August 11, 2022 The Honorable Madam Sabine Sparwasser The Honorable Madam Emily Haber German Ambassador…
Dear Colleagues and Students,
We are writing to you today as the Board of Directors of German Studies Canada / Études Allemandes Canada to express our outrage and grief over the violent and hateful attack in a University of Waterloo gender studies classroom on Wednesday, June 28. We condemn all forms of gender and sexual-based violence, harassment, and discrimination. Our hearts go out to the victims of the attack and all those affected in the Waterloo community.
The attack is yet another result of the persistent and increasing polarization around us to which the education system in Canada, including post-secondaries, is not immune. This polarization breeds and sanctions hate and dehumanization, particularly toward trans, queer, gender non-conforming individuals, and other members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, especially those who also identify as Indigenous, Black, and/or disabled. We, the Board of Directors, are committed to meeting this increase head on by offering opportunities for continued education and advocacy, exploring just pedagogies and brave inquiry, and importantly fostering moments of connection and care.
So many of German Studies Canada members teach and research in topics related to gender identity and expression, sexual diversity, Indigeneity, race and ethnicity, critical disability, and other allied fields, and many are cross appointed in departments of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. In a time when the notion of academic freedom is often falsely deployed to suppress teaching and research related to equity and justice in many national and international contexts, this work could never be more urgent. We stand with our colleagues in the association for Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes in calling for solidarities and coalition building across disciplines, institutions, and geopolitical borders.