ormer Occupy protesters and University of Windsor faculty and students will discuss social justice and activism at a June 2 conference at the university.
Students will be presenting papers at Occupation as a form of Activism: Student Perspectives, held in Iona College.
“We want to talk about the experiences of [the Occupy movement], the positives and negatives of Occupy, how it could be better, like in terms of organization,” said Katie Sulatycky, the conference co-ordinator. “It is very current.”
“The conference is also open to other topics … one student is writing about LGBT rights of children in Uganda,” Sulatycky said.
Sulatycky will also be presenting a paper and speaking about the reinvent cities fraught with urban decay.
Meghan Mills, a recent University of Windsor graduate, will be presenting on the Occupy movement as it relates to aboriginal politics. “I’ll be talking about the similarities between all occupations … the Occupy Wall Street movement, how it’s applied in Canada, and colonialism as it appears in Canada.”
“[The Occupy movement] got people talking about a lot of important issues. It used globalization in very interesting ways,” said Mills, who will be studying the Occupy movement as part of her graduate studies at York University this fall.
Mills pointed out recent issues with aboriginal people in Canada, such as the emergency at Attawapiskat and the disappearance of hundreds of aboriginal women over the past two decades, which drew the attention of the United Nations a few months ago. “Aboriginal politics are so important right now,” Mills said, adding that despite this, the Occupy movement marginalizes aboriginal people.
“It’s made the same mistakes as every other social movement. It’s marginalizing the same groups of people,” Mills added.
Saturday’s conference will begin with a panel of speakers, followed by a discussion period. The panel will feature UWindsor philosophy professor Jeff Noonan, student Melisa Larue and Occupy Windsor participant Paul Chislett. The free event is being organized through the Centre for Studies in Social Justice, and will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“I believe that this is a very important conference to the University of Windsor, especially since social justice is one of the five pinnacles that the university stands on,” Sulatycky said.
“I’m hoping [participants] will come out of it with a changed perspective of the Occupy movement and social justice,” Sulatycky added.