CW: the following text mentions violence against marginalized individuals. Please find the resources below.
We, the Feminist Institute of Social Transformation, condemn in the strongest terms the recent gender-based violent attack that took place within a gender studies classroom at the University of Waterloo on June 28, 2023. We stand in solidarity and extend our support to the affected students, faculty, the broader Waterloo community, and with global communities who are affected by hate and violence related to their gender identity and/or expression. This incident is a distressing reminder of pervasive gender inequities and the rise in hate-related violence in Canada and globally.
The work we do at FIST which is also done by valued colleagues and students in other departments, is essential to the university. We reaffirm our commitment to teaching and learning that centers gender, sexuality, race, disability, intersectional forms of violence, and social justice. The classroom should be a safe space for intellectual discourse, learning, and exploration. It is deeply concerning that such a space, which should foster understanding and respect, became the site of a violent act targeting individuals based on their gender identity and expression.
This incident highlights the urgent need for continued efforts to challenge and dismantle systems of oppression and gender-based and intersectional violence and discrimination. We join the calls to prioritize the safety and well-being of faculty, students, and staff to actively work towards creating an inclusive and respectful environment for all, and to take immediate and effective action against gender-based violence.
- We encourage everyone to sign the open letter started by Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes (WGSRF) asking for meaningful and actionable resources to ensure the safety and wellbeing of persons facing intersectional forms of violence.
As a community dedicated to feminist principles, we advocate for transformative justice approaches that center survivor voices, prioritize community healing, and challenge the root causes of gender-based violence. We call on all relevant institutions to provide meaningful supports that don’t perpetuate further harm, violence, surveillance, and carcerality on marginalized communities.
We refuse to accept that we and our students are unsafe because of the essential work that we and other valued members of our community do at Carleton. As a Feminist Institute, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to advocating for gender equity, social justice, and the rights of all individuals. We will continue to raise awareness, educate, and work towards creating a society free from violence and hate. We will continue to make every effort to provide a space for anyone who wants to teach and learn about the intersectional inequities in our world.
Please note that the availability of specific services may vary, and it’s recommended to check the respective websites or contact these organizations directly for the most up-to-date information.
These resources offer valuable information and educational materials for understanding gender-based violence and supporting gender-diverse individuals in Ontario. We recommend to explore the websites and explore the resources they provide.