From Performative to Transformative Allyship in the Academy: A Critical Conversation


Join us for a thought-provoking, conversational panel discussion as we delve into the complexities of allyship in academia. Since equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigeneity (EDII) have become de rigueur in academia, we have seen diverse manifestations of EDII practices ranging from authentic support to performative allyship. It is imperative that we understand how to distinguish surface-level efforts from genuine attempts to redress systemic inequities and practices. Some of us identify with equity deserving groups; some of us identify as allies; some of us have adopted a neutral stance. Regardless of our position, we are all being asked to uphold and often prove our allegiance to EDII standards in our research, our teaching, and our service.

This critical panel conversation will explore the multifaceted dimensions of allyship -performative and authentic- and the related implications as well as manifestations within the realms of research, teaching and service within academia. To start the conversation, our panelists – two Indigenous scholars and two ally scholars - will share real-life case examples that shed light on both performative allyship pitfalls and successful strategies to make meaningful contributions to the changing academic landscape. Through these narratives, attendees will gain actionable insights to navigate similar challenges.

The panelists will engage in a candid discussion about how to identify, avoid, and address performative behaviours, and what are appropriate roles and responsibilities of diverse academic community members in engaging in authentic EDII practices, particularly when power imbalances are involved. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of a vital conversation that has the power to shape the future of academia.

Our discussion will be informed by the unique perspectives of four panelists including:

Dr. Brittany Wenniseríostha Jock who is Kanyen’kehá:ka (Mohawk) brings the perspective of an early career academic working in the field of nutrition, food security and Indigenous health promotion.

Dr. Lucie Lévesque who is of mixed French-Canadian and Irish ancestry brings the perspective of a senior academic working in the field of implementation science, health promotion and physical activity.

Brittany McBeath who is of mixed Kanyen’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and Scottish ancestry brings the perspective of a graduate student trainee working in the field of Indigenous health promotion, cultural safety and community mobilization for chronic disease prevention.

Colin Baillie who is of mixed English, Scottish, and Romanian ancestry brings the perspective of a graduate student trainee working in the field of health promotion and research ethics.