Events at McMaster: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

A red dress on a hanger hangs from a tree on campus.

On Dec. 6, the McMaster community remembers and honours the victims of the 1989 Montreal Massacre, as well as the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Across Canada, Dec. 6 is observed as a day of mourning and remembrance of the victims of the 1989 Montreal massacre, when a gunman killed 14 female engineering students and staff at Polytechnique Montréal (formerly École Polytechnique).

It is also a day to commemorate the thousands of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, as well as members of the McMaster community and those around the world who have been harmed by gender-based violence.

It’s also a time to demonstrate a commitment to action against gender-based violence.

There are several opportunities at McMaster to learn, engage and show solidarity, organized by a committee of students, faculty and staff:

Information booths | Dec. 4 (JHE Lobby) & Dec. 5 (MUSC) | 12-1:30 p.m.

Stop by an information booth on campus for resources and supports related to gender-based violence, pick up a white ribbon and moose hide, create a care package for a local women’s shelter, and more.

Fire and tobacco offering | Dec. 6 (ISS) | 9-4:30pm

A fire and tobacco offering will be available from 9-4:30pm in the Indigenous Student Services outdoor space (outside of LRW 1811)

Panel discussion: Conversation for Change | Dec. 6 in LR Wilson Hall | 12-1:30 p.m.

A lunchtime panel will bring together students, staff and faculty for a conversation with three McMaster-affiliated women who are committed to tackling gender-based violence and making space for change.

Maddie Brockbank (she/her), PhD Candidate and Vanier Scholar in the School of Social Work

Brockbank is a PhD Candidate and Vanier Scholar in the School of Social Work at McMaster University. She earned her Bachelor of Social Work (2019) and Master of Social Work (2020) from McMaster. Brockbank’s research, experience and community organizing initiatives have been in the area of anti-violence work with men, specifically in exploring the links between sexual violence prevention, masculinities, anti-carceral feminisms, and engaging men in primary prevention efforts. Additionally, she has research experience in the areas of houselessness, disability, social systems, curriculum development, and creating safety for marginalized students in university pedagogy. Brockbank is currently the manager of Gender-Based Violence Prevention at Interval House of Hamilton in their MentorAction Program. She has been recognized for her academic excellence and community leadership with the YWCA Hamilton Young Woman of Distinction Award, the President’s Award for Excellence in Student Leadership, a Ticats Hamilton Hero award, the EMPOWER Strategy Women Who Rock award, and a Mary Keyes Award for Outstanding Service and Leadership.

Kim Jones, Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering, and Chair, Ontario Network of Women in Engineering

Jones is the chair of the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering, which drives and coordinates province-wide efforts to recruit a diverse population into the study of engineering. She is an associate professor of chemical engineering at McMaster University, where she has done research into the body’s response to implanted biomaterials and now investigates issues of inclusion in engineering. Jones has served as the Engineering Leadership Fellow (focusing on inclusion), the chair of the Women in Engineering Committee, associate chair (Undergraduate) of chemical engineering, the Hamilton-Halton Engineer of the Year, and is an Engineers Canada 30×30 Champion. She has been a feminist since birth and enthusiastically drives outreach, equity and inclusion efforts.

Sarah Woods (she/her), Level IV Chemical Engineering & Management student

Woods is serving as Co-president on McMaster’s Women in Engineering Society (WIE). She has been a member of the society’s executive team since her first year and has previously held numerous positions on the society. This past summer, Woods worked alongside Andrea Hemmerich and three other co-designers to create an Engineering Inclusivity by Design workshop focused on equity-based design principles. This workshop was hosted for incoming master’s students in the W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology. Woods is passionate about creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for women-identifying students in the Faculty of Engineering thought WIE’s events, initiatives, and resources.

Moderated by: Angela Lewis, Mechanical Engineering and Management student, EDI Resource Coordinator for the McMaster Women in Engineering Society

Register for this free event. Lunch is provided.

Memorial Walk | Dec. 6 starting at L.R. Wilson Hall | 1:30 p.m.

Following the Conversation for Change panel discussion, a memorial walk will convene, starting at L.R. Wilson Hall and moving through memorial sites on campus. This community walk of remembrance is an opportunity to show solidarity and allyship for all the women and trans folks impacted by gender-based violence.

A rose will be placed at each memorial site and a words will be shared. Each stop concludes with a moment of silence.

REDress Project   

Red dresses will be displayed across campus as part of the committee’s commemoration of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

The REDress project, an installation by Winnipeg-based artist Jaime Black, started in 2010. Originally placed in downtown Winnipeg, red dresses have since been displayed in installations across the country as a way of drawing attention to the ongoing crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.