidarity for Change: Feminists Confronting Colonialism, Anti-Black Racism and Patriarchy” panel is its centreing of new scholars and PhD students doing exceptional work in anti-oppression.  

The first speaker, Sheri McConnell, Assistant Professor at Memorial University, focused her talk on a call for collective reckoning with the responsibilities of settler colonialism. McConnell structured her talk in a series of powerful queries to...

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Building Antiracist Capacity in Universities - What we learned from Ibram X. Kendi’s Big Thinking Discussion

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Claire Kroening, University of Alberta human geography alumna and communications professional 

Being “not-racist” is not enough to eradicate racism, social inequities and injustices. As Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s Big Thinking discussion pressed upon attendees: for radical change we must be antiracist...in our thoughts, policies and actions.  

Defining “racism,” “racist,” and “antiracist” 

Racism is inherently structural and describes a system of prejudice and inequality. Racist is a descriptor for a single thing: a policy, a person, a statement.  

Something that is antiracist firmly and unequivocally opposes something that is racist. “There is no neutrality between racism and anti-racism,” explained Dr. Kendi.  

Race is an idea: false notions are systematically and relentlessly taught to people 

Racist ideas are reproduced over time. Dr. Kendi gave the...

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Looking at Racism from a Broader Perspective

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Anurika Onyenso, Third Year General Management Major, University of Alberta, Augustana Campus. 

The Canadian Sociological Association’s “Anti-Asian Racism during the COVID-19 Pandemic” open event webcast explored the rapid and ferocious rise in racism fueled by the spread of COVID-19 around the globe. The panel, including Xiaobei Chen (Carleton University), Cary Wu (York University) and Hijin Park (Brock University), clarified the particularities of anti-Asian racism and its impact on their sense of safety and well-being during the pandemic. Further, they analysed the positionality of Asians in the politics of anti-racism and how it ought to be understood in the context of anti-Black racism, North American settler colonialism, and colonialisms and imperialisms in the Asia Pacific. 

Xiaobei Chen, a university professor well-versed in research on racism, colonialism and multiculturalism, started her presentation...

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Lessons Re-Learned in the Pandemic: Opportunities for Equality and Justice in Internationalized Higher Education

 

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Claire Kroening, University of Alberta human geography alumna and communications professional 

How has COVID-19 opened opportunities for equality and justice in internationalized education? What risks do internationalizing university communities face in the year ahead? These were the two guiding questions of an interactive panel discussion that examined the privilege that exists in internationalized higher education.  

Revealing problems and privilege, at home and abroad 

As Dr. Christina W. Yao poignantly explained, “the pandemic was a new circumstance that highlighted many issues that weren’t really new at all.” Indeed, deeply ingrained social and political issues of Black and Asian racism, discriminatory immigration policy, and increasing revenue and enrolment pressures on universities have come to the forefront, with us watching, hoping, to see them finally be addressed.   

Dr. Crain Soudier...

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Analysing the Residential School Era

 

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Anurika Onyenso, Third Year General Management Major, University of Alberta, Augustana Campus. 

The Stolen Niitsitapi (the Real People) Children webcast at Congress 2021 was an open event hosted by the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE). It featured a powerful and innovative presentation by Tiffany Prete who eloquently spoke on the struggles Indigenous children in Canada endured at the hands of the Government. Also in attendance was Jennifer Tupper, the Dean of Faculty of Education, University of Alberta. 

Research Project 

Partnering with several archives and museums across Canada, Prete conducted an archival and oral history research study to explore, reveal and record significant aspects of the Indian residential school history. Additionally, she worked with a group of Elders from the blood reserve. 

Childhood 

Prete spoke about how when growing up, she was always fearful...

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