3 ways to create transformative change

A diverse group of people holding onto each other in support
Dr. Pamela Sugiman, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Ryerson University
This month, guest blogger Dr. Pamela Sugiman, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Ryerson University, shares some insight on how we can all create transformative change in our lives. Dr. Sugiman’s commitment to social justice, equity and inclusion is rooted in her personal history and has profoundly shaped her scholarly pursuits. As Dean of Arts, she has promoted the development of Indigenous education, democratic engagement, migration and immigration and student engagement and student-worker experience. Dean Sugiman is currently a member of the Board of Directors of The Atkinson Foundation and Pathways to Education Canada. She has also served as President of the Canadian Sociological Association.

Every day, progressive global citizens are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of building a more equitable world. From the recent reawakening of anti-racism movements to the Land Back movement to a heightened attentiveness to organizational values and accountability, social justice is at the forefront of public and professional dialogue. We need to understand these shifting societal patterns in order to have a positive impact — as citizens and voters, as leaders and workers, as individuals and members of communities — today and in the long term. We must continually educate ourselves and others, so we are equipped to ask crucial questions and make informed choices.

In the Faculty of Arts, we have embedded an evolving social justice lens into our thinking, programs, research and public engagement. We are widely recognized for developing and inspiring active and critical minds, minds that drive transformative change. We bring an expansive and inclusive perspective to every aspect of our work and we are proud to share some resources with you. Here are 3 ways that can help you to stay informed and engaged:

  1. Join our upcoming National Forum on Anti-Asian Racism

    At a time when anti-Asian racism is growing, we are stepping up. On November 9 and 10, 2021, the Faculty of Arts is hosting the National Forum on Anti-Asian Racism: Building Solidarities. Open to all members of the community, the Forum will bring together members of post-secondary communities across Canada for a timely and honest dialogue about anti-Asian and other forms of racism in Canada’s university sector. Join us for a range of virtual sessions that will deepen our collective understanding of the subtle and overt ways in which systemic racism shapes higher education in this country – and identify strategies for change.

  2. Follow the Yellowhead Institute for critical policy perspectives in support of First Nations jurisdiction

    For many people, the “discovery” of thousands of unmarked children’s graves at former residential schools was shocking, revealing just how little people in Canada know about Indigenous peoples, their histories and the policies that continue to touch their lives today. The Yellowhead Institute is a First Nation-led research centre based in the Faculty of Arts. The Institute focuses on policies related to land and governance, privileging Indigenous philosophy and rooted in community networks. It aims to foster education and dialogue on First Nation governance and produces influential papers and reports to deepen understanding on pressing issues.

  3. Get connected with the Democratic Engagement Exchange

    The pandemic has been a powerful reminder of how deeply government actions can impact our lives — and how much voting matters. The Democratic Engagement Exchange in the Faculty of Arts works to build a vibrant and inclusive democracy where everyone living in Canada can participate in the electoral process. The Exchange helps to foster and support democratic engagement by championing policies and programs, providing strategic advice and training, and collaborating with community partners. These activities include our trademark public-facing series, “Democracy Dialogues.”


As Dean of Arts, Dr. Pamela Sugiman has promoted the development of Indigenous education, democratic engagement, migration and immigration and student engagement and student-worker experience. Dean Sugiman is currently a member of the Board of Directors of The Atkinson Foundation and Pathways to Education Canada. She has also served as President of the Canadian Sociological Association.

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