On September 13, 2006, the peace and security at Dawson College in Montreal was shattered by an armed young man who entered the campus and began shooting. In eighteen minutes, a young woman just beginning her college studies, Anastasia De Sousa, was dead, while sixteen other people were injured. The gunman eventually turned his weapon on himself and committed suicide. This event led to much reflection within our community. As we began the process of healing, our college undertook a number of initiatives, which included the creation of a beautiful peace garden and the hosting of an international conference, Youth and Violence: The Role of Education — Inspiring Solutions, in 2011.
This conference brought educators and researchers together to examine the reality of violence in schools today – from the daily incidences of bullying, cyber-bullying and social exclusion to the less frequent outbreaks of more extreme acts—and examine the possible ways that educational institutions and pedagogy could be modified to make a difference. The conference attracted a large number of delegates from throughout North America and beyond and hosted some passionate and inspired keynote speakers: Dr. James Gilligan, author of Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic and former head of the mental health services in the Massachusetts prison system, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of On Killing, Lt.Col David Grossman, and anti-bulllying and parenting expert Barbara Coloroso. You can download a copy of the conference program below and watch conference videos from some of our keynote speakers and presenters by clicking here.