Dusty Johnstone addresses group of studentsStudents gather in the Memorial of Hope to learn about its significance from instructor Dusty Johnstone.

Tour provides insight into campus women’s history

A walking tour Tuesday gave participants a new perspective on the UWindsor campus.

The “Women in University of Windsor History” tour encompassed stops at six sites, says professor Renée Bondy, who teaches the second-year course in the History of Women’s Movements in North America.

“We try to provide some context they will refer to throughout the semester,” she says. “It’s important for students to know that activists aren’t just famous people far away, but people making a difference right here in our city and on our campus.”

The tour led through:

  • the Memorial of Hope which commemorates those killed in the Montreal Massacre, with a presentation by Dusty Johnstone, a learning specialist in women’s and gender studies and an administrator of the Bystander Initiative countering sexual assault;
  • Chrysler Hall Tower, where Lois Smedick, the University’s first woman dean, recalled her days as a pioneer;
  • a seminar room for a presentation by retired history professor Christina Simmons;
  • the Wyandotte Street site of weekly protests by feminist activists Women in Black;
  • the Womyn’s Centre for a discussion with director Amelia Ruchey; and
  • the Human Kinetics Building for information about women and athletics by professor Margery Holman, a founding member of Leadership Advancement for Women and Sport.

Student Baran Ahmadi called the tour a motivating experience.

“I had seen the Memorial of Hope before, but today I learned what the roses represent,” she said. “We are still fighting for equality, but some women broke those barriers. It opened my eyes and made me proud.”