Mobilizing McGill at the Library: Crowdsourcing Social Justice

Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability. – United Nations, World Day of Social Justice website

Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, 2016

Did you know that 91% of worldwide Wikipedia editors are male? That only 17% of Wikipedia biographies are about women? Let’s change that at the Wikipedia Edit-a-thon for Gender Equality on Feb. 20. Photo of the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, March 2016. Credit: Lauren Goldman

At its core, the “Library” is directly connected to the tenets outlined in the above quote. It’s a place where people can have access to resources and services in an equitable way. Privacy, confidentiality, and intellectual freedom is upheld. Censorship is fought against. In many ways, libraries play a key role in empowering their communities in knowledge building and sharing, so it should come as no surprise that librarians here at McGill Library are mobilizing the campus community in order to make change.

Call for action

On February 20th, United Nations World Day for Social Justice, librarians Michael Groenendyk, Marcela Isuster, and Emily Kingsland in collaboration with the Office for Students with Disabilities invite you to help break down barriers to information in different ways. The full day event at the Humanities and Social Sciences Library gives participants the opportunity to learn more about a specific topic related to human rights (i.e. universal design, gender equity, LGBTQ+ issues, etc.), research techniques, open data, and digital platforms (i.e. Scalar, Wikipedia, ArcGIS Online) while adding reliable information to the internet for all to access through crowdsourcing.

During the Quebec Healthcare Access Map-a-thon, participants will learn how public data sources can be used with mapping software (ArcGIS Online) to visualize issues related to health accessibility.

Marcela elaborates, “We have been working with many of these tools for a long time and had been discussing their value as storytelling devices. When we heard about United Nations’ World Day of Social Justice we felt it was a great way to show the McGill community the power these tools can have beyond the academic world. It also aligns with our belief that the library has a pivotal role in fostering and promoting inclusion and social justice. We are very lucky to have access to all this information and technology and what better way to give back and be engaged citizens than by using our access to promote access for all?”

Crowdsourcing Social Justice | Tuesday, February 20 | 10am to 5:30pm| Humanities & Social Sciences Library | Redpath Library Building, Main Floor | Research Commons, Rm A | The event is open to the McGill students, faculty, staff and alumni.

For more information or to register for sessions, click here.


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