By: Elizabeth DiEmanuele
Speaking up for what you believe in takes tenacity, courage, and a strong sense of self – these are qualities that can help students and recent alumni as they navigate their beliefs and values during university and afterwards.
This year’s speaker for Last Lecture, Desmond Cole, certainly understands the value that comes from being true to those beliefs as well as the obstacles that can arise out of being vocal, especially when it challenges the status quo. Desmond Cole is an activist and freelance journalist in Toronto who has written extensively about the black experience in Toronto. His work has appeared in the Toronto Star, Toronto Life, Walrus, VICE, NOW Magazine, Torontoist, and Ethnic Isle.
As Last Lecture reminds us, the end of the term is a celebration and a time for the McMaster community to reflect. Drawing from his own experiences, Desmond Cole will speak at Last Lecture about the power of advocacy, the benefits, and the motivations; he will also challenge students to think critically about what they believe in. As Desmond Cole asks, “What are you willing to sacrifice in order to support the people who need you? Those sacrifices determine how successful you will be.”
Desmond’s talk will cover themes including: inclusive campuses, standing up for what you feel is right, campus advocacy work, and removing barriers to access. For the Student Success Centre, Last Lecture with Desmond Cole will be an opportunity for students to make meaning of their university experience outside of the classroom.
“Last Lecture is an opportunity for us to challenge ourselves,” says Gina Robinson, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of the Student Success Centre. “What role can advocacy play in our lives about causes that we care about? How can we challenge our own convictions? These are questions that Desmond Cole brings to the table and they’re good ones.”
Last Lecture with Desmond Cole is a Light Up the Night event proudly sponsored by McMaster’s Centre for Continuing Education and presented in partnership by the Student Success Centre, Alumni Association, and the McMaster Students Union. It will take place on Monday, April 9, 2018 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in Convocation Hall and will include an audience Q&A at the end of the event.