The past four months have been exciting and eventful for the RSEKN team. During the fall, RSEKN celebrated the launch of @LeeAirton‘s book, Gender: Your Guide, hosted by Glad Day Bookshop. This important guide is a genuine and accessible guide to understanding —and engaging in—today’s gender conversation and new gender culture. On October 24th, the Teacher Education program at the University of Ottawa and RSEKN Eastern Team led the 2018 Lead Associate Teacher Day on Culturally Responsive & Relevant Pedagogy, with keynote speaker Dr. Nicole West-Burns

During November, the University of Waterloo hosted the Transgender Health and Wellness Conference 2018, in collaboration with the RSEKN Southern team and a growing list of incredible partners and sponsors. The conference aims “to provide health and wellness practitioners / educators / students in Waterloo Region with education and resources to deliver trans-affirming health care and education”(@TransHealthWR). 

York University’s annual 2018 Faculty of Education Summer Institute (#FESI2018), titled “Realities in Data: Who counts…What counts…Who’s counting?” was a great success! RSEKN joined forces with the Summer Institute planning committees and celebrated the largest turnout for the conference yet, including French-language workshops! To extend the dialogue from #FESI2018, The Equity in Education Hub was born – an ongoing, open-access and community-based space with a collection of reports that “utilize identity-based data to educate about the realities and experiences of students in the GTA”. The teams and bilingual planning committees continue their work and community consultations in preparation for this year’s 2019 Faculty of Education Summer Institute. Finally, RSEKN is pleased to announce our fourth Northern regional team, led by Pauline Sameshima at Lakehead University.

Moving forward into the New Year, RSEKN has a fantastic line-up of upcoming activities and events! In the eastern region, we are preparing for the next Black Youth Student Conference, initiated last year in with the support of RSEKN and local school boards (OCDSB and OCSB). In partnership with Youth Ottawa, the Eastern team is also developing course with local teachers to include use of spoken word as a mechanism to address the six RSEKN themes. On March 22, the RSEKN French Eastern Regional team, led by Éliane Dulude, is hosting a Conference-Debate entitled « Penser l’Apprentissage de l’Histoire de l’Afrique », in partnership with l’Association canadienne pour la promotion des héritages africains (ACPHA) at the University of Ottawa. This conference and debate will feature local school boards (CEPEO, CECCE, OCSDB), educators, parents, students and artists! Also, both English and French RSEKN Eastern teams are participating and supporting the upcoming Mamawi Youth Conference on TRC 94 Calls to Action (Bilingual Event), which brings together local youth with grassroots community organizations including local Indigenous communities, teachers, teacher candidates and teacher educators, and how educators can best respond and support students as social actors in future. 

On February 13 2019, the RSEKN southern team is hosting a community screening of the film “Intelligent Lives” at Western’s Faculty of Education. Intelligence testing is a systemic barrier to people with intellectual disabilities, because of the misconceptions of what the numbers tell us about the individual. This 70-minute film paired with screening kit provides questions for the audience to discuss and to unpack the thinking around intelligence testing and ability. In addition, the southern team is developing “Living with Exclusion” – a major knowledge mobilization resource to assist teachers and other school personnel in understanding exclusion. Community members and stakeholders in education will present and share their stories of exclusion and their impact, as well as what steps can be taken in ways that promote and support inclusion.

The RSEKN Northern team is organizing and sponsoring a student-led conference in partnership with the Multicultural Association of Northwestern Ontario, and Lakehead Enactus. The conference will focus on access, inclusion, diversity and be organized and facilitated by and for youth! Addressing RSEKN’s theme of poverty and income inequality, the northern team in partnership with Lakehead ENACTUS, is developing and implementing a series of financial literacy workshops for youth and parents within their communities.

On March 7, don’t miss RSEKN’s keynote panel: “Negotiating Equity: Mobilizing Knowledge in-between and across Different Communities” at the upcoming Jean-Paul Dionne Symposium 2019 – Building Equitable Futures. Hosted at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa, RSEKN’s bilingual keynote panel will be moderated by regional leads Vidya Shah and Éliane Dulude with a diverse group of guest speakers from different linguistic and social positions within the larger education community. Finally, RSEKN is now working in partnership with Stephen Hurley, founder of VoicEd Radio to create bilingual equity podcasts! Stay tuned for more! 

Looking for upcoming events and activities? See the RSEKN calendar on our website! To stay up-to-date on our latest news, activities, and resources, follow us on Twitter: @KNAER_RSEKN / @RECRAE_RSEKN.

Equity Knowledge Network (RSEKN), hosted by the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education and the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS), is a provincial multi-stakeholder bilingual knowledge mobilization network that brings equity innovators together in order to stimulate activities and support product development that can be used to break down current systemic barriers to children and youth from marginalized groups. Email: Twitter: @KNAER_RSEKN