The Centre for Gender & Social Justice (CGSJ) was once the Trent Women’s Centre; an organization that provided a woman-centric, often women’s-only, space for women-identified Trent students and community members.
A site for community building and collective resistance, the Centre was a hub of women’s advocacy.
From direct action initiatives, campaigns focused around women’s health, women’s open mics and so much more, the Trent Women’s Centre, like other Women’s Centres emerging out of universities at the time, in tandem with Women’s Studies as a discipline, offered much needed space for women in the academy and the broader community.
And as the women-centric nature of feminist politics have shifted (evidenced by even Trent University’s own Women’s Studies department’s recent re-branding as Gender & Women’s Studies) so too have university/campus-based women’s centres.
As the scope of feminisms broadened to capture crossroads or intersections of identities, experiences, and marginalizations, the names, mandates, policies, practices, and programming at these centres did too.
In response to recommendations informed by a needs assessment and political climate analysis completed in 2008 (as well as emergent understandings of the ways in which mainstream feminism and by extension bodies like the Trent Women’s Centre were complicit in the ongoing exclusion of those who didn’t fit within a dominant understanding of white, heterosexual, able bodied, cis gendered womanhood, and in a spirit of transformation, accountability and restorative justice) the Trent Women’s Centre was renamed and revamped as the Centre for Gender & Social Justice (CGSJ) in Spring 2009.
Working with the three pillars of Community Building, Cultural Production, and Capacity Building the CGSJ continues to be a hub of gender justice advocacy, education and FUN.
We approach feminisms and gender justice work through an equity approach that recognizes the need to account for and accommodate on the basis of historical and ongoing oppression that most commonly takes form in a lack of access.
Therefore, the CGSJ seeks to prioritize the knowledges, voices, bodies, and needs of Indigenous Women, Women of Colour, Women with disabilities, Trans* folk and others marginalized on the basis of gender and/or sexuality, survivors of sexual violence, and those working in support of all of these communities.
Come check us out at Clubs & Groups day to find out more about how to get involved!
Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/C4GSJ