The Knowledge Equity Lab is an inclusive, trans-disciplinary space that seeks to challenge multiple forms of exclusion within the highly unequal structure of knowledge production and exchange. It aims to be an experimental space which enables the cultivation, exploration and celebration of different ways of knowing.
Housed at the Centre for Critical Development Studies at UTSC, the lab enables collaboration and partnerships with diverse knowledge makers seeking to advance shared goals of knowledge inclusion, epistemic diversity, and the centering of marginalized and underrepresented knowledge as a means of social justice and change.
In early July, partners and collaborators of the Knowledge Equity Lab engaged in a collaborative visioning for the lab, and further emerged the following themes and aspirations 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
- Deeply 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.
- Challenging monocultures of knowledge and cultivating a pluriverse of knowledge systems where different ways of knowing, living, and being can co-exist.