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computer screen displaying “We Were Here” digital archiveThe digital archive “We Were Here” documents the history of Windsor’s McDougall Street corridor.

New resource highlights rich Black history of Windsor neighbourhood

A new resource of the Leddy Library aims to recover the stories of Windsor’s McDougall Street corridor, a once vibrant and bustling Black neighbourhood in the city’s downtown. The neighbourhood which stretches from Goyeau Street to Highland Avenue and between Pitt Street and Giles Boulevard, was once filled with businesses, schools, and churches.

Only a few traces of the community remain after urban redevelopment in the 1950s moved people out of the neighbourhood homes and businesses. Willow Key, master’s student in history, was eager to ensure those remaining traces would not be lost.

Keen to preserve the stories and history, she reached out to members of the community to conduct interviews and gather ephemera.

“My research interests have always involved Black Canadian history and through this opportunity of sharing the McDougall Street corridor’s history with the public, I also discovered my own family’s connection to the neighbourhood,” said Key.

The preliminary research was funded through the UWindsor Anti-Black Racism Student Leadership Experience Grant program. Key worked with Leddy Library’s digital scholarship librarian Heidi Jacobs and archivist Sarah Glassford, and Irene Moore Davis of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society, to collect the stories of the community hub for Black families in Windsor.

“Participating in the Anti-Black Racism Student Leadership Experience program and getting to work with Willow has been a phenomenal experience for all of us at Leddy Library,” said Dr. Jacobs. “Willow is a strong researcher and this program allowed her to take her skills to the next level, as well as develop a network of community relationships, and professional mentors.”

The story of the McDougall Street corridor showcases this city’s rich Black history but also demonstrates the devastating impacts of city planning and urban renewal efforts on the community. We Were Here offers a collection of essays, images, maps, artifacts, and documents, and invites you to learn more about a vital chapter in Canadian history.

“This project brings together images and documents you won’t find in any other single place, because they are held in a combination of private family collections and geographically dispersed public archives,” said Glassford. “Digitizing and curating them for this project is a way to give the tangible evidence of the McDougall Street corridor’s history back to the community itself, in virtual form, even as the original documents remain safely preserved in their respective homes.”

The project, which is now available online, aims to preserve the legacy of the community.

With the research and digital exhibit complete, Key says the project will continue to evolve. Plans for a mobile app funded by FedDevOntario and MyMainStreet grants are underway that will encourage pedestrian engagement with the community’s history by using street signage to connect them with the app for self-guided historical tours. Directed by Anneke Smit of the Windsor Law Centre for Cities, the project team will launch the mobile app and walking tour in April.

“The stories and memories shared throughout this project offer a unique glimpse into the history of Windsor’s downtown Black community and the impact of postwar urban renewal,” said Key. “There is so much more to share with the public about this historic neighbourhood and I would love to eventually write a book.”

For more information, visit the We Were Here: Documenting Windsor’s McDougall Street Corridor digital archive.

—Marcie Demmans

EDID wekk graphicToday’s EDID Week activities include discussions of accessible educational content, Asian heritage, and eliminating racial discrimination.

Sessions to explore accessibility, diversity, racial equity

The University of Windsor’s second annual Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization (EDID) Week continues today with discussions of accessible educational content, Asian heritage, and eliminating racial discrimination.

Learning specialists Mark Lubrick and Lorie Stolarchuk will demonstrate how to create accessible content in the Brightspace learning management system. Their 11:30 a.m. session, entitled “Quick tips for making your Brightspace site more accessible,” is offered in partnership with the University of Windsor's  Office of Human Rights, Equity, and Accessibility's 10th Annual Accessibility Awareness Days. Register to attend on MS Teams.

The panel discussion “Celebrating Asian heritage for an equitable diverse inclusive learning community” will feature UWindsor faculty members Edward Venzon Cruz, Jane Ku, Grace Liu, Naved Bakali, Shijing Xu, and Chenkai Chi sharing their first-hand working experiences with students and communities of Asian backgrounds at 1 p.m. Register to attend on MS Teams.

Natalie Delia Deckard, professor of criminology and director of the Black Studies Institute, outlines the landscape of racial discrimination in Canadian higher education before detailing best practices for eliminating racism as part of the hidden curriculum of university life in her presentation “Eliminating Racial Discrimination in Public Institutions of Higher Education” at 6 p.m. at the SoCA Armouries Performance Hall as well as on MS Teams. Register to attend in-person or online.

March 21 is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In a message issued to mark the occasion, Clinton Beckford, UWindsor acting vice-president for equity, diversity, and inclusion, called for a commitment to personal and collective action to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

“Let us resolve to making our campus a truly safe and inclusive place to learn and work,” he wrote. “Let us end all forms of racism on our campus now.”

Read the entire message.

Tomorrow’s EDID Week events include:

  • A trivia competition run by Black student support co-ordinator Kaitlyn Ellsworth and Lancer leadership ambassador Linda Nguyen from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Alumni Auditorium, CAW Student Centre. UWindsor students could win $100 on their UWin cards.
  • Beverly Jacobs, senior advisor to the president on Indigenous relations and outreach and Indigenous human rights monitor for the Mohawk Institute Survivors' Secretariat, discussing “Monitoring the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” at 11 a.m. in the Alumni Auditorium and online; join the presentation here.
  • At 3 p.m., a panel discussion with UWindsor students about their lived experiences being Muslim on campus and their perceptions about the presence of Islamophobia at the institution. Register to attend on MS Teams.

EDID Week activities continue through Friday, March 24. Find details on the EDID Week website.

Ashley GlassburnProf. Ashley Glassburn will present “Thinking, Writing, Speaking Myaamia: Language reclamation for life-long learners” Thursday, March 23.

Approach to Indigenous language reclamation subject of lecture

One of the legacies of residential schools where students were forbidden to speak their language is that few young Indigenous people can speak their Nation’s language, making language reclamation programs of critical importance to Indigenous peoples across North America, says Ashley Glassburn.

A President’s Indigenous Peoples Scholar in women and gender studies and a member of the Miami Nation of Indiana, Dr. Glassburn has been working on Myaamia language curriculum since 2007. Her newest project focuses on teaching Myaamia learners how to center a Miami view of the world when writing in the language.

She will discuss this work in a lecture entitled “Thinking, Writing, Speaking Myaamia: Language reclamation for life-long learners” at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 23.

Glassburn will explore why she and her team completely rewrote all their teaching materials in the last two years and are now basing their approach to writing around core language models developed for Augmentative and Alternate Communication practices originally designed for use with adults with severe expressive communication differences. The result is a significantly different approach to teaching Algonquian verbs and grammar that has ramifications beyond Myaamia language circles.

Presented by the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the event will be held in room 268, Dillon Hall, and is open to all; RSVP to clekic@uwindsor.ca.

Fight racismThe Anti-Black Racism Professional Development Grants support activities to foster learning and understanding of systems of anti-Black racism.

Grants to support understanding and fighting anti-Black racism

Grants of up to $2,000 will support activities to foster learning and a deeper understanding of systems of anti-Black racism. The Anti-Black Racism Professional Development Grants are for faculty and staff at the University of Windsor pursuing educational enrichment.

They may be used for:

  • self-learning activities in collaboration with a mentor, supervisor, or instructor;
  • individual training to learn a skill or expand an area of competence relevant to one’s scope of practice;
  • attendance at a conference for workshop;
  • tuition for courses;
  • guest speakers for academic or non-academic opportunities.

“As more conferences and workshops have resumed in-person participation, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of the many learning and engagement formats available throughout Canada and abroad,” says Marium Tolson-Murtty, director of anti-racism organizational change.

To give faculty and staff some ideas of the workshops and conferences available, she has provided a list of ideas that people may want to explore, adding “This is not an exhaustive list, so I encourage individuals to research the many offerings that are available to further their knowledge and enrichment on these important issues.”

Find more details — including application guidelines, eligibility, and selection criteria — on the program website.

Nowruz table laden with traditional foodsThe Iranian student club will celebrate the Persian new year Nowruz today at 11 a.m. in the lobby of the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation.

Celebration to ring in Persian new year

The Iranian student club will celebrate Nowruz — the Persian new year — with an event in the lobby of the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation, Tuesday, March 21, at 11 am.

Nowruz has been celebrated in conjunction with the spring equinox for over 3,000 years and means “New Day”.

Traditional observances include the display of seven food items: wheat symbolizing rebirth and growth, a wheat germ pudding symbolizing sweetness and fertility, dried oleaster fruit symbolizing sweetness and fertility, garlic symbolizing medicine and health, apples symbolizing beauty and health, sumac symbolizing sunrise and new beginnings, and vinegar symbolizing age and patience.

The Iranian student club welcomes the campus community to join today’s celebration, which will feature refreshments.

Anthony DeGirolamoSetter Anthony DeGirolamo makes a play for Windsor men’s volleyball, which competed this weekend in the national championship tournament.

Varsity season ends with national championship contests

Lancer men’s hockey and volleyball saw early ends to their quests for national titles last week.

Windsor lost to eventual University Cup silver medallists Alberta Golden Bears 7-0 in a quarter-final game in Charlottetown on Friday. The University of New Brunswick Reds went on to win the hockey championship.

The blue and gold had the misfortune to come up against the silver medallist in volleyball, too, losing their opening match Friday to the Sherbrooke Vert et Or before a consolation round defeat at the hands of the Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday afternoon in Hamilton. The Trinity Western Spartans claimed their seventh Tantramar Trophy as national champions.

key in ingition with representation of dataThe March 22 workshop “Law and Entrepreneurship: Is Data the New Oil?” will discuss policy mechanisms to support the commercialization of automotive technologies.

Workshop to highlight data as key to engine of automotive innovation

How can Windsor-Essex position itself to be a key player in the commercialization of data and intellectual property in the automotive sector — that question is at the heart of a workshop Wednesday, March 22, hosted by the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre).

“Law and Entrepreneurship: Is Data the New Oil?” will engage academics, students, policy experts, and community leaders in conversations about automotive technologies and the innovation economy.

Panels will discuss data ownership and sharing, best practices in data collection and privacy, and policy surrounding innovation, intellectual property, and data. The day will conclude with a networking reception.

The workshop will run 1 to 5:30 p.m. at the Ciociaro Club, 3745 North Talbot Rd. Students are admitted free; proceeds of other ticket sales will support the Campus Food Pantry. Find an agenda and buy tickets on the event website.

Campus Police vehicleKevin Beaudoin will take up an appointment as acting director of Campus Community Police effective March 22.

Campus Community Police welcomes new acting director

Kevin Beaudoin will take up an appointment as acting director of Campus Community Police effective March 22, reporting to Ryan Kenney, associate vice-president, operations. Beaudoin succeeds Matthew D’Asti, who departed the University earlier this month.

Beaudoin retired as deputy chief from LaSalle Police Service in 2021 after 35 years of service. His career included community patrol, marine patrol, community liaison officer, criminal investigations division, and administration.