Numerous high-profile incidents of anti-Black, anti-Indigenous and other forms of racism in both the university and in the larger Windsor Essex community led a group of students and faculty across disciplines to come together to work towards a consolidated and grounded critical race scholarship that can inform coordinated antiracist and decolonial practice.
The result was the creation of RAACES: Racialized Academics and Advocates Centering Equity in Solidarity. The group is hosting a free virtual conference on Thursday, Sept. 9 and Friday, Sept. 10. The conference is titled: Embodied Collaborations: Reflections on Race, Anti-Racism and Interdisciplinary Scholarship.
The conference will provide an opportunity for researchers, advocates, students, and community members to delve into their personal reflections and research on race and the various intersections of oppression at the university and beyond. The conference will include academic, community and student panels, and feature keynote addresses by Dr. Beverley Jacobs (member of the Bear Clan, Mohawk Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy), a law professor from the University of Windsor Faculty of Law, and Dr. Debra Thompson, a political scientist from McGill University.
This conference is organized by an interdisciplinary group of academics including: Jane Ku, and Natalie Delia Deckard, Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology; Richard Douglass-Chin, English Literature and Creative Writing; Sujith Xavier, Law; and Camisha Sibblis, a professor of Social Work.
“Our goal is to showcase the kind of work that we do around race and racialization, the scholarship we already have, on campus,” says Dr. Ku. “We also wanted to tell a story about how the context of where we are shapes the kind of knowledge that we make, and what kind of possibilities are available for the way we create knowledge.”
Dr. Deckard agrees, “I think it's just a really exciting way to bring burgeoning conversations, and critical race theory, to the forefront.”
The group believes that the university should be proud of the interdisciplinary nature of the conference, and start to recognize and celebrate the importance of race knowledge and race scholarship that is happening at UWindsor.
RAACES also focuses on providing undergraduate students opportunities to get involved in research projects and mentor students.
“The conference features a student panel presenting their research during the conference,” says Dr. Douglass-Chin. “We feel it is important to offer opportunities to those students who don't yet have a voice and a platform, and to give them a chance to develop their ideas.”
These faculty members will continue to mentor students and help them publish their research.
The Community Panel members will share their experiences living in Windsor as a racialized person. The panelists have decades of experience working in the community against racism.
RAACES is grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law, the Transnational Law and Justice Network, Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies for their generous support for this two-day event on September 9 and 10, 2021. They also thank the City of Windsor's Diversity Committee for organizing the community panel.
Embodied Collaborations: Reflections on Race, Anti-Racism and Interdisciplinary Scholarship.
Free Virtual Conference, Thursday, Sept. 9 and Friday, Sept. 10. Sessions run from 9:15am to 5:00pm.
View the conference schedule: https://www.uwindsor.ca/wgst/sites/uwindsor.ca.wgst/files/conference_program_sept_1st.pdf
To Register, visit the conference website: https://www.uwindsor.ca/wgst/1599/embodied-collaborations-reflections-race-anti-racism-and-interdisciplinary-scholarship