Speaker Series

Speak Truth to Power

The Speak Truth to Power Forum, started in mid-2020, was born out of the horrific death of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020.

While the forum began with a focus on anti-Black racism, other injustices were called out for attention as well. Recently we returned to the discussion of anti-Black racism by exploring the experiences of Black queer and trans people. It is important to also remember that on May 27, 2020, Tony McDade a Black trans man also killed by police, just two days after the murder of George Floyd, and yet we know less about Mr. McDade. Tony McDade was further harmed after his death by being misnamed (dead-named) and misgendered in the press.

The 12th episode in our series will help us to better understand the barriers faced across disability experiences, Speak Truth to Power: Accessibility in Action through Awareness. The esteemed panelists will speak to the invisible barriers to living with a (dis)Ability.  Their (dis)Ability is visible but the multiple barriers they face in living with a (dis)Ability are not understood by most.  While the forum will attest to these barriers it will also acknowledge the many significant contributions people with disabilities make to our academy and society overall.

If you had missed the previous Speak Truth to Power forums on Black Queer and Trans Lives Also Matter; Anti-Black Racism; Systemic Racism in Mi’kmaq & African Nova Scotian Communities; Racism, Mental Health and Healing; Living the Peace & Friendship Treaty through Netukulimk; Eliminating Gender-Based Violence; The First of the Firsts: Black Women Leaders in Public Service; Has the Needle moved on Systemic Racism in the Past Year?; and They Found Us & We are Coming Home – The Truth About Residential Schools; Sounding the Alarm on Gender-Based Violence Reclaiming Balance; and Indigenous Women’s Stewardship; please visit our website for the video links.

Viola Desmond Legacy Lecture

The Viola Desmond Legacy Lecture takes its name from the late Desmond, a Black Nova Scotian businesswoman who fought systemic racism in the province during the mid-20th century and, in 2010, was granted posthumously the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, Free Pardon by, then, Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Dr. Mayann Francis.

As a four-part series, our inaugural Viola Desmond Legacy Lecture took place in October 2018, when U.S. civil right icon Angela Davis came to campus. Desmond's sister, the late Wanda Robson, a well-known community educator and author in her own right, attended Dr. Davis's lecture.

Our second Viola Desmond Legacy Lecture featured Indigenous rights champion Michèle Audette. Michèle has made outstanding contributions to Indigenous women’s rights in Canada and in 2016, was appointed Commissioner for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). If you missed our 2021 Viola Desmond Legacy Lecture, featuring Michèle Audette, please watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0tFGBS3HvY

Our third Viola Desmond Legacy Lecture featured acclaimed artist and educator, Vivek Shraya. Vivek is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, literature, visual art, theatre, and film; she is founder of the award-winning publishing imprint VS. Books, which supports emerging BIPOC writers. If you missed our 2022 Viola Desmond Legacy Lecture, featuring Vivek Shraya, please watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/33KPAQsqAG8