Rita Deverell InsideThe Institute for the Study of Women (ISW) at the Mount has recently changed its name to the Institute for Women, Gender and Social Justice (IWGSJ) to reflect the contemporary realities of the Mount’s ongoing commitment to gender equality and Women’s Studies.

Dr. Rita Shelton Deverell, Nancy’s Chair in Women Studies at the Mount will be extending her term for an additional year. She has been Acting Chair of the lively committee of faculty, staff, and students creating the new Institute, and is delighted to be hosting the founding AGM.

“We have some exciting plans already for the 2011-2012 year,” says Dr. Deverell. “For International Women’s Day, we are working on a conference on “Girls” – Studies, Lives, and Issues, led by Brenda Hattie and Tanya Crawford. Also, my winter 2012 course will be unique. ‘Women, Contemporary Aboriginal Issues, and Resistance’, will bring distinguished Aboriginal scholars, artists, and activists to the Mount and the broader community.”

The newly named IWGSJ is a hub of feminist energy, action and research with an ambitious vision:  to achieve equity and improve lives, in their complexity and multiplicity, locally and globally.

The Institute will live its vision by undertaking research that coordinates, supports, and builds capacity among feminist researchers and creative artists at the Mount, other campuses, in community groups and organizations. As well, the Institute is committed to education by creating and offering programs and courses in related areas as well as providing gender perspectives in all disciplines. The Institute will actively seek to secure new partnerships, access funding, and opportunities in the areas of community development, gender, race, sexuality, class, ability and social justice. Institute Sign (new June 11)

Shown at right is the new sign that will be placed at the entrance of the Institute’s house.

“The Charter for the Atlantic Institute for the Study of Women is over 30 years old and it is obvious that significant changes have happened in the world, in Canada, in the Atlantic region and at the Mount since then,” says Dr. Deverell. “However, what remains unchanged throughout the past 30 years is the acknowledged commitment of the Mount to women, gender equity, social justice and peace.”

The first AGM for the Institute will be held Thursday, June 16 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on the first floor of the Institute’s house. This will be a celebration of the past and the future, elections for steering committee positions, as well as a discussion of upcoming events for the year.

Membership in the Institute for Women, Gender, and Social Justice is open to all Mount students, faculty and staff and to interested community members who wish to be affiliated. The Institute will be governed by a steering committee which will oversee its operations.

Please submit your interest in being a member of the new IWGSJ, your RSVP for the AGM, and/or willingness to serve on the Steering Committee by June 14, 2011 by emailing rita.deverell@msvu.ca.