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Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

The Laurier Milton Lecture Series provides a wonderful opportunity to engage in a public dialogue with citizens of Milton on a broad array of important topics. Presentations represent the current research and analysis of members of different faculties, departments and programs at Laurier.

Lectures take place the second Wednesday of each month starting September 2020 until May 2021.

Upcoming Lectures

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in Schools and Communities: Inequality of Opportunity and the Achievement Gap

Ardavan Eizadirad will discuss the importance of centering Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in schools and communities to create better supporting environments that reflect the needs of vulnerable students and community members. The goal is to advance the dialogue beyond critique to discussing action-oriented alternative approaches to mitigate systemic barriers perpetuated through inequality of opportunity. A case study of a community organization will be presented that works to close the achievement gap by providing programs and services that minimize the opportunity gap.

“We are all God’s Children:” Challenges of stigma towards individuals diagnosed with mental illness in the Global South and its Implications for the Global North Abstract

  • Oct. 14, 2020
  • Magnus Mfoafo-M'Carthy (PhD), Associate Professor, Carnegie Diaspora Fellow (University of Ghana), Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

Notwithstanding advances in human rights and mental health treatment in the Global North, stigma continues to persist in most African countries and the developing world. In Ghana, for instance, effective treatment for individuals diagnosed with mental illness remains elusive to many people. Without adequate support, discrimination, marginalization, and oppression tend to be common. This presentation explores the stigma associated with individuals diagnosed with mental illness in Ghana and the difficulties they face regarding the mental health system. This presentation will discuss a qualitative study undertaken in Ghana to bolster the argument regarding the barriers faced by this population. The implications of mental health stigma on immigrant communities in Canada will also be explored, as many of the struggles faced by immigrant communities are a microcosm of some of what they face in their home countries.

How the Canadian Army saved Halifax after the 1917 Explosion

  • Nov. 11, 2020
  • Roger Sarty (PhD), Professor, Department of History

When Halifax was devastated by the explosion of a munitions ship on Dec. 6, 1917, it was the Canadian Army garrison of this fortress city that came to the rescue. Yet this often heroic effort has received little recognition. Indeed the garrison commander was fired for what the authorities in Ottawa thought were his excessive demands to help the stricken civilian population. Professor Roger Sarty of the Laurier History department, a specialist in the military history of Atlantic Canada, presents the results of his recent research on the aftermath of the Halifax disaster.

Indigenous Women, Storytelling, and Activism

  • Dec. 9, 2020
  • Lianne C. Leddy (PhD), Associate Professor, Indigenous Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts

What do Indigenous women's voices teach us about our unique histories? Lianne will share some of what she has learned from interviewing Elders, providing examples about the "Indian Homemaker's Club" from the 1950s to demonstrate the power of Indigenous women's activism in our communities.

Designing a Better World – One Experience at a Time

  • Jan. 13, 2021
  • Abby Goodrum (PhD), Professor and Program Coordinator, User Experience Design

Have you ever tried to use a new piece of software or a new device and not been able to get it to work easily? Have you ever found yourself standing in a line (or waiting on hold) for a service exchange that only took a couple of minutes to sort out? Have you ever gone to a website for some information and not been able to find what you were looking for? All of these experiences can be vastly improved by a process called User Experience Design (UXD). Trained UX Designers are used by companies in every industry, by non-profits and by government agencies to improve their products, software and services. In this short talk, Abby Goodrum will talk about the risks of not taking a user-centered perspective and will showcase examples of organizations that are making the world a better place through design.

From a Property Right to Citizenship Rights: Historicizing the Black Experience in Canada

  • Feb. 10, 2021
  • Barrington Walker (PhD), Associate Vice-President: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Office of the Provost and Vice-President: Academic; Professor, Department of History

This introductory lecture explores the Black experience in Canada by providing both an overarching view whilst being grounded in a few key moments or snapshots in the contested histories of Black people in Canada from slavery to freedom. The primary analytical lens will be Black peoples’ relationship with the law over space and time.

Recovering and Relearning our Deeply Canadian (Indigenous) Heritage

  • March 10, 2021
  • Miguel Sioui (PhD), Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Officer (Environmental Studies), Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Canadian identity and heritage, in the political sense, have developed according to an economistic (resource-based) lens brought over from a distant continent — Europe — whose land and people were shaped by histories, political systems, and a cultural evolution completely distinct from the First Peoples of Turtle Island. Canada’s philosophical and political systems, which originated in Europe, have compelled its citizens to feel a sense of belonging to the Canadian society and ‘democracy,’ and protection from their rights as citizens — all of which are philosophical constructions and human thought experiments, and are, by definition, abstract, immaterial, and fleeting. Canada’s official national heritage is thus precarious and has shallow roots in the soil of Turtle Island. In contrast, Canada’s Indigenous heritage is rooted in the material and concrete: the land. Indigenous peoples across Canada (and the rest of the Americas) base their sense of identity and heritage on their love for Eatenonha (G. Sioui, 2019), the Wendat word for our Earth Mother, to which all human, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, as well as other-than-human beings, necessarily and inescapably belong. To the Indigenous mind, it is impossible to truly and meaningfully “belong” to immaterial political systems and ideologies, regardless of their geographical and cultural origins. Indigenous heritage is permanent and real, because our (human) relationship with the land will never be extinguished. While mainstream understandings and meanings of Canadian heritage, based on transitory political and economic paradigms in constant renegotiation, are immaterial, Canada’s Indigenous heritage offers a luxuriant source of inspiration for redefining what it means to be deeply Canadian.

Music for Mental Health in Therapy and Everyday Life

  • April 14, 2021
  • Elizabeth Mitchell (PhD, RP, MTA), Assistant Professor, Faculty of Music; Coordinator, Bachelor of Music Therapy

This lecture will explore the mental health benefits of engaging in music both within clinical music therapy settings and everyday life. Elizabeth will discuss research and share examples from her practice as a music therapist in mental health treatment settings with adolescents and adults. Participants will leave with a greater understanding of the cognitive, emotional, and social benefits of musical engagement as well as practical ideas for using music to enhance their own wellness.

How We Caused and What We Can Do to End Homelessness in Canada

  • May 12, 2021
  • Erin Dej (PhD), Assistant Professor, Department of Criminology

Over a quarter of a million people in Canada experience homelessness every year. The crisis has grown dramatically over the last thirty years. None of this was inevitable. In this lecture, Erin Dej will explore how we got here and what we can do to reverse the tide to prevent and end homelessness in Canada.


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