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Past Dine & Discourse Sessions

Microaggressions in Everyday Society with Dr. Sue

Dr. Denise O'Neil Green and Dr. Derald Wing Sue addressing the audience at a Dine and Discourse lecture on microaggressions

On February 3, 2015, Dr. Derald Wing Sue joined  the OVPECI for an interactive conversation about best practices and strategies for disrupting microaggressions in postsecondary education and society.

What are microaggressions?

Microaggressions (external link)  are "the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership."

You probably hear some of these common racial microaggressions (external link)  and LGBTQ microaggressions (external link)  on a regular basis.

About Dr. Sue

Dr. Sue is Professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University. He is one of the foremost authorities and scholars in the areas of microaggressions, multicultural counselling and psychotherapy, psychology of racism and antiracism, cultural diversity, cultural competence and multicultural organizational development.

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Unpacking the Great White North: An overdue conversation on whiteness and privilege in the academy with Dr. Darren Lund

Dr. Darren Lund and Dr. Denise O'Neil Green at a Dine and Discourse lecture on whiteness and privilege in the academy

On November 9, 2018, Dr. Darren Lund joined the Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion (OVPECI) for an interactive conversation about whiteness and privilege. 

Following the discussion, Dr. Lund led a workshop where participants discussed whiteness, white privilege and white supremacy in a Canadian context. He guided participants through a discussion about how some people operate in privilege and how we must all continue to disrupt dominant narratives in order to build a more inclusive community at TMU.


About Dr. Lund 

Dr. Lund is a Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. He is an expert on equity and human rights issues, in particular the area of white privilege in a Canadian context. He is a regular keynote speaker and has presented at over 350 meetings and conferences.

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Trans Awareness: In the classroom, boardroom and beyond

Trans activists and scholars at the Dine and Discourse lecture on trans awareness

On November 7, 2016, OVPECI hosted an interactive panel discussion that explored practical ways that we can improve the inclusion of trans people on the TMU campus.

The conversation went beyond the discourse of which washroom an individual uses to a more holistic discussion of trans awareness and inclusion. Our goal was to increase the understanding of how to avoid pathologizing, discounting or stigmatizing the experiences of trans people.


Participants discussed important topics related to trans inclusion, including:

  • the under-representation of trans people on our campus
  • the lack of trans representation and voices in the classroom and curriculum
  • the need for gender/queer studies programs in post-secondary institutions
  • the need for better services and appropriate accommodations

This event also explored how to make our environment safer for trans students by respecting and supporting their rights to:

  • be comfortable in the classroom and university at large
  • dress as they wish
  • use pronouns of their choice
  • not feel that they have to continually be the voice of the entire trans community, rather than individuals in their own right


  • Dr. Corinne Hart | Associate Professor, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Faculty of Community Services


  • Dr. Carys Massarella | Assistant Clinical Professor, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, McMaster University
  • Rupert Raj | Retired psychotherapist, gender specialist and trans activist with a longstanding history of trans advocacy across Canada and the USA
  • Marty Fink | Assistant Professor, School of Professional Communication, Toronto Metropolitan University with a focus on trans access, decolonization, #BlackLivesMatter and fat positivity

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The Truth and Reconciliation report and Calls to Action: What does this mean for TMU?

Four panellists at a Dine and Discourse event on Truth and Reconciliation at TMU

On March 24, 2016, OVPECI hosted an interactive discussion on how the TRC report intersects with TMU’s Academic Plan.

The closing chapter of the  (PDF file) Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) report (external link)  states: “Reconciliation calls for personal action” (p. 316). Time and again the commissioners have emphasized the calls to action in the report are for all Canadians. It is everyone’s shared responsibility to become familiar with, understand, and personally work to address these calls to action. 

Panellists guided participants through the report’s calls to action, especially those targeted at post-secondary institutions, and identified opportunities to respond collectively and individually. The aim was to build participant awareness and understanding of the report and how to make meaningful contributions.


This event met the Indigenous Education Council’s goals to develop a new relationship of truth and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people at TMU and in the community at large, based on knowledge and respect.


  • Dr. Cyndy Baskin | Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Faculty of Community Services


  • Dr. Janet Smylie | Associate Professor of Epidemiology, University of Toronto and Research Scientist, St. Michael's Hospital
  • Kim Murray | Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Indigenous Justice Division, Ministry of the Attorney General
  • Andrea Chrisjohn | Executive Director, Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre

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Who’s Policing the Police: Lessons from the trenches with Dr. Alok Mukherjee

Dr. Alok Mukherjee and Dr. Denise O'Neil Green at the Dine and Discourse lecture on police accountability

On November 30, 2015, Distinguished Visiting Professor Dr. Alok Mukherjee joined the OVPECI for a conversation about issues related to governance and risk management, program failures, email controversies and the need for empathy in leadership.

This event was one of Dr. Mukherjee’s first public addresses after stepping down as chair of the Toronto Police Services Board. He provided valuable insight into the strategic ways that he navigated political spaces that could have destroyed his neutrality as an advocate for human rights and the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion.

About Dr. Mukherjee

Dr. Mukherjee immigrated from India to Canada in 1971 and has been an influencer in academic and political spheres with specific interests in human rights and race relations. From 1992 to 1994 he was vice chair and acting chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. He has continued to work across Canada as a consultant on issues relating to human rights, equity and organizational change. 

From 2005 to 2015, Dr. Mukherjee was Chair of the Toronto Police Service Board, where issues pertaining to municipal policing, public safety and human rights were researched and discussed among stakeholders in government and politics. 

He began his academic career at Toronto Metropolitan University in 1994 and held a long-standing role as a humanities course director at York University. In 2015, after stepping down as Chair of the Toronto Police Service Board, he was appointed a distinguished visiting professor with TMU’s Office of the Assistant Vice-President/Vice-Provost, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and the Department of Criminology in the Faculty of Arts.

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Exploring Intergroup Dialogue: Starting sustained, intentional conversations at TMU with Dr. Adrienne Dessel and Noor Ali

Noor Ali and Adrienne Dessel addressing the audience at a Dine and Discourse lecture on exploring intergroup dialogue

On April 9, 2015, Dr. Adrienne Dessel (University of Michigan) and Noor Ali (Northwestern University) led an interactive lecture and working lunch on an Arab-Jewish intergroup dialogue that examined the Israel/Palestine conflict. 

Dr. Dessel and Ali guided participants through how this work has addressed social conflict, improved communication and built relationships on campuses.

What is intergroup dialogue? 

Intergroup dialogue promotes face-to-face, interactive and facilitated learning experiences that bring together two or more social identity groups over a period of time. Participants are able to:

  • explore commonalities and differences;
  • examine the nature and impact of discrimination, power and privilege;
  • find ways of working together toward greater inclusion, equity, equality and social justice

Why discuss intergroup dialogues at Toronto Metropolitan University?

Intergroup dialogue is increasingly used on campuses to create engagement across cultural, social and religious divides.

A closer examination of the pedagogy and strategic communication practices will demonstrate how intergroup dialogue can support educational efforts with an equity, diversity and inclusion focus at TMU.