More than 150 emerging and established leaders from across the University of Toronto came together to explore the topic of 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion and belonging at the fourth Angela Hildyard Leadership Symposium on May 16. The event took place on the day before International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.
Lee Airton, Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies in Education at Queen’s University and founder of They Is My Pronoun, the No Big Deal campaign, and Gegi, delivered the keynote address. The Symposium continued with a panel discussion on “Institutional Shifts to Move Beyond the Gender Binary in Higher Education,” moderated by Tara Goldstein, Professor, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and Vice Principal, New College. Lance T. McCready, Associate Professor, Leadership, Higher & Adult Education, OISE, and Director of the Transitional Year Programme; Seán Kinsella, Director, The Eighth Fire, Centennial College; and Fae Johnstone, Executive Director, Wisdom2Action and President of the Society of Queer Momentum all spoke as panelists.
Held at Desautels Hall at the Rotman School of Management, the Symposium was emceed by Allison Burgess, Acting Executive Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI). She spoke about the staggering rise in legislation targeting trans and nonbinary people in the United States, and how policy shifts and hateful rhetoric south of the border are emboldening similar voices in Canada.
“It is clear that much of the progress made by 2SLGBTQ+ communities is currently at risk—both here in Canada and around the world,” said Burgess. “As leaders within the U of T community, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves, support our students and colleagues, and take action to foster inclusion and belonging for all.”