One year into the lockdown, social justice advocates, scholars and thought leaders from across the Lower Mainland and beyond are gathering today to take a hard look at how the pandemic has affected a range of social issues.
SHIFT: Tracing the Social Impacts of COVID-19, March 2-4, explores and uncovers the wide-ranging effects of the pandemic on sexual and gender-based violence, mental health and well-being, and anti-racism and decolonization.
“This conference is the result of a dynamic group wanting to inspire action for social change,” said Dr. Lisa Smith, Sociology instructor at Douglas College and SHIFT co-organizer. “We felt compelled to come together and hold space for dialogue, to have challenging conversations about issues that are at the forefront of politics and society, and to call for healing, restoration and hope, while centering decolonization and anti-racism.”
The online conference is a series of panel presentations and community dialogue sessions that examine the impacts of the pandemic through stories, lived experience, and arts and culture.
SHIFT’s keynote address, Anti-Racism as a Tool for Collective Liberation, will be delivered Thursday by Cicely Belle Blain, social justice advocate, author and founder of Black Lives Matter Vancouver. On Wednesday, there will be an event exclusively for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) participants that explores the role of healing, community-building and solidarity in the fight against oppression.
SHIFT is co-hosted by the Douglas Students’ Union and the College’s iMPACTS team of faculty and student research assistants. iMPACTS, whose mission is to address sexual violence in university contexts, is a partner project with McGill University.
This event is free and open to everyone, and will take place via Zoom.
SHIFT is an ongoing event series. The first SHIFT was held in 2018 and examined sexual violence, intimate-partner violence and the #MeToo movement through documentary film and community dialogue.
Douglas College is the largest degree-granting college in B.C., combining the academic foundations of a university and the employer-ready skills of a college to graduate resilient global citizens who adapt, innovate and lead in a changing world.
For more information, visit douglascollege.ca/shift