December 6, 2022

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Meaningful Global Action to End Gender-Based Violence

On December 6, U of T joins communities across Canada in remembering the 14 women killed in a devastating act of misogyny at the engineering school at Montreal’s École Polytechnique in 1989. 

Please note: The in-person event will include live ASL interpretation, and the virtual event will include closed captioning. If you require other accessibility accommodations, let us know via email or by calling 416-659-0982.

The Agenda

Join us on Dec. 6 from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET in-person at the Great Hall, Hart House, or from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET via livestream.

All students, staff, faculty, librarians, and alumni are welcome to attend this tri-campus event to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Our program includes:

  • In-Person Only: Welcome Lunch at the Great Hall, 12 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. 
  • In-Person and Virtual: Welcome, Musical Performance, and Panel, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • In-Person and Virtual: Awards, Memorial, and Closing Reflection, 1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
  • In-Person: Optional Decompression Activity, 2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.


This event will include a panel discussion about what meaningful, global action on gender-based violence can look like, taking into consideration changing legal, social, medical, and economic landscapes and how we can take steps that are intentional, intersectional, and grounded in addressing the root causes of violence. 


This memorial, led by the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, will honour the lives of women impacted by gender-based violence. It will include a musical performance and spoken-word poetry.

Meet Our Panelists

Deepa Mattoo

Deepa Mattoo is an award-winning lawyer and intersectional feminist whose work is rooted in equity, and anti-oppressive and anti-racist practice. As the Executive Director of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, Deepa provides leadership to the various departments and for the Clinic’s intervention and advocacy work and has appeared before parliamentary committees and UN civil society meetings on a wide range of social justice and human rights issues.

Deepa has trained thousands of service providers to work with forced marriage survivors, racialized non-status women, and immigration law clients in the context of gender-based violence. She also shares these insights as an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, and through the countless speaking engagements and interviews she grants throughout the year. In 2015, Deepa was awarded the Spirit of Schlifer Award. Deepa was the Law Foundation of Ontario’s 2017 Community Leadership in Justice Fellow at Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Deepa is the recipient of the Law Society medal in 2022 and the Women of Distinction Award in 2022 for her contribution to access to justice and advocacy work.

Shahrzad Mojab

Shahrzad Mojab is a scholar, teacher, and activist, and is internationally known for her work on the impact of war, displacement, and violence on women’s learning and education. She is professor of Women and Gender Studies and education at the University of Toronto. Shahrzad is the recipient of the 2020 Canadian Association of Studies in Adult Education Lifetime Achievement Award and the Royal Society of Canada Award in Gender Studies in 2010 and the Distinguished Contribution to Graduate Teaching Award in 2008, OISE/University of Toronto.

Her most recent books are Marxism & MigrationWomen of Kurdistan: A Historical and Bibliographical Study; and Revolutionary Learning: Marxism, Feminism and Knowledge.

A unique feature of Shahrzad’s work is making knowledge accessible to public through the use of arts such as story-telling, dance, drama, painting and film. Her most recent work is No Woman’s Land, a dance project to capture the experience of refugee women of sexual violence. She has archived and curated the experience of women in prison in the Middle East on the website, The Art of Resistance in the Middle East.

Brenda Cossman

Brenda Cossman is the Goodman-Schipper Chair and Professor of Law at the University of Toronto. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and has been awarded the Mundell Medal by the Attorney General of Ontario for contributions to letters and law, and Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence for the Promotion of Women’s Equality. Professor Cossman’s teaching and scholarly interests focuses on the legal regulation of gender, sexuality and family. Her book The New Sex Wars: Sexual Harm in the #MeToo Era was published New York University Press.

This event is co-hosted by the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office, the Community Safety Office, the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office at UTM, the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office at UTSC, the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, Hart House, The Division of People Strategy, Equity, & Culture, the Sexual and Gender Diversity Office, and the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre.