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Social Justice and Solidarity Week (SJSW) at Laurier was an annual event that showcased work from in and around the Laurier community that promoted notions of equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization, with a particular emphasis placed on advocacy, solidarity efforts, human rights and social justice issues with implications locally, nationally, and/or globally.

The event prompted very important and much-needed conversations. In offering a wide variety of events and programming to educators, students, community leaders and members and front-facing practitioners, the event provided a space where individuals could come together to engage in meaningful conversations and share insights about works-in-progress with the hopes of further developing our collective capacity to self-reflect, collaboratively theorize, and courageously build.

The weeklong series of events took the form of various interactive workshops and sessions, panels and plenaries, keynote/featured speakers, podcasts, arts, books, and craft displays, where attendees had the opportunity to access information and resources, then plan, strategize and engage around issues of social justice.

2021: Treaty Recognition, #LandBack, and 'Reconciliation'

The inaugural Social Justice and Solidarity Week of 2021 centred local voices, scholarship, and activism surrounding land reclamation initiatives along the Haldimand Tract and across Turtle Island. SJSW opened with an exploration of historical commitments and the histories of how they were breached, leading to Haudenosaunee land becoming the city of Brantford.

Central to any conversation about #LandBack within academic spaces is the positionality of the university as a settler colonial institution and its implication within the processes of land theft and appropriation. SJSW ended with a call to action to settlers on the Haldimand Tract and beyond to work in meaningful allyship that leads to concrete steps towards liberation and sovereignty. Participants in SJSW came away with an understanding of allyship as an ongoing humble process of healthy and reciprocal relationship-building rather than a singular destination or finitely obtainable goal.

The inaugural launch took place from October 25-29, with the overarching theme of “Treaty Recognition, #LandBack, and 'Reconciliation'." The series of virtual events was designed to provide opportunities for members of the Laurier community to engage, learn, and reflect on issues tied to Treaties Recognition Week (Nov. 1 to 5, 2021) which was passed by the Ontario legislation in 2016 in an effort to rebuild trust and relationships with Treaty partners and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.



SJSW 2021 is brought to you by:

  • Office of the Associate Vice-President, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Office of Indigenous Initiatives
  • Centre for Indigegogy
  • Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management
  • Centre for Student Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (CSEDI)
  • Social Justice and Community Engagement Program and Laurier Students' Public Interest Research Group (LSPIRG)

Contact Us:

Vanessa Oliver, Interim Associate Vice-President, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion