Page 1

C ENTRE

FOR STUDIES IN SOCIAL JUSTICE

N EWSLET TER V OLUME 2,

ISSUE

1

M AY 2006

F ORGING P ARTNERSHIPS , A DDRESSING A NNOUNCING A N EW G RANT The Centre for Studies in Social Justice was established in July 2002 with a commitment to the production and mobilization of knowledge through interdisciplinary research in collaboration with community partners. Over the past four years the Centre has worked to bring together researchers across disciplines and institutions to share knowledge and identify areas where research is needed through a variety of activities. These activities have included guest lectures, brown bag seminars, performances, photo exhibits, a community-University partnership workshop, an international human rights conference, and a social justice forum on the state of social justice teaching and research at Canadian universities. Besides raising the profile of the Centre and the Social Justice pinnacle on campus, in the community and at other universities, a

key objective of these activities has been to create an on-going dialogue between and among researchers and members of the community. Out of these gatherings and meetings a few common areas of research interest emerged. One of these areas was how community services in the Windsor area are adapting to an increasingly diverse community, which, according to Ontario’s Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, is second only to Vancouver for new arrivals per capita. A team of researchers and community partners led by Dr. Tanya Basok, director of the Centre for Studies in Social Justice, has come together to start work on a research project tackling this question. Dr. Ben Kuo of the Department of Psychology, Dr. Uzo Anucha of the Department of Social Work, and Dr. Rudhramoorthy Cheran of the Department of Sociology and

COMMUNITY NEEDS

Anthropology and various community and student assistants will attempt to identify obstacles Windsor immigrants with physical and mental disabilities experience in their access to community services and explore both why these obstacles exist and ways of overcoming them. Colleen Mitchell of the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County, a partner in this project states that this research is necessary because “many immigrants still do not access traditional health service organizations.” The research project has secured funding from the Joint Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement (CERIS) which is based in Toronto. CERIS is a part of Metropolis, an international forum for comparative research and public policy development about population (Continued on page 2)

I NSIDE

THIS ISSUE :

M OBILITY FOCUS OF P H D S TUDENT ’ S R ESEARCH

2

W INDSOR P ERSON OF THE Y EAR A WARD

3

C AN T HEATRE B RING R EC-

4

ONCILIATION BETWEEN P EOPLE ?

W INDSOR A IR P OLLUTION

4

I NDIGENOUS R IGHTS AND O IL C OMPANIES IN E CUA-

5

DOR

C ENTRE L AUNCHES N EW O N -L INE J OURNAL

5

C ENTRE HOSTS STUDENT

6

FORUM

T HE C OORDINATING C OMMITTEE

ABOUT THE CENTRE

7 8


N EWSLETTER

P AGE 2

N EW R ESEARCH G RANT J USTICE (Continued from page 1)

migration, cultural diversity and the challenges of immigrant integration in cities in Canada and around the world. CERIS is funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the

FOR THE

C ENTRE

FOR

S TUDIES

Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Tanya Basok hopes that this one-year grant from CERIS will “lay the ground work for larger collaborative studies on immigration in Windsor.”

IN

S OCIAL

Findings from this research will be disseminated at conferences and in academic journals as well as community newsletters and on the Centre for Studies in Social Justice website.NN

Mobility focus of PhD student’s research BY HEATHER GRAYDON

The City of Windsor’s history as the automotive manufacturing capital of Canada has led to its development of unique social and economic power relations with regard to automobile production, consumption, and use. Maya Ruggles, a doctoral candidate in Social Justice with the University of Windsor’s Department of Sociology, has made this subject, referred to as automobility, and its diverse impacts, the focus of both her academic research and communitybased activism. Working for the parking branch of the City of Vancouver’s transportation division initially led Maya to problematize patterns of mobility and discursive practices with regard to driving. She has since transferred this analytical perspective into her

academic line of inquiry, studying and writing critiques on how motor vehicle production and automobile dependency interconnect with consumerism, urban spatial design, social exclusion, inequality, and globalization. Her numerous non-academic activities further engage this reflective theorizing on the social, cultural and ecological implications of prioritizing car use over alternative forms of mobility and ways of living. For instance, Maya sits on the transportation subcommittee of the Windsor Essex County Environment Committee, a city council advisory committee that responds to and makes recommendations based on all documents and proposals the city council has to deal with regarding transportation. She is also a board member of the Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario and Southeastern Michigan, a policy research and advocacy group that seeks to educate and encourage ecologically sensitive living. The conclusions she has arrived at, based on her work, are that there is a critical need for peo-

City Street Celebration participants

ples’ perceptions and mentalities to shift with regard to our unsustainable practices and culture of heightened mobility, and that the key lies in reimagining how we live our lives and utilize our social and geographic spaces. Toward the aim of fostering such social change and collective critical thinking, Maya conceived and coordinated the first annual City Street Celebration – an expo for alternative transportation, held here in Windsor last September. This festival will see its second year on Saturday, September 23rd, 2006. Individuals, artists, activists, students, local volunteers, and various organizations invest their time, energy, and resources to help realize this event and ensure its success. Overall, Maya’s work exemplifies the potential of social justice in action. If you would like to contact Maya, she can be reached at: maya_ruggles@hotmail.com City Street Celebration website: www.citystreetcelebration.org O Heather Graydon is a Master’s student in Sociology at the University of Windsor.


V OLUME 2, ISSUE 1

P AGE 3

S OCIAL J USTICE P ERSON OF THE Y EAR A WARD B Y B LAIRE S KALNEK

On Tuesday, March 7, 2006, the Centre for Studies in Social Justice honoured two individuals for their contribution to social justice – Kenny Gbadebo and Sandi Curtis. The award ceremony, hosted annually by the Centre, was attended by about 50 faculty, staff, and community members who came to celebrate the work of both award recipients. Kenny Gbadebo, a Uni-

versity of Windsor alumnus, was awarded for his lifelong commitment to ensuring young people (particularly immigrant and racialized minorities) complete their education, learn social skills and avoid conflict with the law. Kenny Gbadebo has worked with many organizations and formed nonprofit programs within the Windsor, Essex County area to assist youth

in learning to solve their problems by cooperating with others, and developing skills to cope with life stresses and peer pressure. He is particularly committed to promoting cultural diversity and anti-racism at schools and in society as a whole. Dr. Ocheje, professor of Law at the University of Windsor and friend of Kenny Gbadebo explained, "sometimes speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves is a lonely job," but "I never cease to be amazed by the level of Kenny's exertion on behalf of the youth of Windsor." Dr. Sandi Curtis, head of the School of Music, is a clinician, a dedicated educator and a passionate activist. She accepted the person of the year award “in memory of those women who have lost their lives and in recognition of those who have survived domestic violence.” Sandi Curtis is committed to stopping violence against women and assisting victims to heal through music therapy. Dr. Sally Bick praised Sandi Curtis for bringing “music therapy to those who cannot afford it.” The awards were pre-

sented by Dr. Tanya Basok, director for the Centre for Studies in Social Justice who emphasised the importance of Kenny Gbadebo’s and Sandi Curtis’s work. Racism exists at all levels of the educational system as evidenced by the lack of ethnic representatives in schools, school officials expressing racism and subtle biases and curriculum with racist undertones. Dr. Basok explained that Kenny Gbadebo was awarded the Person of the Year award for challenging these harmful factors in the Canadian educational system. Dr. Basok continued by noting several Canadian and American studies that have focused on the trends of violence against women. Sandi Curtis received the Person of the Year Award for working tirelessly to end the trends of male violence against women and for assisting

victims to recover their dignity and confront their abusers. Dr. Ross Paul, President of the University of Windsor commemorated the award recipients for “living what we try to preach” at the University. He went on to explain that both Kenny Gbadebo and Sandi Curtis “represent the ideals we all strive for”. By challenging racist and violent trends in our society both award recipients are examples of what we all need to be, “people of social change”.O Blaire Skalnek worked at the Centre for Studies in Social Justice during the Winter 2006 term and is a student of Criminology.


V OLUME 2, ISSUE 1

P AGE 4

C AN T HEATRE B RING R ECONCILIATION B ETWEEN P EOPLE ?

On

March 30th, The Centre for Studies in Social Justice hosted a presentation by Jonathan Fox, founder of the School of Playback Theatre in New York State. Fox spoke about the technique of improvisational theatre known as Playback and his work with theatre companies in Burundi. He was accompanied by the Random Act Playback

Company of the University of Windsor, a company of Drama in Education and Community students. Playback Theatre is an interactive theatre form in which audience members describe a feeling that is then acted out by the actors. There is no set and any person or group can speak about their experience and then see it acted out. Jonathan Fox presented some facts about the conflict in Burundi and asked audience members to describe their feelings upon hearing this information. The Random Act Playback group then acted out the audience’s reactions on stage.

Fox was invited to Burundi by an American NGO to teach the technique there. The Tubiyage Theatre Association of Burundi learned the method and used it with refugees and community groups around the country. Tubiyage ('Let's talk about it,' in Kirundi) travels to refugee camps, in order to promote human rights through theatre. They use Playback Theatre techniques as a way for people to mourn loss and empathize with the suffering of others. “It is a way of telling your story so that it means something to others” says Fox. (Continued on page 7)

A SSESSING THE E XPOSURE OF W INDSOR R ESIDENTS TO A IR P OLLUTION If you live in Windsor you know tionship between exposure and the the distribution of pollutants and posthat the city’s air quality is poor. The number of smog days announced in the local media throughout the summer is an obvious indicator that there’s something bad in the air. But do you know exactly what you are breathing? A team of engineers at the University of Windsor is currently studying just how bad the air is in Windsor and where the pollutants are coming from. The Windsor, Ontario Exposure Assessment Study is being conducted by the Health Canada Air Health Effects Division and University of Windsor. The primary purpose of this study is to monitor personal exposures to a variety of air pollutants and understand the rela-

activity patterns and home character- sibly find the source. “It is like putistics of the individuals. ting together puzzles” she says. Engineering Professors Iris Xiaohong Xu, Rajesh Seth and Edwin Tam of the Department of Environmental Engineering at the University of Windsor are halfway through this three-year study with Health Canada. The current phase of the study involves identifying the types of pollutants in the air. This involves teams of student research assistants testing the air in homes around the city, as well as asking residents to use personal exposure monitors (PEM), a backpack instrument that samples air throughout their daily activities, to detect common air pollutants.

Professor Seth’s expertise lies in multi-media modelling - how chemicals move from one medium to another (such as from air pollution to acid rain). Professor Tam’s perspective is on environmental sustainability: how the community at large is affected.

The participation of local residents is crucial for this project and the team is extremely appreciative of their support. To keep the community connected with the progress of the study, open houses are hosted after each sampling period where information sessions are held and participants The project leader, Dr. Xu, then uses receive a report on the findings in computer-based modelling to study their own home. NN


V OLUME 2, ISSUE 1

I N D EFENCE

P AGE 5

OF

I NDIGENOUS R IGHTS

IN

E CUADOR

B Y S YBILA V ALDIVIESO

Sybila Valdivieso is a member of the Centre for Studies in Social Justice. She completed her last semester of Law through an internship at the InterAmerican Development Bank where she worked on issues of indigenous law, environmental law and economics. In this issue she shares her concerns about the abuse of indigenous peoples by interna-

tional oil companies. In 2001, the Italian oil company AGIP signed an agreement with the Waorani indigenous peoples in the Ecuadorian Amazon for access to tribal lands for oil exploration. The agreement stipulated that the Waorani give up their future right to sue for environmental damage. In

exchange, AGIP gave the Waorani a modest allocation of food and medical supplies for the month of May 2001, a $3500 school house, kitchen utensils for that month consisting of 15 plates, 15 cups, 15 spoons, 2 pots and 2 ladles, a flag of Ecuador, a blackboard, 2 soccer balls and a (Continued on page 6)

Centre to launch new on-line journal

In the Fall of 2006 the Centre for Studies in Social Justice will be launching the first issue of a brand new electronic journal entitled “Studies in Social Justice”. Studies in Social Justice will be an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that will serve as a forum to share knowledge on a wide range of social justice issues, including racism, poverty, sexuality, gender, health and class inequalities. It will also explore the legal, environmental and cultural challenges of restructuring the global economy. This electronic journal will publish high quality scholarly research that addresses ways to promote social justice and offer recommendations on policies or strategies to diminish existing injustices. The journal will be edited here at the University of Windsor by Dr. Tanya Basok, Dr. Suzan Ilcan and Dr. Jeff Noonan with the support of many others at the Leddy Library and at the Centre for Studies in Social Justice. A number of renowned

scholars in the area of social justice are on the editorial board: Liz Curran (La Trobe University), Nancy Fraser (New School for Social Research), Carol Gould (George Mason University), Robert Hackett (Simon Fraser University), David Harvey (City University of New York), Engin Isin (York University), Cecilia Menjivar (Arizona State University), Arun Mukherjee (York University), Jackie Smith (University of Notre Dame), Gary Teeple (Simon Fraser University), Sylvia Walby (Lancaster University), Gordon Walker (Lancaster University) and Daiva Stasiulis (Carleton University). David Harvey, an internationally recognized geographer and distinguished professor of Anthropology at CUNY is the author of numerous books and articles including: The Postmodern Condition, Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference. Dr. Harvey will be coming to Windsor in the fall 2006

for the launch of this journal. The journal will be published on-line twice a year using Open Journal Systems (OJS), a journal management and publishing system. OJS is open source software, which the University of Windsor’s Leddy Library will manage. The use of OJS means the journal will be freely accessible on the web. Making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Such access is associated with increased readership and increased citation of an author's work. According to Dr. Jeff Noonan of the Department of Philosophy and one of the journal’s editors, “The Centre for Studies in Social Justice is emerging as a focal point for research in social justice at the University. The journal will increase the global profile of the Centre and contribute to the pioneering research it sponsors.” If you would like to learn more about the journal, including how to contribute, please contact the Centre for Studies in Social Justice.NN


P AGE 6

V OLUME 2, ISSUE 1

E CUADOR R ESEARCH R EPORT (Continued from page 5)

referee’s whistle. In November of 2005 an Ecuadorian lawyer and congressional adviser, Bolivar Beltrán, filed a disclosure lawsuit in the name of three congressmen and agreements such as this one were exposed publicly. On December 8, 2005, Oswaldo Jarrín, the Ecuadorian Minister of Defence declared all contracts with foreign oil firms to be null and void. At present, he is designing a new military unit that’s responsible for the protection of oil operations. Ecuador has some of the world’s richest rainforests and they happen to be

on some of the largest oil reserves in the world. The issue of oil is not new to Ecuador. Since the 1960s national and international oil companies have left behind environmental disasters and poverty. [Re: Texaco, Chevron http:// www.texacorainforest.org/] However, in the last few years there has been a distinct pro-oil government policy whereby the Ecuadorian government has placed almost 80% of oil reserve lands up for bids. Oil companies receive block concessions that give them subsoil rights, but under Ecuadorian law they must negotiate with indigenous peoples who hold the title to those

lands. This negotiation is done between the indigenous communities and the oil companies. It is easy to deduce who has the most to gain or lose. There is an assumption of an equal bargaining position between the two parties. Such unsophisticated assumptions do not consider differences in culture, spirituality, social order, languages, understanding of sovereignty, or an acknowledgement of varying economic systems and, as such, it is difficult not to see these negotiations as nothing more than theft by deception.O

C ENTRE H OSTS 2 ND S OCIAL J USTICE F ORUM G RADE E IGHT S TUDENTS

FOR

L OCAL

In December 2005, the Centre for Studies in Social Justice hosted the second annual Student Social Justice Forum for grade eight students in Windsor and Essex County. The event was co-sponsored by the Holocaust Education Committee of the Windsor Jewish Community Centre, the CAW Local 200 Human Rights Committee, the Greater Essex Country District School Board and the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board. The forum, which took place in the Odette Building of the University of Windsor, was attended by over 70 area grade eight students. The students separated into groups to discuss the rights of the child, the environment, the Holocaust, and poverty. They also had the opportunity to create art work with a social justice theme. Given the success of the last two forums, the organizers have decided to make this an annual event with both the public and separate school boards participating. In addition, plans are underway to host a social justice forum for area high school students in Spring 2007. If your child will be in grade eight during the 2006-2007 school year and is interested in participating, please contact the school principal. NN (Photos by Tory James, ©2005 University of Windsor) Students’ Art Work


V OLUME 2, ISSUE 1

P AGE 7

P LAYBACK T HEATRE IN B URUNDI (Continued from page 4)

Fox also discussed the challenges and limitations of using a theatre technique developed in the U.S. in different cultural contexts and received feedback from audience members from the region. Despite the challenge, the Playback Theatre idea has inspired many peo-

ple. Playback companies now exist on five continents. In addition to Fox’s work in Burundi, The School of Playback Theatre is participating in a major initiative to bring playback theatre to residents of the US Gulf region devastated by Hurricane Katrina. NN

THE CENTRE FOR STUDIES IN SOCIAL JUSTICE COORDINATING COMMITTEE

C ENTRE FOR STUDIES IN SOCIAL JUSTICE

251 Chrysler Hall South University of Windsor Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4 Canada Tel.:(519) 253-3000 ext. 2326 E-mail: socjust@uwindsor.ca

Tanya Basok

Director of Centre for Studies in Social Justice

Paul Boin

Communication Studies

Gail Campbell

Designate for the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

WWW. UWINDSOR. CA/ SOCIALJUSTICE

Rupp Carriveau

Civil and Environmental Engineering

CONTACT US

Sandi Curtis

School of Music

Michael Dunmore

UWSA Representative

Anne Forrest

Women’s Studies

Vivian Herzenberg

Jewish Community Centre

Suzan Ilcan

Sociology and Anthropology

Gilbert Iyamuremye

Diocese of London Refugee Office

Brian Mazer

Faculty of Law

Linda Morrow

United Way

Jeff Noonan

Philosophy

Josette Reaume

Faculty of Science

Leigh West

Designate for the Dean of the Faculty of Law

Membership If you are interested in joining the Centre for Studies in Social Justice you can join on-line by visiting our website, www.uwindsor.ca/socialjustice, and following the links to Membership. Membership gets you invitations to our events and you will receive our e-mail announcements and newsletters.

Tanya Basok, Director 251 Chrysler Hall South Tel: (519) 253-3000 ext. 3498 Email: basok@uwindsor.ca Irene Arseneau, Administrative Assistant 251-1 Chrysler Hall South Tel: (519) 253-3000 ext. 2326 Email: socjust@uwindsor.ca Nicole A. Noël, Co-ordinator 251-2 Chrysler Hall South Tel: (519) 253-3000 ext. 3492 Email: nnoel@uwindsor.ca Newsletter Editor: Nicole A. Noël Assistant Editor for this issue: Blaire Skalnek We welcome your feedback about this newsletter at: nnoel@uwindsor.ca


V OLUME 2, ISSUE 1

A BOUT

THE

P AGE 8

C ENTRE

FOR

S TUDIES

IN

S OCIAL J USTICE

Following two years of planning by a steering committee, headed by the Deans of Arts and Social Sciences and Law, the Centre for Studies in Social Justice came into existence on July 1, 2002. In so doing "social justice" joined "automotive education and research" and "environmental research" as one of three "pinnacle programme areas" in which the University of Windsor sought to develop an international reputation for excellence. The Centre is committed to interdisciplinarity in research and teaching, and to advocacy. The Centre for Studies in Social Justice provides a place for researchers from the University of Windsor and other universities, centres and institutes, policy makers and community members to: address the causes and impact of widespread social and economic changes; research the elements that promote or impede social justice; access resources, training, and knowledge; stimulate discussion and debate on social justice issues; and to formulate recommendations on policies or strategies that could diminish existing injustice.

Visit our website often to learn more about past and future events organized by the Centre for Studies in Social Justice. www.uwindsor.ca/socialjustice

Centre for Studies in Social Justice 251 Chrysler Hall South University of Windsor Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4 CANADA

CSSJ Newsletter vol 1 issue 2 (2005)  

The newsletter of the Centre for Studies in Social Justice, University of Windsor.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you