(2011-2012 HR#15) December 6: A Day for Remembrance and Action

Date: December 1, 2011
To: All Faculty & Staff
From: Angela Hildyard, Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity
Re: December 6: A Day for Remembrance and Action

Dear Colleagues,

I was working in my office at OISE when I heard the news that evening of December 6.

The news of a shooting at École Polytechnique spread like wildfire and I, like many of us, was overcome with total shock and disbelief.

I had strong links to the Centre for Women’s Studies in Education at OISE and in the weeks following that tragedy in 1989, I was involved with faculty and graduate students in trying to understand how this could have happened; and what, if anything, institutions might do to ensure it never happened again.

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6 is an important date for one to give pause and to acknowledge its continuing significance between this public political act of anti-feminist violence against women, and the more common private personal acts of violence against women.
I also see the day as a reminder for each of us to look and see what we can do as individuals, and as a community, to end the violence.

For me, the shooting was one of the reasons I was compelled to join the John Howard Society (JHS). I felt the need to ‘do something’ and add my voice to the need for programs to prevent violence against women and children, as well as programs for offenders and those at risk of offending. I started as a volunteer with the JHS Toronto, and ended up, several years later, as the President of JHS Canada.

December 6 continues to resonate in my work at U of T and the work of the Human Resources & Equity division in ensuring we have a safe workplace and that we have the resources available to help those in need.

In some ways, that horrific fall day seems like it happened just weeks ago, and yet, when I look at the work undertaken in the two decades since, I know that we have come a long way.
This December 6, we remember the 14 women of École Polytechnique and we recognize the many women in the years since who have been victims of gender-based violence. In honour of them, flags will be lowered on all campuses that day. I encourage you to attend the commemorative events as well as educate yourself on the resources available to help those in need.

Schedule of Events on December 6:

St. George:

12:15 p.m.
December 6th Commemorative Benches
(in front of Hart House, behind UTSU)

12:45 p.m.
Working for Change Lunch, Hart House, East Common Room.
If you have an accommodation need, please email usha.chandrasekhar@utoronto.ca


10 a.m.
Instructional Services Atrium


Please note: event was held Friday, Nov. 25