The Knowledge Equity Lab is an inclusive, trans-disciplinary, experimental space. Based at the Centre for Critical Development Studies at UTSC, it is an incubator for a community of practitioners advancing knowledge equity, centering marginalised and under-represented knowledge-makers as a means of social justice and change.
As a research and practise lab, we house projects that investigate multiple forms of exclusion within the highly unequal structures of knowledge production and exchange. Based on these findings, we take collective action to re-imagine, re-envision, and re-make a world where different ways of knowing, living, and being can co-exist.
What does Knowledge Equity mean to us?
In early July, partners and collaborators of the Knowledge Equity Lab engaged in an arts-based collaborative visioning workshop, and further emerged the following themes, aspirations, and practices for knowledge equity:
- Challenging the dominance of the English language, prioritising linguistic diversity, translation, preservation as a means of knowledge accessibility and conservation.
- Decolonising and learning from indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing, through non-written forms like stories, ceremonies, land, and more
- Reflecting on positionality and representation, asking ‘whose knowledge, voices, stories, and experiences are being represented; whose knowledge do we consider valid and important, whose knowledge are we learning from?’
- Re-embodying knowledge and pedagogy, away from the disembodied assumption of knowledge and learning being purely a cognitive set of abstract ideas, divorced from living and being, from the full, embodied self.
- Cultivating care, trust, and safety when it comes to knowledge production and sharing, so the process and not just the outcome of knowledge generation can be healing and transformative for those involved.
- Recognising art, music, stories, and more as ways of knowing and showing, and appreciating the ways that it can evoke and communicate knowledge in more accessible and engaging ways
- Questioning power, ownership, and control over modes of knowledge production, being cognizant of the visible and invisible gatekeepers that define the standards of knowledge legitimacy and create dependency on these systems.
- Cultivating a pluri-verse of knowledge systems as opposed to a monoculture of knowledge, where different ways of knowing, living, and being can co-exist.