Recap from Peace Week


Submitted by Diana Rice, organizer of Peace Week.

Peace Week 2022 started off once again with the launch of Dawson Dining, a yearly collaboration with the Dawson Student Union and the Peace Centre prior to the pandemic. This has been one of the signature events of Peace Week, and it was thrilling to revive it once more!

Dawson Dining was an exceptionally rewarding experience for the staff and student volunteers alike. The opportunity to come together to feed an average of 75-80 community members a day was a bonding experience. “Some of us learnt new skills, some of us made new friends, and we all walked away satisfied that we had brought attention to food security issues that are present in our everyday lives,” said Karina D’Ermo, staff lead on DSU & Peace Week collaboration. Certificate students worked alongside DSU volunteers to help the Peace Week team cook from 9am to noon, and we know that those same students are ready and willing to help carry on Dawson Dining throughout the semester.

Simultaneous to the kickoff of Dawson Dining, we initiated our yearly collaboration with Sustainable Dawson with the aim of getting students & staff into the gardens, get their hands dirty, bond as a group, and contribute to the beautiful urban gardens. This partnership always yields the most amazing results, with faculty reporting back that their students loved the experience and wanted more! This is a collaboration we look forward to every year.

Peace Week featured three speaking engagements, including an Arts meets the Sciences panel with two scientists, Elaine Humphrey and Warren Cardinal-McTeague and artist, Daphne Boyer (whose exhibition is currently on at the MAI). They focused on how to generate art from the sciences, as well as asking us to consider how we can bring together the knowledge of Indigenous sciences’ alongside western scientific knowledge.

As a brilliant complement to this panel, our keynote speaker and legendary Indigenous botanist, Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer continued the conversation forward on how we can revolutionize western science through changing our perspectives on what is knowledge, who gets to produce it, disseminate it and validate it. Furthermore, she argued for a collaborative approach between Indigenous sciences’ knowledge and epistemologies with western science. Collaboration, not integration or competition.  Excitingly, award winning Kanien’kehá:ke student, Rotshénnon:ni Two-Axe, winner of Forces AVENIR for his co-creation of the Indigi-STEM tutoring program at Dawson, moderated both panels beautifully, truly showcasing the depth of talent among our student body.

Peace Week also collaborated with the Creative Collective for Change to bring Ayvaunn Penn of Texas Christian University, a playwright and teacher, to discuss her latest work, For Bo: A Play Inspired by the Murder of Botham Jean by Officer Amber Guyger. Penn then led a discussion with students in her own class in Texas as well as with our students in Montreal via zoom on how we can use the arts as an entry point to discuss police violence, systemic racism and justice.

Lastly, Peace Week offered three professional development sessions for faculty members, two focused on Brave Spaces to hold challenging conversations with the incredible Sabrina Jafralie, and the other hosted by Maurice Riley-Case, instructional designer and Inclusive and Anti-Oppression pedagogical specialist from Concordia’s Centre for Teaching and Learning. Riley-Case introduced the principles of Inclusive and Anti-Oppression Pedagogies to an engaged group of faculty. A second session with Maurice is planned for Oct 21st focusing on how to approach Active Learning from an Inclusive and Anti-Oppression lens. For more details, contact Diana Rice.

A massive thank you to all who attended, helped organize and presented, and we look forward to seeing you all next year!

Last Modified: October 5, 2022