TODAY ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER: Peaceful Protest to Demand an End to Racism and Police Brutality’

7 Dec

WHAT: A peaceful protest to demand an end to racism and police brutality.

WHY: We must unite here in Kingston to protest the unchecked police brutality and state violence that has stolen the lives of thousands of black people in the Americas. This rally is to demand justice for the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Aiyana Jones, Darrien Hunt, John Crawford III, and all other victims of the underlying antiblack racism that devalues black lives. This peaceful rally demands an end to racial violence and police brutality.

We ask that people bring signs if possible, with slogans addressing the antiblack racism and police violence we are attempting to dismantle. Because this rally is also a form of mourning, we also suggest that people wear black or other dark colours. Some of the chants we will be using include “Hands up, don’t shoot! Black lives matter,” “no justice, no peace,” and, in memory of Eric Garner, “I can’t breathe.”

Several people will be collecting donations for a GoFundMe campaign in the name of Esaw Garner, the widow of Eric Garner, who is left with six children for whom to care. She has received no justice in the murder of her husband by officer Daniel Pantaleo, but we can at least provide her with financial support in the aftermath of her horrific loss.

WHERE: We will begin our protest by assembling in Market Square at 2pm on Sunday, December 7th. After 30 minutes, we will hold 4 and a half minutes of silence for Michael Brown, as requested by his parents, to represent the 4 and a half hours during which his body was left in the street. Then, we will march up Princess St. to the intersection between Princess and Division St. We will march slowly to ensure accessibility for all participants, and to make sure our signs and chants are clear to those we pass. At the intersection, we will regroup, make ourselves visible, and then we will march down Brock St. to return to Market Square, where we will end the rally.



Another Letter Written to Principal Woolf Addressing Sexual Violence at Queen’s

7 Dec

The following letter was written on 30 November, 2014. Levana supports Department of Global Development Studies:

‘Dear Principal Woolf,

As members of the university community, the Department of Global Development Studies wishes to contribute to making it clear that sexual assault violates a person’s right and safety to study and work.

In light of the recent article in the Toronto Star (on Nov 20, 2014 which documented an incident of sexual assault at Queen’s we hoped for a timely and adequate response from your administration.  We were disappointed that you were unavailable for an interview on this important subject when the Toronto Star contacted you.  In a subsequent article published in the Gazette (on Nov 21, 2014 you suggest that Queen’s has a sexual assault counsellor (whom, we understand, editors refused to name). But, we are concerned that this counsellor and the offices associated with it are unknown to many of us in the Queen’s community. Moreover, even by using a simple Google search many of us have been unable to find the dedicated ‘sexual assault outreach counsellor’ you mention in your article. There may be an outreach counsellor, but the fact that we can’t easily locate their contact information contributes to the problems of access that the Toronto Star article highlights. Making this information easily available to all of us would better allow us to share it with our students.

We are encouraged to note that the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group has been hard at work on a number of activities. Once again, however, the fact that the Working Group was unknown to many of us further illustrates the need for better communication and information-sharing within the Queen’s community about such institutional efforts under way.

As you and others in upper administration deliberate on the Working Group’s recommendations for policy, we hope you will keep in mind the strength of Lakehead University policy and the speed with which they moved from adverse events to producing a policy that is not purely reactive. Some of the useful dimensions of the Lakehead policy on sexual assault policy as noted in the Toronto Star article are that:

  • it spells out the rights of victims coming forward, including a promise for academic accommodation and the responsibilities of staff;
  • it clearly articulates how a complaint can be launched and what may come of it if the school finds a student guilty after investigation;
  • sanctions range from admonishment, to restrictions on student’s movements around campus, to expulsion;

Lakehead’s principal believes the University should be able to balance a presumption of innocence with supporting and accommodating students who say they have been sexually assaulted. ‘All we are saying,’ President Brian Stevenson states, ‘is we will do our best to accommodate you; we will believe you’.

As the fall semester comes to a close, we encourage you to make a similar powerful and unqualified statement in support of victims of sexual assault and their right to safety and dignity on Queen’s campus. In addition, we encourage rigorous research on sexual assaults on campus and we ask that the results of such research be made public so that we can collectively respond to the problem.Ultimately, we hope that, in such research and policy initiatives, sexual assault will not just be treated as a mental health issue which tends to individualize the after-effects of sexual assault. Rather, we hope that recent efforts will produce research on sexual assault on campus as well as sexual assault policy that treats it as an issue of systemic violence, injustice, and discrimination. We believe that, in so doing, we can construct robust initiatives that respond to and prevent sexual assault.


Department of Global Development Studies

Faculty and Staff

DSC – Undergraduate

DSC – Graduate’

Letter to Principal Woolf Addresses the Issue of Sexual Violence at Queen’s

7 Dec

The following letter was sent to Principal Woolf on December 2nd 2014. Levana supports the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies:

‘Dear Principal Woolf,

I send you the attached letter on behalf of all the constitutents — faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students — of the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies.

The letter addresses the issue of sexual violence at Queen’s.

As members of SKHS we appreciate the recent efforts to make Queen’s a more supportive environment for victims of assault.  We also encourage efforts that will lead to prevention of sexual violence in our community and to the development of a more equitable and just campus climate.


Jean Cote, SKHS Director


Alan Harrison, Provost

Irène Bujara, University Advisor on Equity and Human Rights

Susan Mumm, Dean of Arts and Science

Michael Condra, Director, Health, Counselling and Disability Services    Alison Williams, AMS President

Emily Wong, AMS Social Issues Commissioner

Levana Gender Advocacy Centre

Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs

Kevin Wiener, SGPS President

Lorne Bewsick, SGPS VP Campaigns and Community Affairs’

The Lunchtime Chat Series

15 Nov

WHAT: Join us over lunch in a discussion on burnout and the ways that it shows up in our lives. We will discuss experiences with burnout and coping, and think about different strategies for taking care of ourselves and building resilience in our communities.

WHERE: The Livingroom of The Grey House (51 Bader Lane, Queen’s University)

WHEN: November 27th from noon until 2pm

Lunch will be provided by the Levana Gender Advocacy Centre.

To minimize our environmental impact we are moving towards using reusable cups, bowls and plates. Please bring your own mug and bowl if you can.

Peer support will be available for those who need it.

Coordinated by Levana Gender Advocacy Centre and OPIRG Kingston


Levana Feminist Reading Group reads Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie!

14 Oct

WHAT: Come discuss Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as part of our first Feminist Reading Group! All are welcome.

WHERE: The Grey House (51 Bader Lane, Queens University)

WHEN: October 28th at 5:30pm

You can find a copy of the book at Novel Idea Bookstore, Stauffer Library, or Kingston Public Library.


Levana Lunchtime Chat Series is back!

14 Oct

WHAT: Join us over lunch in a discussion on violence in the classroom and the myth of ‘safe spaces.’ We will also discuss survival strategies for difficult/hostile learning environments.

WHERE: The Livingroom of The Grey House (51 Bader Lane, Queen’s University)

WHEN: October 23rd from noon until 2pm

To minimize our environmental impact we are moving towards using reusable cups, bowls and plates. Please bring your own mug and bowl if you can.

Support will be available for those who need it.

This event is in coordination with QCRED and OPIRG Kingston

Reading Group: Undoing Border Imperialism

14 Oct


WHAT: Let’s all read Undoing Border Imperialism by Harsha Walia and talk about it! Copies are available at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Blue Heron Books & Zines and also for borrow from others.
You can also buy a copy from AK Press here:
If you are having difficulty securing a copy please contact khatija [at] riseup [dot] net

WHERE: The red and black house on Queen St at Wellington St (ramp entrance)

WHEN: November 19th 6pm

Children welcome to attend, though please note that no formal child minding is planned. AKA has an accessible entrance and an accessible, gender neutral washroom. AKA also has children’s books and toys as well as other supplies. All are welcome!

About the book:
Undoing Border Imperialism combines academic discourse, livedexperiences of displacement, and movement-based practices into an exciting new book. By reformulating immigrant rights movements within a transnational analysis of capitalism, labor exploitation, settler colonialism, state building, and racialized empire, it provides the alternative conceptual frameworks of border imperialism and decolonization. Drawing on the author’s experiences in No One Is Illegal, this work offers relevant insights for all social movement organizers on effective strategies to overcome the barriers and borders within movements in order to cultivate fierce, loving, and sustainable communities of resistance striving toward liberation. The author grounds the book in collective vision, with short contributions from over twenty organizers and writers from across North America.

“Harsha Walia has played a central role in building some of North America’s most innovative, diverse, and effective new move­ments. That this brilliant organizer and theorist has found time to share her wisdom in this book is a tremendous gift to us all.” —Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine


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