VIU’s Global Citizens Week Shines a Light on Justice Issues

Global Citizens Week

Global Citizens Week returns to VIU from February 7 to 11.
Photo: Vancouver Island University.

January 31, 2022 - 2:00pm

This year’s event includes visiting speakers, a film festival and reggae symposium.

A campus-wide, community event with a global focus is once again returning to Vancouver Island University (VIU).

Global Citizens Week takes place from February 7 to 11 this year and features a variety of campus and community events, visiting speakers and virtual classroom dialogues centred around the theme of justice.

“Global Citizens Week takes its cue from what’s happening in the world,” says Darrell Harvey, VIU’s Manager of Global Engagement. “Over the last couple of years, the news has been dominated by issues of justice, from racial justice and policing to the historical injustices perpetuated on indigenous people to current debates around climate justice. There seems to be this stream of justice-related issues coming to the forefront and that’s why we felt it was critical that we tackle these conversations in a frank and open way.”

After last year’s event went completely virtual due to the pandemic, Harvey says this year will be a hybrid of in-person and virtual events, and as a result, “anyone can join from anywhere.”

Premier events this year include the Engaged Citizens Speaker Series: “Re-imagining a New Way Forward With Intention.” Visiting guest speaker Sheila Watt-Cloutier, one of the most influential Indigenous environmental, cultural and human rights advocates in the world, will expand upon her own experiences and personal stories to put a cultural face and human voice on climate change and talk about meaningful actions. The event will be held via Zoom webinar and registration is required.

Global Citizens Week will also host the Urban Issues Film Festival: Indigenous Voices on Climate Change. While this year marks the 15th year of the festival, it is the first time it has been hosted as part of the week. This year’s festival will explore urban innovations and creative solutions happening around the globe, with a focus on Indigenous voices on climate change. Panelists Joan Brown, CAO of the Snuneymuxw First Nation and Scott Saywell, Superintendent of School District 68, will speak about their deep, ongoing relationship walking hand in hand to foster an honouring of land in all of the school district’s activities.

Rounding out the extensive list of activities is the annual All Nations Reggae Symposium featuring Caleb Hart, a mainstay of the BC reggae scene; Jônelle, a singer-songwriter originally from Flower City, Ontario, but who now calls Vancouver home; Richard Brown, a veteran reggae drummer and a staple in the Vancouver music community; and The Spirtual Warriors, formerly known as Kalan Wi, and led by father-daughter duo Leroy and Daisy Joe, from Lil’wat Nation near Mount Currie, BC.   The symposium will include lunch-time performances, a panel discussion and a special edition of Culture Couch, all exploring the different ways in which reggae has become a worldwide movement of cultural resurgence and resistance.

“Global Citizens Week focuses on celebrating change-makers in the community,” says Harvey. “We take a big-tent theme that involves a lot of different disciplines, and each one can then take it in their own direction.” 

A full schedule of the week’s events is available on the Global Citizens Week website.



Eric Zimmer, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.618.7296 |

Tags: Global Citizens Week | Teaching and Learning

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