Planting new approaches to knowledge
The Decolonial Perspectives & Practices Hub is a student-led initiative to provide a platform for the community to collaborate and develop meaningful solutions to the systemic issues faced by underserved groups in academia. Our mission is to advance knowledge and understanding of these issues and provide a space to engage in research and learning that is open to all. Engaging with our resources will not result in decolonizing education. Our goal is to be a site for the exchange and brainstorming on incorporating anticolonial and decolonizing resources into the classroom, the workplace, and one's worldview. Decolonization is a historical and global movement for sovereignty from settler colonial domination and extractive colonial practices. In this way, we present decolonizing education as an aspiration, an ethic and action-oriented politic that requires small and large collaborative efforts related to teaching and learning, land-back, reparations, global thinking, community care and more. We celebrate and are humbled by the work of our local and global Indigenous colleagues, students, faculty and collaborators who lead active land-based educational work, research and advocacy. We stand together to push forward decolonial futures.
Areas of Focus
Our work seeks to reform exclusionary practices in the classroom. We target colonial patterns in the syllabus, within the student and professor relationship and those in learning spaces.
We target the syllabi as a site to change what and how we learn—finding ways to diversify the eurocentric traditions by incorporating the lands, new grading systems, marginalized scholarship and student leadership into the curriculum.
We bring awareness to the power dynamic between faculty and students to foster collaboration and greater cultural sensitivity. We encourage faculty to self-reflect on their biases and for students to self-reflect on their inherent knowledge as an asset to the learning process.
The Learning Environment
To make the classroom a safer space, we draw from Indigenous and African values for structuring the classroom. We promote non-hierarchal seating structures, active and empathetic listening, self-directed participation, storytelling, culturally-rooted learning and sensitive language.
A few graduate students at Concordia University in Montreal, sought space to center marginalized knowledge and explore decolonizing education to lessen their isolation as students of colour.
The event's multidisciplinary, cross-departmental, and cross-university turnout illuminated a shared sentiment for a mobile space to grow as critically conscious scholars and social actors.
Structured using decolonial principles of organization, the HUB operates with an evolving team of students in collaboration with cross-disciplinary professors and community members that make up the network.
Hub Student Contributors
The HUB proudly values and demonstrates the impact of student leadership. The projects and research have been made possible through the efforts of student contributors from 2019 to 2023. Through collaboration and coalition building, the HUB has uniquely prioritized students' lived experiences, primarily from underserved communities providing agency to those most impacted by research and education initiatives.
Additional thanks to the following student contributors
Meron Asefa, Samia Dumais, Chesline Pierre-Paul, Connie Phung, Hone Mandefro, Tallie Segel, Angy Cohen, Felicia Da Conceicao, Fariba Almasi