Our Shared Spaces logo, three circles overlappingOur Shared Spaces

Equity programming available to all McGill students

Our Shared Spaces began as an initiative put forward by a group of Floor Fellows with the goal of creating spaces for discussion around issues affecting their communities. Over the years and with the support of various community partners, the program has grown into an educational workshop series that creates spaces in which students are empowered to foster inclusive and equitable living and learning environments on campus. By holding space for respectful dialogue, Our Shared Spaces supports student development and affirms the plurality of student experiences of campus life.


Accessibility and disability 101

This workshop introduces participants to the ideas of accessibility, disability, and ableism both in our current context and throughout history. Learners will go over terminology related to these concepts, investigate their colonial and historical foundations and legacies, and contemporary examples of disability justice. Participants will apply these terms and examples alongside intersecting systems of oppression to unpack the present context and their position within it.

Learning objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the terminology surrounding accessibility, disability, and ableism
  • Recognize the historical and colonial roots of ableism
  • Reflect on our positionality within the present-day conversation

Accessible social media and events

This workshop brings participants to basic concepts of accessibility within the specific realm of social media and event planning. Learners will go over basic terminology related to accessibility, disability, and ableism, common barriers for those with disabilities, then receive practical advice and strategies towards creating more accessible, proactive programming. Participants will apply these learnings in real-time independent and mini-group breakout rooms so to practice their newfound skills. There will also be a checklist of accessibilizing mechanisms to apply in social media and event planning.

Learning objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Examine the terminology surrounding accessibility, disability, and ableism
  • Identify potential accessibility barriers in events and communications
  • Design actionable plans addressing these barriers

Applying UDL (Universal Design for Learning) to academia

This workshop offers participants ways to critically engage with and disrupt barriers to participation in academia. Learners will go over basic vocabulary related to disability, accessibility, and ableism, then will be introduced to foundational aspects of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework. They will then unpack inaccessible scenarios and apply their learnings with the lens of UDL in academic spaces to find ways to navigate them. Both the virtual and in-person learning sphere is considered in this workshop.

Learning objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and eliminate barriers to participation in academic settings
  • Define and recognize UDL and its approaches in academia
  • Optimize access to information by applying UDL to virtual and in-person communications

Being Black @ McGill

Image of 5 people - headshots

Being Black @ McGill is a five-part workshop series designed to create a safe environment where Black students at McGill can discuss their experience of race and how the institution impacts them.

Students will have the opportunity to unpack identity and socialization. They can share their narratives, while learning both about themselves, and the impact racism and discrimination can have on their mental health. Students will discuss the barriers they face and that factors that have either hindered or bolstered their experiences. Finally, they will discuss how they can create spaces of resistance and resilience for themselves.

The content development for this series was led by Khan Bouba-Dalambaye, M.A., in collaboration with Teaching and Learning Services (TLS), and Our Shared Spaces.

Workshop sessions

Workshop title GOALS Themes Date/Time
Session one: Who we sre The first session of the workshop looks to establish a sense of community between the participants and the facilitators. Both parties work together to set rules and expectations for the workshop, create a safe and comfortable environment for all, and talk about the reasons why they are in the workshop. Participants learn about the workshop, each other, and themselves.
Racial identity
Defining my blackness
How others define my blackness

Tuesday, October 19,
2-4pm EST
Session two: Roots The second session creates the space for each participant to share their life narrative with their group. The topics covered look at the participants’ life from childhood, up until their arrival at McGill university. Participants will share how their earliest memories of learning about and experiencing racism, along with the environments they grew up in, shaped who they are. The session ends with a discussion about what brought the group to McGill. Experiences
relationship with authority
Racism as trauma

Tuesday, October 26, 2-4pm EST
Session three: A story untold The third session dives into what life is like for the group, as Black students, at McGill university. The session will explore how race has affected the way in which the group exists at McGill, relative to both their feelings and perception, as well as how they are seen and treated. Participants will discuss how their time at McGill has affected them during their time at the university. The need to fit In
The importance of feeling connected and safe
do I belong?

Tuesday, November 9, 2-4pm EST
Session four: Staying afloat This session looks at the steps taken by group members to engage in self-care. Participants will be asked to talk about the availability of appropriate resources, and the lack thereof, as well as the coping strategies they use as they strive to succeed at the university. Participants will also speak about support within the Black student community, and the existence of allies against anti-black racism. What it Means to Have a Voice
Being Heard at School and In General
Who Do You Need to Listen?
Risks of Being Silenced

Tuesday, November 16, 2-4pm EST
Session five: A new day The final session focuses the attention of the group towards the future. Participants will be asked to share their views on the efforts made by the university to create an inclusive environment for the Black community at McGill, and what else they feel needs to be addressed. Effective communication
Creating change vs. Reacting
what needs to change?

Tuesday, November 23, 2-4pm EST



Khan Bouba-Dalambaye, M.A.

Khan Bouba-Dalambaye is McGill alumni, having completed both a Bachelor's and Master's degree (Counselling Psychology). He has just under a decade's worth of experience working as both a clinical counsellor, and high school guidance counsellor, here in Montreal. Khan has also recently emerged as one of the city's leading experts in the area of EDI. He is happy to be working with McGill to help design and implement the university’s Anti-Black Racism Action Plan.

Similoluwa Adenike Ayoola

Similoluwa Ayoola is a second year Master’s student in the Faculty of Law. She is currently researching legal issues concerning food security and the ongoing health and climate crises. She works as a Student Skills Assistant with the TLS at McGill.


Shaquiera Hamilton

Shaquiera Hamilton is a 4th year student studying International Development with a double minor Psychology and GSFS (Gender, Sexuality, Feminism, Social Justice). Her interests include, spending time in nature, eating good food and promoting positive representation and empowerment within her Black community. She has been facilitating student workshops for over 3 years now for multiple McGill clubs and student groups. 

Vanessa Richardson

Vanessa Richardson is a U1 undergraduate student at McGill University. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Arts degree with an Honours in Philosophy and Double Minor in Cognitive Science and Canadian Studies. Vanessa works as a Student Skills Assistant at Teaching and Learning Services. She has facilitated workshops such as Introduction to Anti-Racism, Introduction to Anti-Oppression and Fostering Inclusive Communities.





As this is a workshop series designed to foster community, and relies on shared (virtual) space and vulnerability, registration is for the complete five-part series. If you cannot commit to all five workshops at this time, beingblack [at] mcgill.ca (email us) to discuss. Additionally, if you would like to participate, but are not available on the listed dates click here to keep abreast of future programming.




For questions regarding this series or future programming, beingblack [at] mcgill.ca (send us an email. )



Post-workshop support appointments

We recognize that in the process of sharing and discovering, things may come up for participants that they will want to discuss further. To that end we have partnered with the Local Wellness Advisor for BIPOC to hold 30-minute drop-in hours for our participants. You can use this link to book a time and session based on the below availabilities: https://mcgill.ca/x/JJE

  • Friday, October 8th, 2021: 3:30 - 5:00pm
  • Friday, October 22nd, 2021: 3:30 - 5:00pm
  • Friday, October 29th, 2021: 3:30 - 5:00pm

Melissa headshotMeet your Local Wellness Advisor (LWA): 

Melissa is a bona fide 80s baby who is made up of Montréal winters, Caribbean roots, and Audre Lorde quotes. Melissa's work clinically and creatively connects to the pillars of intersectionality and narrative to support individuals in cultivating their own stories and to know, that there is "nothing to fix." Melissa identifies as a Black womxn womanist and is employed as an Access Advisor at McGill University. 



Fostering inclusive communities

What is anti-oppression? What is anti-racism? What is netiquette? How can I leverage my curiosity to create more inclusive communities? In this webinar, participants will learn about terminology related to equity-centred education. They will then use that knowledge, as well as their previous experiences, to discuss how they can help create inclusive virtual communities.

Learning objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify terminology related to anti-oppression and inclusivity
  • Reflect on how systems of oppression appear in everyday life.
  • Describe how systems of oppression manifest in a virtual context

Gender 101

This workshop serves to introduce participants to the concept of gender as a spectrum. Participants will go over terminology related to gender identity and gender expression, as well as some labels used by Queer communities to speak to their experiences. Learners will make connections between ongoing processes of intersecting oppressions, specifically colonialism, and the suppression of gender diversity. They will then apply these terms and analyses to discuss media portrayals of Queer communities and gender-related microaggressions.

Learning objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define the concepts of the spectrum of genders, gender expressions, gender identities, and supporting terminology
  • Examine the role of colonialism, racism, and other systems of oppression in constructing gender and gender roles
  • Use popular media and thinkers to support and unpack terms and concepts
  • Situate oneself in conversations and concepts of gender, both on-campus and in the world
PDF icon Participation guide: Gender 101

Intro to anti-oppression

In this workshop, participants will receive an introduction to the concept of anti-oppression. Connections will be drawn between university commitments and the goals of anti-oppression. The workshop will leverage Zoom’s interactivity to engage participants in understanding equity-centred terminology. Learners will explore how expressions of oppression manifest in policies, society, as well as on campus. They will also reflect on positionality and brainstorm how they may mobilize their privilege to make campus a better place.

Learning objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define anti-oppression and related terminology
  • Reflect on their positionality and privilege
  • Explore how oppression manifests in society
  • Investigate how power/privilege and oppression manifest in their own lives

Intro to anti-racism

This workshop will expose participants to terminology connected to race and anti-racism. Learners will be asked to reflect upon how racism affects the daily lives of everyone within its reach. Examining McGill’s policies, learners will understand some of the ways in which the institution calls its community to build inclusive spaces. The workshop advances the concept of “effective” allyship and gives space for participants to advocate for anti-racism and care on campus.

Learning objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define racism, anti-racism and related terminology
  • Reflect on racism and campus life
  • Explore actions they can take to undermine racism
PDF icon Participation guide: Intro to anti-racism

Sexuality 101

This workshop introduces participants to expansive ideas of sexuality. Participants will go over some terms that may be used to describe sexual orientation, as well as discuss the spectrum of identities and experiences in Queer communities. Facilitators will present a history of the 2SLGBTQIA+ movement in North America and key elements of media representation. Learners will then have the opportunity to make personal reflections on their experiences with sexuality and their relation to Queer communities. They will be able to take these foundational concepts and apply them to ways of fostering inclusivity for those of diverse sexualities on campus and beyond.

Learning objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define sexuality and related concepts
  • Explore the complexities of sexuality, the spectrum of identities and terminology
  • Develop an understanding of their own experiences of/with sexuality
  • Reflect on history and icons in 2SLGBTQIA+ communities
  • Discuss how to situate oneself within the campus communities


Book and pencil iconTo register to an offering, view our calendar of upcoming events here

Request a collaboration

Our Shared Spaces offers a variety of collaboration opportunities, including:

  • Offering a stand-alone or series of Private Workshops for a student-facing on-campus group,
  • Collaborating on new workshop content,
  • Consulting and offering feedback on pre-existing content,
  • Partnering for virtual or in-person tabling,
  • Cross-promoting on social media platforms

If you are interested in a collaboration or have any questions about our programming, please contact us at oursharedspaces [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Request%20a%20collaboration) , including as much detail about your inquiry as possible.



    Chat bubble icon For questions about Our Shared Spaces, please contact us at oursharedspaces [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Request%20a%20collaboration)

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    Co-Curricular Record (CCR)

    Co-curricular record icon with word "approved" written across itAs a McGill student, your participation in activities such as training workshops and volunteering are tracked on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR)! Having your co-curricular activities listed in one document can help you revise your CV or cover letter, prepare for interviews, and explore career options. Learn how to leverage this important document through myInvolvement, and make your training count!

    McGill University is on land which has served and continues to serve as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. Teaching and Learning Services acknowledges and thanks the diverse Indigenous peoples whose footsteps mark this territory on which peoples of the world now gather. This land acknowledgement is shared as a starting point to provide context for further learning and action.

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