Nov. 29, 2023Print | PDF
Dear Laurier community,
As we approach the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on Dec. 6, we remember and honour the 14 women who were murdered in 1989 in a violent act of misogyny on a university campus.
On the anniversary of the École Polytechnique massacre, we recognize that gendered and sexual violence is still very much present in our communities and on our campuses. This violence does not happen in isolation. Gender-based violence is a reflection of deeply entrenched inequities in societies. It is pervasive and can take many forms.
Recently, we have seen a troubling rise in regressive policies that target women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people and we know gender-based violence is used as a tool to dehumanize people in wars and conflicts around the world. We also know that Black and racialized women, trans and non-binary people, and Indigenous women, girls, and two spirit people continue to be disproportionately impacted by gender-based violence.
The violent attack at the University of Waterloo this summer was a stark reminder that more than 30 years since Dec. 6, 1989, people are still targeted on university campuses for who they are and what they study. Remembering the events of Dec. 6 will no doubt bring up painful memories for our friends at UW, and we extend our deepest care and compassion to all those who experienced this recent act of hate and violence in a classroom.
Dec. 6 falls within the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. One way to contribute to a culture of inclusivity and safety on our campuses is to engage in events and educational activities that are happening at Laurier during this time.
On Dec. 5, faculty, staff and students are invited to attend Bystander Intervention to Stop Hate-Based Harassment. On Dec. 6, flags on our campuses will be half-masted to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. We continue to fly the pride progress flag throughout the year. On Dec. 6, there will also be a Holding Space for Stolen Voices Vigil from 1-4 p.m. in the Research and Academic Centre on the Brantford campus, and in the Concourse on the Waterloo campus.
Thank you to those helping to make Laurier a safer and more inclusive community.
Heidi Northwood, provost and vice-president: academic
Deborah MacLatchy, president and vice-chancellor