Workshops / Events

Below, you will find descriptions and photos of past events and workshops hosted or supported by the Diversity Action Group.

To find out about upcoming events, check out Royal Roads University Events or contact the Diversity Action Group to be added to the email list.

Black History Month

The Diversity Action Group supports and celebrates Black History Month every February. According to Canadian Heritage, People of African descent have been have been a part of shaping Canada’s heritage and identity since the arrival of Mathieu Da Costa, a navigator and interpreter, whose presence in Canada dates back to the early 1600s. The role of Blacks in Canada has not always been viewed as a key feature in Canada’s historic landscape. There is little mention that some of the Loyalists who came here after the American Revolution and settled in the Maritimes were Blacks, or of the many sacrifices made in wartime by Black Canadian soldiers as far back as the War of 1812. Few Canadians are aware of the fact that African people were once enslaved in the territory that is now Canada, or of how those who fought enslavement helped to lay the foundation of Canada’s diverse and inclusive society.

Black History Month is a time to learn more about these Canadian stories and the many other important contributions of Black Canadians to the settlement, growth and development of Canada, and about the diversity of Black communities in Canada and their importance to the history of this country.

A number of activities are organized such as having a speakers panel discussion in 2019, hosting Silvia Mangue Alene from the BC Black History Awareness Society as a guest speaker, screening the movie Selma to welcoming guest speaker, Professor Emeritus Dr. Michael Real, who was at the March on Washington in August of 1963. He shared a brief overview of his experiences at the iconic Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream” speech.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The Diversity Action Group observes the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination annually on 21 March. As per the United Nations on March 21,1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid “pass laws”. Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination (resolution 2142 (XXI)). In 1979, the General Assembly adopted a Programme of activities to be undertaken during the second half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (A/RES/34/24).

On that occasion, the General Assembly decided that a week of solidarity with the peoples struggling against racism and racial discrimination, beginning on 21 March, would be organized annually in all States. Since then, the apartheid system in South Africa has been dismantled. Racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries, and we have built an international framework for fighting racism, guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Convention is now nearing universal ratification, yet still, in all regions, too many individuals, communities and societies suffer from the injustice and stigma that racism brings.

National Indigenous Peoples Day

The Diversity Action Group supports the annual National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations at Royal Roads University, led by Indigenous Education & Student Services. As per the Government of Canada, June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples. Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.

In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National Aboriginal Day, now known as National Indigenous Peoples Day. For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.

The National Indigenous Peoples Day 2018 celebrations at Royal Roads were enjoyed by hundreds of participants and featured canoe races, traditional drumming, dance and song. To read a full description of the 2018 celebration, please visit


Every year the Diversity Action Group and RRU Proud organize a series of events on and off campus to celebrate Pride. According to Human Rights Campaign New York was the birthplace of Pride in 1970, one year after the famous Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village. The riots, which spanned over three days, were some of the most prominent instances in which LGBT people resisted against police discrimination. It was a watershed moment in LGBT history it is often accredited as the start of the modern gay liberation movement, which later expanded into the larger LGBT rights movement.

Past events have included on-campus festivals with games, music, food and entertainment, movie nights, and Positive Space Network workshops. The workshops are aimed at engaging participants in discussion around language, culture and assumptions. Participants were introduced to skills and strategies that will help them contribute to the creation of safer and more inclusive environments for all members of the Royal Roads community. Finally the highlight of Pride week is participating in the annual Victoria Pride Parade, which began at the corner of Pandora and Government, and ended at MacDonald Park at the corner of Oswego and Simcoe.

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is an initiative of the World Federation of Mental Health. It is intended to drive global mental health awareness, education and advocacy. Light Up Purple is an initiative of the Amanda Todd Legacy Society, which was founded by Carol Todd in memory of her daughter Amanda. Amanda Todd took her life on October 10, 2012, after years of suffering from mental health related symptoms due to bullying, cyber abuse, and harassment. Each year, on October 10, we honour those who struggle with mental illness while working to remove the social stigma around it. Royal Roads students can access support and assistance with their mental health through the Royal Roads website. Royal Roads staff and faculty can access support through Alive@Work, and our Human Resources Department.

Each year, the Diversity Action Group asks students, faculty and staff to share selfies wearing purple clothing, or anything purple, and to tag our social media with their photos #LightUpPurple.

World Mental Health Day activities have included workshops and activity stations, including colouring and card-making, to promote mental health and well-being.

Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day is celebrated on September 30.Each year, the Diversity Action Group hosts an on-campus event to mark Orange Shirt Day.

To learn about the history of Orange Shirt Day in Canada, please read the summary below. We would also like to encourage everyone to take some time to learn Phyllis’ story.

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013. It grew out of Phyllis’ story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually.The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It also gives teachers time to plan events that will include children, as we want to ensure that we are passing the story and learning on to the next generations.Orange Shirt Day is also an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come. Learn more on the orange shirt day website.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

According to the Government of Canada on December 6, 1989, 13 female students and a female administrator at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal were murdered because they were women. The shocking impact of their deaths led Parliament to designate December 6 as a national day of remembrance. Nearly 30 years later, the effects of this tragedy continue to be felt and women remain targets because of their gender.The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is about remembering victims; it is also a time to take action. We each have the opportunity and the responsibility to stand up against misogyny, sexism, and hate and it starts with creating a culture of respect.

We will mark this day each year with a program and candlelight vigil at Royal Roads University