On December 4th, Dr. Melanie Adrian’s LAWS 4903 class held a presentation showcase in the Discovery Centre, as part of their final year end assignment, in order to mobilize students and faculty alike on human rights advocacy work.

Throughout the year, the class met in the Discovery Centre’s Learning Lab. The class tackled interesting and complex issue of whether and how one can be both an academic and activist. They then questioned the actualized implications of being both, by looking at front line experiences in the world. Dr. Adrian continually utilized the Centre’s resources in order to enhance her students’ learning, and as a result students indicated that, the Discovery Centre’s environment allowed the classroom to become more hands on, interactive, and immersive.

In their showcase demonstration, students sought to take on the cases of four scholars currently facing persecution, discrimination, and/ or harassment. Dean Andre Plourde, who was in attendance, was highly impressed by the students’ work. Students presented their finding from research they conducted that directly relates to a given scholar’s case. They further spoke about their diverse experiences from being able to meet with politicians and senate members in Ottawa that are concerned with the issue, and engaging in conversations with various advocacy groups.

Some students went so far as to mobilize calls to action during the showcase, and asked that participants get involved (by signing a petition for example). Many students noted that after being involved in Dr. Adrian’s class, that they would continue to conduct advocacy, in order to see their work come to fruition.

The Discovery Centre was pleased to work with Dr. Adrian and her students throughout the term, in order to facilitate collaborative learning.