Education

Ryerson University To Host ‘White Privilege Conference’ Following Cancellation Of Free Speech Event

Canada’s Ryerson University, which canceled a panel on free speech by psychology professor Jordan Peterson following complaints from social justice activists, is slated to host “The White Privilege Conference.”

The university announced this week that it plans to host the conference on May 9 to 12, inviting academics to participate in discussions revolving around “white privilege and oppression in Canada (and beyond),” according to the event page.

“Each day of the conference features keynote presentations from inspiring leading experts as well as a series of workshops, presentations and plenary sessions for you to choose from,” the university states. “We give you the tools to examine challenging concepts of privilege and oppression and offer solutions and team building strategies to work toward a more equitable world.”

Among the conference speakers invited to provide lectures is Rinaldo Walcott, an associate professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the director of Women and Gender Studies Institute.

Walcott attained some measure of notoriety after he falsely accused Lindsay Shepherd of racism in December. Shepherd is the teaching assistant at Wilfrid Laurier University who was berated by a trio of professors for presenting a video of a Jordan Peterson debate to her class.

Speaking on the Canadian program “The Agenda,” Walcott called for limiting free speech.

Facing pushback from social justice activists, Ryerson previously canceled a panel discussion that was set for last August called “The Stifling of Free Speech on University Campuses” featuring Peterson, behavioral scientist Gad Saad, and conservative journalist Faith Goldy. The College Fix reported that opposition to the event came from a counter-protest called “No Fascists in Our City!”

Activists argued that the event gave a platform to “fascists”—a term they use to describe Peterson for his refusal to use made-up pronouns like “ze” and “xir.” The University of Toronto professor has repeatedly stated that he would not object to addressing transgender people by traditional pronouns of their choice.

Peterson is currently making the rounds in the media following a debate against Channel 4 presenter Cathy Newman.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.