Three Hidden Ways Education Contributes to Discrimination

Ontario’s education system is a world-class education system. Canadian students perform well on PISA – the Program for International Student Assessment – and there have been positive results over the past fifteen years in increasing elementary literacy and numeracy, improving graduation rates, and reducing the number of low-performing schools. But there’s a dark side to the system we don't recognize. Ontario’s education system also unwittingly contributes to gender and race discrimination.

Read More

8 Powerful Reasons to Wear a Pink Hat (and do other things to confront gender and racial discrimination)

Time magazine’s cover for its February 8th issue is a single, pink, knitted hat with the words “The Resistance Rises” written above it. An estimated 500,000 women wore pink hats at the Women’s March in Washington on January 21, 2017. The hat has become an iconic symbol of resistance. Here are eight powerful reasons why you should wear a pink hat (and take a stand against gender and race discrimination in other ways).

Read More

I want to live in a truly inclusive world, do you?

Pope Francis recently declared that a woman would never serve as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church.  This is not a change in stance; he has always said the door was closed on women being ordained as priests.  But when pressed about the matter by a journalist during a press conference on the papal plane, Francis intimidated that the ban would be eternal because Jesus only chose men as his apostles.  This reminds me of the stance the Director and the Trustees of KPRDSB have taken.  When asked if KPRDSB had any plans to change its current policy (which allows for gender imbalanced teams at the superintendent level), the Director responded, "No, there are no plans to change our policy."

Read More

Herstory

Gerda Lerner is one of the founders of the field of women's history.  She is considered to be the single most influential figure in the development of women's and gender history since the 1960s. In 1993, she told the Chicago Tribune that in the courses she took when she was in school, the teachers told her about a world in which one-half the human race was doing significant things and the other half didn't exist.  She asked herself how this checked against her own experience and concluded, "This is garbage; this is not the world in which I have lived."   

Read More

If not me, who? If not now, when?

Actress Emma Watson is the Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women.  At the 2014 launch of the HeForShe campaign, she gave an impassioned speech.  It was met with a thunderous standing ovation and rippled through the online community causing the UN website to crash.  Within days, Vanity Fair had called her speech “game-changing.”  What was her speech about?  It was about gender equality.    

Read More

Making the Grade

Report cards are going home in a few short weeks.  Boys in high school who receive marks in the 60 percent range will make more money, on average, than girls who receive marks in the 90 percent range.  If you want to make more money, it helps to be a white male. 

Read More

Enlightened Women

Adelaide Hoodless was an enlightened woman.  She was a Canadian educational reformer and she founded an international women’s organization called The Women’s Institute after the hard work and isolation of her youth, and the death of her baby son, inspired her to take up the cause of domestic reform.  Her purpose was to help women prevent the deaths of their children by working toward the betterment of education for new mothers. 

Read More

The Unfinished Business of the 21st Century

Ziauddin Yousafzai is a teacher and principal in Birmingham, England.  He is also the education attaché for the local Pakistani consulate.  His daughter, Malala, was shot in the face in 2012 while riding the bus home from school in the Swat Valley of Pakistan.  She had been targeted by the Taliban for going to school.    

Read More

A Vision of What Can Be

As an educator, musician, artist and lifelong learner, I've had a wide variety of experiences that have inevitably come to shape my thoughts, beliefs, and actions.  I've come to realize the importance of living a life that is in alignment with who I am -- a life that is the truest representation of the most authentic me I can be.  I've come to realize the importance of having a place to come to where it is safe to seek, safe to ask, and safe to explore the possibilities of what can be, rather than resign myself to what is.

Read More

Blurred Lines

The song Blurred Lines generated a huge amount of controversy when it was released in 2013.  British entertainment and media news website, Digital Spy, called it “smooth and soulful” but in the wrong hands “crass and chauvinistic.”  Rolling Stone magazine called it “The Worst Song of This or Any Other Year.”

Read More

Carney's Epiphany

In May 2013, a woman named Caroline Criado-Perez threatened the Bank of England with legal action when it  decided to replace bills featuring Elizabeth Fry with Winston Churchill.  It's not so much that Criado-Perez is an Elizabeth Fry fan. She's suing the bank for failing in its duties to eliminate gender discrimination under the Equality Act. 

Read More

Educating for Equality

The era of women’s equality in retrospect is a painfully thin fraction in time. A mere hundred years ago, Suffragettes were still marching the streets fighting for the right to vote in Canada. While we applaud western civilization for making dramatic strides in the rights of women and other marginalized populations, there are still many countries where the clock has almost turned backwards.

Read More