December 6, 2021

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Memorial and Reflections on Ending Gender-Based Violence in a Post-Pandemic World

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. 

The Agenda

Join us on Dec. 6 from 11: 30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET.

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

  • Opening Remarks
  • Award Presentation: Award for Scholarly Achievement in the Area of Gender-Based Violence
  • Memorial and Reflection
  • Skule™ Orchestra Performance
  • Panel Discussion with Q&A
  • Closing Remarks


This memorial, led by the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, will honour the lives of women impacted by gender-based violence.

panel: Reflections on ending gender-based violence in a post-pandemic world

This event will include a panel discussion about the rise of gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, who has been disproportionately affected, and how we can integrate prevention strategies into our pandemic recovery. A Q&A will follow. 

Meet Our Panelists

Tee Duke

Assistant Director, Indigenous Initiatives, UTM Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Office

Tee Duke (she/her) is from the Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation located in Treaty 3 Territory (Northwestern Ontario) but now resides in the Ajetance Treaty 19 Territory (North Mississauga – boarder of Brampton). 

As the Assistant Director, Indigenous Initiatives with the UTM Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Office Tee is responsible for the administration, coordination, development, and implementation of Indigenous initiatives at the UTM campus and oversees the UTM Indigenous Centre’s programs and services. 

In previous roles, Tee has worked with various Indigenous community organizations in Ontario, including the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, Toronto Aboriginal Social Services Council, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, and First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. 

In working with these services, Tee developed important curricula, including Indigenous Cultural Competency Training, Touchstones for Youth Reconciliation in Child Welfare Modules and developed a culture-based program known as the Children Who Witness Violence Program (CWWV) to support Indigenous families and children impacted by violence in urban-based communities.  

Paulette Senior

President & CEO, Canadian Women’s Foundation

Paulette Senior (she/her) is President & CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. She has devoted her career to empowering women and girls to overcome barriers and reach their full potential.

Paulette started her career on the front lines of social service organizations in some of Toronto’s most underserved neighbourhoods. She saw how social resources and systemic change could transform women’s lives. Through her work and advocacy with shelters, as well as employment and housing programs, she has earned numerous awards and become one of the most respected women leaders in Canada. In 2021, she received an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Lethbridge.

Paulette joined the Foundation in 2016, after 10 years as CEO of YWCA Canada. Her work with the Foundation is guided by the vision of an inclusive, national movement toward gender equity that will strengthen all Canadians.

Selena Zhang

Undergraduate Student Leader, UTSC

Selena is a fourth-year undergraduate student from UTSC. During her second year, she was a work-study student in the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre, and contributed to the Centre’s events programming, helped organize various events including the Vigil event for National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in 2019.

She is actively involved in student-facing work around consent and sexual violence: In 2019, she participated in a campaign called ‘CheckInForConsent’ during which she had a conversation around culture and consent with another student. The conversation was captured in a video clip and later uploaded to online media platforms. Recently, she participated in a panel discussion held by the International Student Centre as one of the panelists to talk about her understanding of consent as an international student.

Coming from an East Asian background, she has her own understanding of how sexual violence might influence people from different cultural backgrounds differently, and hope we can address the issue of gender-based violence inclusively to make everyone in the community feel respected and safe.

A woman in an orange shirt with brown hair smiles.

Reenita Verma

Coordinator, Anti-Violence Initiatives, The 519

Reenita Verma (she/her) has completed a Bachelor of Arts, Honours degree in Sociology at York University and Social Service Worker diploma at George Brown College. She has over 10 years of experience doing community work and has focused on sexual health, newcomer support, facilitation and counselling. Born in Vancouver, with time spent in Montreal and now calling Toronto home, Reenita spends her free time rowing, reading and relaxing. Reenita is currently the Coordinator, Anti-Violence Initiatives. In her role at The 519, Reenita works with 2SLGBTQ+ folks who have experienced violence – supporting individuals through crisis counselling, court support, and trauma informed guidance in navigating the legal system

This event is co-hosted by the Community Safety Office, the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, Hart House, the Sexual and Gender Diversity Office, and the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre.