I have been overwhelmed by the messages of support our institution has received from all corners of the country after the hate-motivated attack against a gender and social justice class on our campus in June. The outreach from across the country makes it clear that those united against violence, hatred and bigotry far outnumber those who would terrorize us.
We acknowledge that our 2SLGBTQIA+ community members and people with other marginalized identities face ongoing hate and threats to their safety. A sense of safety and belonging must be in place to fully realize Waterloo’s culture of curiosity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Hate and injustice are global problems, and our campuses are not immune to them. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we build a community that drives positive transformational change across our campuses and broader society.
There is much work to be done to overcome the challenges facing our world. Bringing a human-centred lens to our work, building on our strengths in arts, humanities and social science, will help us find new approaches to address the increasingly complex challenges our world faces. As an institution, we are working to apply our innovations locally and globally, so that our campuses and local communities reflect our bold aspirations for society – equitable, anti-racist, sustainable, decolonized, accessible and centered on our community’s well-being.
In April, we broke ground on the Innovation Arena. In partnership with the City of Kitchener and Velocity, the Innovation Arena will support entrepreneurs in turning novel ideas into solutions and breakthroughs that will improve individual and societal health. It is just one example of networks, tools and resources in place to equip our changemakers with a solid foundation to succeed.
Our community of researchers, students and alumni share a solution-driven spirit. Within this magazine issue, you’ll discover how this spirit is helping change how we think, work and live.
Dr. Vivek Goel, CM
President and Vice-Chancellor