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Navigating spaces that aren’t meant for you

In the latest edition of University Affairs, graduate student Jasmeet Bahia provides an insightful perspective on the life of a racialized person navigating the complicated spaces of academia. It is unfortunate that so many of us will be able to relate to the experiences illustrated in this opinion piece. Systemic racism does not stop at the Roddick Gates and shield us from the toxic soup of unconscious bias or conscious bigotry. Unfortunately, the boundaries of our institutions are fully permeable. This means both the best and the worst can find their way in.

You can read the full opinion piece here.

In 2019, still so many firsts!

Prof. Kimberly Mutcherson understands the importance of representation. She understands that “[i]t’s really critical to have folks in front of the classrooms that reflect the students who are sitting in front of them.”

For many students, Prof. Mutcherson is the embodiment of what is possible. She is a woman. She is Black. She is the L in LGBTQ++. And now, she is co-dean of the Rutgers Law School. What makes her appointment all the more important is that she is the first woman, the first African-American, and the first member of the LGBTQ++ community ever to hold this position.

In 2019, let us focus on what we can do instead of what we can’t. Prof. Kimberly Mutcherson is living proof that, even in these difficult times, there is reason to hope.

Read more about this extraordinary person here.

Benefit concert – Stronger Together

We all saw the devastation caused by the 2017 hurricane season. Many Caribbean islands are still struggling to pick up the pieces. Join us on June 1st @ 19:30 for a benefit concert in support of Anguilla, Barbuda, Dominica, US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. We know that we are stronger together. Let’s get together to lift each other up.


It’s not too late!


For those of you who missed our screening of Tickling Giants on October 27th, 2017, we’ve got you covered. Media@McGill is presenting Bassem Youssef: “Tickling Giants” – Public Talk & Dialogue with Ehab Latoyef. Reserve your seat now before they are all gone!

Film Screening – Tickling Giants

Join us on Friday, October 27th, 2017 for a free screening of Tickling Giants.

For more information, check out our Facebook event.

The event is free, but space is limited. Make sure to get your ticket!


Tackling unconscious bias

Unconscious bias training module

The Canadian Government and the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) recently launched a detailed Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan “to ensure institutions have greater accountability in terms of meeting their equity targets.” One of the items included in the plan was a commitment to “Provide training on unconscious bias for governance committee and peer review committee members.”

The full multi-objective training module is now available on the CRCP website. Although this training is intended to reduce Bias in the Peer Review process, the information can be applied to any situation where unconscious bias affects access and inclusion.

Check out the training module here.


You’re wwwelcome, wwworld!

Photo credit: Internet Hall of Fame

You may not know Alan Emtage, but if you managed to find this blog post, you know his work. This year, the Internet Hall of Fame finally recognized one of the great innovators of the Internet Age. I must admit, I assumed this had already been done. Alan Emtage not only created and implemented the world’s first Internet search engine during his time as a McGill student, but after completing his M. S. in Computer Science in 1991, he chaired the committee at the Internet Engineering Task Force that established the standard for Uniform Resource Locators, aka URLs.

Since 1998, he has been a partner at Mediapolis, Inc., where he lends his considerable talents to everything from small non-profit organizations to large multi-national corporations. In 1999, DataLounge, a website operated by Mediapolis, won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding LGBT Interactive Media.

Read more about Alan Emtage here.

Read about Alan Emtage’s induction into the Internet Hall of Fame here.

Read about Mediapolis, Inc. here and DataLounge here.

Dr. Charmaine Nelson takes Canada’s slave history to Harvard

Charmaine Nelson – McGill Faculty of Arts

It is 2017 and Dr. Charmaine Nelson is the only Black tenured professor of art history in Canada. The lack of Black representation among Canadian tenure stream academics isn’t all that surprising; most Canadians don’t even know that Blacks have a history in Canada. Unfortunately, this unacknowledged legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, and systemic discrimination is observable in almost every sphere of Canadian society. Fortunately, we have scholars such as Dr. Nelson who are willing to shine a light into that darkness.

For the next year, Dr. Charmaine Nelson will continue her research on fugitive slave advertisements while teaching at Harvard as the William Lyon Mackenzie King Chair for Canadian Studies.

Congratulations, Charmaine!

Read more about Dr. Charmaine Nelson’s journey to Harvard here.

REP gets a garden!

Happy to share that the REP subcommittee secured a container garden plot by Burnside Building. We felt a campus garden would be a great way for our members to stay connected over the summer.

Here are a few photos of our gardening day! (click photos to enlarge)

Monica purchased our transplants from Mac Market.  Fingers crossed that our tomato, cucumber, and pepper plants bring us a wonderful bounty to share.

We have some lettuce growing – we hope to host a committee salad lunch in the weeks to come!

Special thanks to Adrienne’s partner, David, for joining us.

Stay tuned for more updates!

QTBIPOC Excellence at Fierte Montreal 2017

Mark your calendars! On August 14, 2017 at 21h00 at Parc des Faubourgs, Fierté Montreal presents Excellence, an evening of QTBIPOC (Queer and/or Trans Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) artists showcasing their talents. It will be hosted by Toronto-based rights activist Tasheka Lavann, and Kama La Mackerel, founder and host of Montreal’s Gender B(l)ender.

Admission is free and there are priority entrances for persons needing wheelchair access.

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