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UNB to mark National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Dec 2, 2022

Category: UNB Fredericton , UNB Saint John

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, the University of New Brunswick (UNB)will hold free public events on both campuses to acknowledge and mourn the anniversary of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Thirty-three years ago today, on Dec. 6, 1989, a senseless act of gender-based violence at École Polytechnique in Montréal took the lives of 14 women.

We remember Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.

We remember these women, their families and all those who were affected by this violent act.

These events are an opportunity to reflect on all victims of gender-based violence, including women, girls, LGBTQ2SIA+ gender-diverse people and to recognize that this violence continues.

Fredericton campus

A ceremony will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. in the Kinesiology Building auditorium, rm. 215. Engineering students will read poems and 14 female engineering students will participate in a candle-lighting ceremony. This event will also be live-streamed.

Speakers will include:

  • Cassie Pitchford, president of UNB Diversity Within Engineering and 2022 NB Youth Human Rights Award recipient
  • Minister Jill Green, Minister of Service New Brunswick, Minister responsible for Housing and UNB alum (BScCE'95)
  • Arushi Sabnis, engineering student
  • Dr. Usha Kuruganti, UNB faculty of kinesiology professor and UNB alum (BScEE’90, MScEE’93 and PhD'04)
  • Sarah Boyd, engineering student
  • Meranda McLaughlin, president of the Fergusson Foundation and UNB alum (MPhil’15)
  • Dr. Josh Leon, dean of engineering

Saint John campus

The UNB Dec. 6 Volunteers’ Committee, with support from the Students’ Representative Council, will hold a memorial service on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. at the Ganong Hall Lecture Theatre. This will be followed by a vigil walk to Hans W. Klohn Commons.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Chris Doran, professor of sociology on UNB’s Saint John campus
  • Norah Dudley, UNB alum (BA’14), Saint John campus
  • Reg Roy, Anishinaabe Elder
  • Michelle Kwok, instructor of engineering, UNB’s Saint John campus
  • Trish Murray-Zelmer, campus sexual assault support advocate and UNB alum (MEd’17)
  • Alyson Lutes – Sexual Assault Response Team, Saint John
  • Sheila Burt, acting assistant director, Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research and UNB alum (BAA’00)

We can be part of the solution to end gender-based violence through education and by elevating the voices of survivors. Please join us as we remember and reflect.


“The important work to raise awareness and commit to the elimination of violence against women represents a global priority. At UNB, we have a significant role to play and I am proud of the work being undertaken across our institution to continue to address societal challenges – such as violence against women and to build a more just and inclusive world.” - Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, president and vice-chancellor of UNB

“Every year, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is increasingly important, as misogyny and gender-based violence are more visible than ever in the age of social media. Please join the Diversity Within Engineering Society to remember the lives lost in the Montreal Massacre and reflect on what can be done, both individually and collectively, to ensure safer spaces for women on campus and beyond.” - Cassie Pitchford, president of UNB Diversity Within Engineering, Fredericton campus

"We recognize the tremendous importance of the ongoing problem of violence against women. We hope you join us as we hold our annual vigil for the 14 young women murdered at École Polytechnique in 1989. In addition, there will be an exhibition titled Silent Witnesses in the foyer of the HWK Commons until the end of the examination period. These silent witnesses display the tragedy of the lives lost here in New Brunswick from domestic violence." - Chris Doran, member of the UNB Dec. 6 Volunteers’ Committee, Saint John campus