On Friday, December 4, 2020, the Alexa McDonough Institute for Women, Gender and Social Justice (AMI) at Mount Saint Vincent University will host a commemorative service to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (December 6 each year).

The event will take place online from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Advance registration is required in order to access the event link: https://nationaldayofremembrance.eventbrite.ca/. All are welcome.

“To pay tribute to the victims of the Montreal Massacre, our purpose is to remember, reflect and recommit ourselves to change,” says Dr. KelleyAnne Malinen, Assistant Professor in Sociology/Anthropology at MSVU and AMI Chair. “Gender-based violence is a global issue of devastating proportion and one that requires our collective response. During times of crisis – as we’re experiencing now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic – such forms of violence are even more prevalent.”

Established in 1991 by the Government of Canada, this annual tribute began after 14 women were tragically killed at l’École Polytechnique in Montréal on December 6, 1989. The Day of Remembrance falls in the middle of the worldwide 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, which runs from November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, International Human Rights Day.

Keynote: Jenny Wright, MSW, RSW, is an activist, counsellor and educator.

During the commemorative ceremony, gender-based violence specialist Jenny Wright will talk about “Confronting Misogyny – From the December 6th Massacre to the Nova Scotia Shooting.

Notes Jenny, “The men who commit mass shootings are often portrayed in the mainstream media as lone wolves, acting on their own, or as mentally ill. These dominant narratives hide an uncomfortable truth: that the common igniter for these men is a deep-seated hatred of women; a hatred that finds both fuel and oxygen in our patriarchal and misogynist society. The lone wolf and the mentally ill narratives offer us a disquieting comfort as they focus our gaze on the ‘other,’ the character and plot lines of the villain, whose trajectory we conveniently accept as beyond our control, rather than on the environment or context of the narrative itself, our society, of which we are all contributors.”

Jenny’s talk will address how and why misogyny exists and operates in our society and how we are complicit in high levels of violence against women in Canada. “From the Montreal massacre to the Nova Scotia shooting, our gaze must be on misogyny and its eradication. This must be the foundation of all our anti-violence work, research and activism,” she says.

Jenny is the co-founder of The Landing Services and an expert panelist with the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Accountability and Justice. For more than twenty years, she has worked in social justice across Canada and in New Zealand, with a specific focus on gender and justice. As a specialist on gender-based violence, Jenny has worked with homeless, Indigenous and sex working women. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Memorial University. @jenewright

About the Alexa McDonough Institute
The Alexa McDonough Institute for Women, Gender, and Social Justice aims to achieve equity and improve lives through feminist initiatives that extend knowledge and understanding of issues related to women, girls, gender, and social justice for the Mount Saint Vincent University community and beyond.