Special Events

Fall 2018

Survivor Stories

Wednesday, September 12 4:00-9:00 in 2C.17

Join us for our third annual event, an exhibit of stories, media and art that seek to shed light on the issues surrounding sexual assault.








Winter 2018


Tuesday, May 1 508 in Conrod’s

In this multimedia exhibit, our students put the focus on objectification. Join us to see works of artistic activism that draw attention to  the invisibility of certain human relationships, exploitative labor, animal  testing, to name just some of the issues raised in this fourth RESIST exhibit.

Fall 2017


Tuesday November 28 5-8 in Oliver’s

Join us for our third RESIST exhibit where students challenge the stigmatization around mental illness, “slut shaming,” and oppressive school dress codes, among other provocative works of artistic activism. We can BREAK THROUGH the notion of violence being the only answer, students are ready to show us how! Please come and see what they have to say.

Dawson Pedagogical Day Talk: Building Resistance to Violence

Friday, October 13

What would an effective violence prevention curriculum look like? Join Pat Romano and Kim Simard to explore an approach that integrates critical thinking and media literacy, while involving students in resistance projects that use photography, video and web-based media to foster a critical reflection on the cultural changes needed to foster a more peaceful world. Of particular interest for educators interested in designing peace pedagogies, or teaching about deeply rooted social problems without leaving students feeling overwhelmed and disempowered.

Survivor Stories

Wednesday, September 20 6:00-8:00 in 2C.17

Last fall survivors and volunteers participated in our first public reading of stories that confront the silences and shaming that surround sexual assault. Join us again — exactly one year later — as we host our second public reading of the stories that have been submitted to It Happens Here.

Survivor Story

Winter 2017


Thursday, May 4 (6-9) and Friday, May 5 in Conrod’s

In our 2017 RESIST exhibit, Dawson students are shedding light on the increasing worldwide effort to of keep people out. Walls along borders are becoming a common approach: while in 1989 there were 15 border walls globally; today there are 70, with more and more coming. Of course, people keep arriving, fleeing war and persecution or in search of a better life, but the routes they travel are becoming increasingly dangerous. Our fear of the “other” is fostering this effort to build walls, but are they making us more secure and is there a better way? This is the guiding question behind this exhibit.

Once you pass through our border, you will also enter a place that offers a message of resistance and change, as our students look for creative ways to challenge violence in its varied forms, and offer a vision of a more peaceful future.

Social Science Week Panel: Building Resistance to Violence

Tuesday, February 7: 4:00-5:30 in 5B.16

Violence always needs a justification. Whether it is governments seeking the public’s acceptance of their latest military action or an individual’s search to justify their own behavior, the use of violence is legitimized in some way. Unfortunately, this seems far too easily done. From the widespread acquiescence of damaging public policy to the lack of outcry over the increasing use of drones to kill people who may be a threat, the acceptance of violence seems more often reflexive than reflective. Indeed, this is the real danger posed by our cultural normalization of violence: our consent just seems to “make sense” or “feel right.” Panelists Pat Romano, Kim Simard and students from their paired course Imaging Violence and Nonviolence will talk about the nature of this problem, drawing on their own work, that of contemporary artists and culture jammers, and the It Happens Here and Inspire Solutions projects, to offer an educational strategy to resist violence in its many forms.

Fall 2016

Launch of the Resist Violence Project

Dawson College 2nd Floor Cafeteria: November 30-December 2


Eloise Charet Bear Clan on A Life of Activism

Tuesday, November 1  2:30-4:00 in 4C.1

10402528_635918213166676_4723623814058949399_nEloise is an activist for causes as diverse as saving orphans in war torn Cambodia and Bangladesh to organizing a soup kitchen in Nepal and working on environmental issues in Canada. After fasting for two months in jail trying to save her watershed from logging, she undertook a six month long Cross Canada Waterwalk from Victoria to Ottawa. She`s been arrested many times trying to make a stand against clearcutting in the Kootenays B.C., where she presently lives and teaches cedar basket weaving (demonstrating that we can have more jobs and transformative industry rather than shipping raw logs abroad).  She is currently trying to protect one of the largest migrations on earth: the Western Toad whose habitat is being threatened by lumber companies.  As a Metis, she teaches Aboriginal studies in schools (and advocates for First Nations peoples). Her book Never Without Our Children on Cambodia will be available for sale.

Survivor Stories

Tuesday, September 20 6:00-8:00 in 2C.17

Please join us at our first public reading of stories submitted to It Happens Here, by members of our own Dawson community.

Survivor Story

Winter 2016 Talks

It Happens Here: Sexual Assault and the Law

Tuesday, February 9  11:30-1:00 in 5B.16

Inspire Solutions and the Women’s/Gender Studies Certificate is launching a new project, It Happens Here, to remind us that the creation of peaceful communities – at Dawson and beyond — require us to take sexual assault seriously, We have invited eminent  University of Ottawa Law Professor Joanne St-Lewis to Dawson for the unveiling.  Professor St. Lewis will begin our semester-long dialogue on an issue that directly affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men in Quebec by examining the history of laws related to rape and sexual assault and the evolving institutional responses to the problem.HERE St-Lewis small

Professor St-Lewis will bring a wealth of experience to her talk.  Joanne St-Lewis is an advisor to CLAIHR (Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights) and CRARR (Center Research-Action Race Relations). She was co-counsel for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and judicial review at the Federal Court Trial Division, on the test regarding discriminatory funding of Aboriginal child welfare services on reserve. Professor St-Lewis is the first and only Black woman to be elected as a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the governing body for over 41,000 Ontario lawyers in its 217 year history.  She was co-chair of the CBA Working Group on Racial Equality and the author of the report Virtual Justice: Systemic Racism in the Canadian Legal Profession.  She has also held positions with the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ontario Race Relations Directorate. She has served as the Director of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). She was also the Special Assistant Government Affairs to the Grand Chief of the Crees of Quebec. Her current research interests include digital defamation and social justice communities; art, culture and the law; and the equality rights of African/Canadian women and girls.

We invite you to come to this panel and join us in a unique multi-faceted peace project that seeks to promote awareness, provide support, develop solutions and create change in a problem that affects us all.

The It Happens Here Team: Claire Elliott (Dawson Library), Greta Hofmann-Nemiroff (English, Humanities, and New School, retired), Pat Romano (Humanities and Founder, Inspire Solutions Project), and Kim Simard (Cin/Com and Coordinator of the Women’s/Gender Studies Certificate)


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