Should the claim for social equality invalidates the claim for racial equality?

Posted on Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Christiane Taubira conference poster

On January 27, the Faculty of Social Sciences was pleased to host Christiane Taubira, former French Minister of Justice, as part of The Singh Family Lecture Series. The theme of this event, which was organized in preamble to the Black History Month, was "Uncovering our Painful Past and Recognizing our Differences".
On this occasion, the FSS organized a writing contest open to high school and university students from Canada and Africa. Participants were asked to reflect on the themes of Christiane Taubira's conference and to propose, through an essay, solutions that could allow tomorrow's societies to live together without racism.

To validate their participation, the 250 registrants had to attend one of the 6 workshops supervised by Professor Abdoulaye Gueye of the School of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Ottawa. The objective was to provide the candidates with keys to understanding and a framework for reflection before letting them work on their essay on the topic: Should the claim for social equality invalidates the claim for racial equality? 

After receiving over 100 essays, the evaluation committee is pleased to announce the 5 Laureates and 3 Honorable Mentions for the 2021 edition of the contest:


  • 1st prize in the category " Grade 12 Canada/High School Africa ": Fatima Shearzad 
  • 1st prize in the category " Grade 1 and 2 students Canada ": Mame Fatou Ndiaye
  • 1st prize in the category " 1st and 2nd year students Africa ": Munir Salihu
  • 1st prize in the category " Students 3rd and 4th year Canada “: Tatiana Haustant
  • 1st prize in the category " Students 3rd and 4th year Africa ": Janice Medja

Honorable Mentions

  • James Adair Singh 
  • Michelle Oussou  
  • Mukazi Rosette Ntagungira 

The winners were awarded a $1000 prize, whereas the Honorable Mentions received a $500 prize. They will also receive a certificate of achievement. The certificate will be signed by the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Victoria Barham, and by the Minister, Christiane Taubira.

We would like to thank the 6 student assistants who supported Professor Gueye in the conduct of the workshops: Christelle Da Silva, Armand Degla, and Cossi Xavier Agbeto from the African School of Economics, as well as Alexandra Karabatsos, Kassie Drodge and Karine Coen from the Faculty of Social Sciences for their tremendous involvement. 

Finally, in response to the interest generated by this contest, the FSS is pleased to announce that other initiatives of this kind will soon be offered to students at the University of Ottawa and abroad.

Stay tuned!

Watch Christiane Taubira's lecture

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