Inclusive Education & Programming

Education, Training, and Presentations

Diversity and Human Rights Services is excited to offer the following upcoming workshops, training, and other learning opportunities.

We make every effort to design learning experiences that meet participant objectives. To discuss learning needs, or to find out how Diversity & Human Rights Services can create customized training to meet your group or department’s unique needs, please contact our Inclusive Education & Programming Coordinator, Rosalee Averin at 403.440.5520 or at

Unless noted otherwise, workshops are free, but participants must register at least 1 day in advance.

Social Justice 101 delves into the action piece of gaining awareness about the world we live in, and how systems and institutions operate differently for marginalized and privileged identities. We will learn about power, privilege, and their resultant oppression, which are key terms and concepts that contribute to a more nuanced understanding of how we relate to one another and our complex intersectional identities.

 We will speak about what these three terms look like realized at MRU and the greater Calgary community, and discuss together about how best to take action by using the privilege we have to recenter marginalized people, redistribute our power, and combat institutional oppression.

This is an interactive workshop and relies upon thoughtful, respectful, and mindful participation to create a safer space for everyone to share knowledge and insight.

Social Justice 101: Power, Privilege, and Oppression is the pre-requisite for a number of other workshops offered by Diversity and Human Rights. Please read the descriptions of other workshops carefully for their pre-requisite information!
This opportunity is the next step if you have taken the Positive Space Initiative’s Safe Space training in the past. Offering a deeper look at many of the concepts introduced in the first level of Safe Space training, this workshop focuses on Trans* identities, LGBT*2Q*I*A* intersectionalities, understanding poly relationships, and the making of great allyship.

Open to the entire MRU community.

Kimberlé Crenshawe coined the term ‘intersectionality’ in 1989 from a Black feminist legal and sociological standpoint and the term has gained momentum, now broadly referring to the intersection of multiple aspects of social and individual identities. It also signifies the patterns of oppression that each of these identities carries. Examples of such identities include race, gender, class, ability, sexuality, age, skin colour, ethnicity, and culture. In this workshop we will delve into definitions of intersectionality and its origins, as well as related vocabulary such as systemic oppression, interpellation, multiple marginalized identities, intersectional systemic oppression, etc. All of this in an effort to understand how viewing the world with an intersectional lens adds nuance and depth to our understanding of interpersonal relationships and larger political and social systems.

The theory-in-practice of intersectionality gives us the space and vocabulary to embrace our differences while forging strong communities of marginalized and privileged peoples dedicated to combatting systemic oppression from all of our nuanced identities.

Pre-requisite: Social Justice 101: Power, Privilege, and Oppression

Open to the entire MRU community.

Microaggressions are the brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial, gender, sexual orientation, and religious slights and insults to the target person or group. (Sue, Capodilupo, et al., 2007).

Racism, heterosexism, gender discrimination, ableism, classism, and all other ‘isms’ are constantly in flux as society changes and social identity expression transforms. Direct verbal and physical abuse, use of epithets, and other methods of overt discrimination have lessened as time goes on, and yet the discrimination experienced by marginalized groups is often the most frustrating and difficult to address when performed without awareness and with the best of intentions.
In this workshop we will discuss every day, subtle, often invisible forms of oppression—the kinds of oppression that can easily go unnoticed even though they are pervasive, hurtful, and taxing. We will explore how oppressive practices can be enacted subconsciously without negative intent, and how each of us likely engages in these microaggressions on a regular basis. This workshop will teach participants how to recognize the different forms of microaggressions in oneself and in others, and how to address and combat their presence at MRU and beyond.

Open to the entire MRU community.
A space for students of colour who do not find themselves represented in our faculty/staff and who do not have established centers/spaces on campus dedicated to their well-being (and who also live in Calgary). There are few (though those that exist are great!) in-class spaces for students to vent/talk about, and just be a person of colour who is racialized on a daily basis. We are slowly helping to build up a community of mutual understanding, mentorship, and solidarity among students, and offering a space and time is a first step, alongside bringing together all of us - faculty, staff, and student leadership, as a support structure.

Encourage any students you know who might benefit from being in community and solidarity for a couple of hours each month.
In an effort to foster safe spaces for the LGBT+ identified community on campus, the Positive Space Initiative has developed a Safe Space Training workshop. This workshop will train you about topics related to LGBT+ identity, how to make your office, classroom and work areas a safe space, and about what it means to be an ally.


Workshop disclaimer:

Thank you for your interest in Diversity and Human Rights Services Workshops and Trainings at MRU! Prior to your attendance we would like to highlight the type of discussion-based learning space that Diversity and Human Rights would like to create and foster for these opportunities. Given that much of the information covered throughout these workshops is of a sensitive, challenging, and often controversial nature, ensuring that all parties are respected, heard, and included is key.

Keystones of the workshops and trainings will be:

  • The creation of a safe, respectful learning environment, which involves self-awareness not only of speech content, but tone, body language, and other non-verbal responses.
  • Maintaining the goal of deepened understanding, which does not necessitate agreement or consensus.
  • Encouraging self-reflection, self-critique, and self-awareness.
  • Each person participating to their fullest ability.
  • Encouraging participation of MRU community members of a variety of identities, academic disciplines, socio-cultural backgrounds, and social justice communities.
  • Active listening, i.e., respecting others' thoughts, opinions, and convictions, and demonstrating that others’ comments and concerns have been heard.
  • Creating an environment in which debate, disagreement, and discomfort are not only welcomed, but enacted safely and respectfully resulting in learning opportunities for all.