Gender Equality and Social Justice

Welcome to Gender Equality and Social Justice at Nipissing University

Do you want to make the world a more just and better place? Are you passionate about issues like human rights violations, sexism, racism, homophobia, and poverty? Would you like to understand these issues better? Then the Gender Equality and Social Justice (GESJ) program is for you.

GESJ is an interdisciplinary program with courses in the areas of Culture and Criticism, Power and Inequality, and Human Rights and Social Justice. We ask how race, class, colonialism, ability, sex, and gender intersect in everyday acts of power, oppression, activism, and resistance.

This program will provide you with highly transferrable skills in critical thinking, research, writing, argumentation, analysis, and communication.

As one of few programs of its kind in Canada, the GESJ program will teach you to think critically about who has the power in the world, and why, as well as how to resist, shape, and change power for social justice. This program is highly interdisciplinary with close links to Social Welfare and Social Development, Religions and Cultures, Political Science, and Philosophy, and is designed for those with interests in critical studies of popular culture; the politics of resisting inequality through the law; globalization and human rights; violent conflict and international justice; transnational organizing for social justice; histories of colonization; feminist philosophies; postmodernism; theories of justice; and the intersections of race, class, ability, sex and gender.

Students of the GESJ Department will receive a broad liberal education in Humanities and Social Sciences. Through a range of interdisciplinary perspectives, you will examine the social and cultural constructions of gender, sexuality, race and class, and how these social categories relate to our knowledge, experience, relationships and the quality of our lives.

See for yourself at ONTARIO'S UNIVERSITIES.​​​

Culture and Criticism Stream

From the social media sites that we check everyday to the TV shows that we stream at night, media are central in forging our identities, connecting with others, and understanding the world around us. With close attention to representations of sex, gender, race, class, and sexuality, Culture and Criticism courses critically analyze how media reflect and dramatize social inequalities and transformations.

Power and Inequality Stream

What is power? How does it work? How might institutions—such as law, government, media, medical science, education, religion, the economy—produce inequality on the basis of gender, sexuality, race, economic class, and disability? How are cultural values and representations, various forms of violence, and our “everyday practices” (such as taking a shower, caring for our pet, on-line shopping, and expressions of intimacy and sexual desire), linked to the wider social organization of power locally and globally? How have social justice activists challenged systems of inequality at different sites and in different eras? Courses in the Power and Inequality stream cover a broad range of interrelated systems of power: colonialism, hetero-patriarchy, white supremacy, global/capitalism, religion, and anthropocentrism.

Human Rights and Social Justice Stream

Who decides what counts as a human right and its violation? What promise and limitations do human rights hold for protecting people who are systemically marginalized and/or experience violence? Courses in this stream examine the gendered, raced, economic and geopolitical dimensions to human rights violations. We also examine human rights advocacy in specific local and global contexts and practices: war, peace, prisons, schools, museums, workplaces, sex work, development, trafficking, torture, and everyday violence.

For additional GESJ resources and events, please see Dr. Wendy Peters' website.

​There are ample opportunities to get involved in and outside of the classroom. You can participate in conferences, workshops, film festivals, and other political and social events throughout the year. Each year, students plan and launch political educational campaigns, attend lectures, panel discussions, and help celebrate key events on campus, like International Women’s Week (IWW).

Gender Equality and Social Justice Student Writing Guide

The standard style and reference guide that students should use while writing their essays.


Nipissing's campus is located on a stunning 291 hectares of Canadian Shield forest. With our focus on student-centred living and learning, you will feel a sense of community the moment you step on campus.

The Harris Learning Library

The Harris Learning Library was completed in 2011 and provides 56,000 square feet of study space with natural light and a modern award-winning design. The new library features expanded print collections, a learning commons, an adaptive technology area, and collaborative work spaces.

Academic Support Services

Our goal is to support your academic and personal development. Look for assistance with accessibility services, learning style assessments, writing skills, writing formats, study strategies, time management, note-taking skills, academic resources, group seminars, peer support, career development activities, and more. Learn More...

Financial Support Services

Achieve your goals on time and on budget. We’ll help you fund your education through scholarships, awards, bursaries, government assistance, and work study programs. Learn More...

Scholarships, awards, and bursaries for students in the Gender Equality and Social Justice program

Internationalize your Degree

If you want to experience a year or a semester at one of our partner schools across the globe, we have support services and programs to help you get there. If you want to assist International students with adjusting to life in Canada, we’ll connect you. Check out your options...

Personal Counselling Services

Our registered counsellors offer free, year-round personal counselling services, specialized therapeutic groups, referral services and a host of wellness, educational and awareness events to all full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students. Learn More...


Our top-rated residences will make you feel right at home. You will make fast friends with your residence community. Our student leaders, Residence Dons, and award winning residence staff give tutorials on everything from the basics of laundry and cooking to making connections within the community. Learn More...

International Women’s Week

Every year the Department of Gender Equality and Social Justice organizes a series of events to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. We’ve actually found that we need more than a day to celebrate, so we call it International Women’s Week (IWW). Past themes include “Justice Across Boundaries,” “Fifty Shades of No: Cultures of Sexual Violence,” “Decolonization,” “Re-teaching Gender and Sexuality,” “Food Security,” and “Gendered and Sexual Labour Mobility.” Past keynote speakers have included Monia Mazigh, Elizabeth May, Sherene Razack, Martin Cannon, and Megan Rivers-Moore.

We encourage all students to attend IWW events (sometimes we even cancel classes so you can attend). In addition to the keynote address, IWW events in the past include workshops, vigils, making t-shirts or zines, coffee collectives, and even road trips! Come out and join the fun!

Trans​forming Justice International Women’s Week 2018​

View IWW 2018 Keynote: Senator Kim Pate - Why Women are the Fastest Growing Prison Population and why we Should Care

GESJ Student Collective

Gender Equality and Social Justice student collective logo

The Gender Equality and Social Justice Student Collective is a group of GESJ majors and minors committed to promoting social justice at Nipissing University and in the North Bay community. We are a social, political, and educational group that holds biweekly meetings and hosts several events throughout the year. These events are often aimed at raising awareness or building relationships with other like-minded students and members of the North Bay community. Our group tries to have fun while improving our community, and together we are building lifelong friendships and relationships to aid us once we graduate from Nipissing. We are always welcoming to new members and hope to see you at a meeting or event soon! 

Visit GESJ Student Collective on Facebook Follow GESJ Student Collective on Twitter ​Email GESJ Student Collective​

The Equity Centre

The Equity Centre is a safer space on campus where students can hang out, learn, or help organize events and campaigns that raise awareness of equity issues which impact the diverse communities at Nipissing University. We work to provide education and resources, advocate on behalf of students, and promote allyship on campus. The Equity Centre and our events are open to everyone. However, we prioritize initiatives and spaces by and for students from marginalized communities, such as: Indigenous students, students of colour, LGBTQIA2S+ students, students with disabilities, and students from ethnic, religious and/or cultural minority groups. Allies are welcome to hang out, learn more, and attend our events, unless stated otherwise. The Equity Centre currently collaborates with two equity sub-groups on campus: QT Pride, a group for LGBTQIA2S+ students and their allies; and Students of Colour United, a group for Indigenous students, students of colour and their allies. We strive to provide opportunities for students to gather socially and make friends in a safe and accessible way; we always welcome feedback on how we can improve our efforts.

Our team of six executives hold open office hours every business day in A-244A and are available if you have questions, concerns, and suggestions/ideas about an event, campaign, or initiative you’d like to see happen on campus.

Come visit us during our office hours in A-244A, or check our social media for details on upcoming events!

Visit The Equity Centre on Facebook Follow The Equity Centre on Twitter Follow The Equity Centre on Instagram Email The Equity Centre

“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” Confucius

Experiential learning is an effective medium that enhances and reinforces classroom learning. In addition, skills and competencies in the areas of communication, teamwork, analysis, work ethic, and problem solving are all learning outcomes that assist with finding the right career path for you.

Third and fourth year Arts and Science Students will be interested in our 3 credit course, UNIV 3006 Experiential Learning for Arts and Science Students. Within this course, academic assignments and at least 60 hours of placement in the community within a field that is related to your course of study is offered.

Nipissing Promise

Students enrolled in the Nipissing University Promise program will be invited to return to Nipissing, tuition free, for up to 30 additional credits if six months after completing their four-year undergraduate degree program with a 70 percent average and all required elements of the program, they have not secured career-related employment.

For more information please visit The Nipissing Promise.

Leadership and Community Engagement

If you are eager to get involved beyond the classroom, take part in the annual Undergraduate Research Conference, which gives you the opportunity to present your work to peers, professors, and family members. You may also have opportunity to work as a Research Assistant to help a professor conduct research and gain valuable experience at the same time.

Record of Student Development

Involvement and experiential learning lead to more personal and academic success by connecting classroom learning to real world experience. Volunteer on your campus and within the community and be officially recognized for all that you do. The Record of Student Development (RSD) documents that you have completed a series of involvement outcomes that all employers are looking for. Achieving all the competencies associated with the RSD will help you communicate the depth of your experiences as you apply to career opportunities.

Employers are looking for people with the following proven abilities:

  • Analytical Skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-Solving skills
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Teamwork

To register and see the full list of RSD competencies visit

Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU)

Students attending Nipissing University in North Bay and long distance students are members of the Nipissing University Student Union. Our organization strives to represent students democratically, provide a communication framework, and lobby for legislative change on issues that affect students.


Exercise and healthy competition always help to clear the mind.


Nipissing’s Athletics Department offers a wide range of intramural activities to keep you on your game


Club sports are available to all Nipissing students and are both recreational and competitive.


Go Lakers! Our varsity athletes always bring their “A” game. Get your friends together and come out to cheer on your favourite teams.


Whether you are a gym enthusiast or a weekend warrior, Nipissing has just what you need.


Full-time Faculty

Part-time Faculty

Kim Wakeford, BA '11

Caitlin Don, BA '07, BScN '13

Dawn Lamothe, BA '13

Scott de Blois, BA

Ann Welsh, BA '06

Mary White, BA

GESJ is a broad, interdisciplinary program. Because of that, your career options are very broad. You may choose to pursue a career as a researcher, administrator, lawyer, clinical counsellor, or policy analyst, among other options.

You may decide to continue on to graduate studies in areas like Theory and Criticism and Social and Political Thought. Or continue on to professional schools like law and teaching.

Whether you’re interested in creating reform, becoming an activist, or making a local or global impact, the Gender Equality and Social Justice department at Nipissing will give you the tools you need to help create positive change in the world.

Career and Academic Options

  • Graduate Studies
  • Professional School (Education, Law, MBA, Social Work)
  • Careers in non-profit and community-based organizations, media communications, government, international organizations, health and welfare, research, and advocacy

Letlotlo (Lettie) Gariba, BA, MA