“Imagine a world where power is not scarce and enchantment is not in short supply.” These words shared by international speaker and author, Bayo Akomolafe provided a very fitting scene for Chancellor Stephen Stohn’s first address in his namesake Stohn Hall, tying closely to his message for Trent students: to be “a new hope” in tumultuous times.
Mr. Akomolafe served as the keynote speaker for the Kawartha World Issues Centre (KWIC)’s 30th anniversary celebration with a lecture titled, “The Gift of the Crossroads: Agency Responsibility and Justice in the Anthropocene”. His talk focused on the current geological age where humans are a major influence on the environment and climate. He also discussed the disruption we are experiencing socially, politically and environmentally, how this impacts the questions we ask ourselves and how we find hope and power in this time.
Chancellor Stohn shared brief, but vibrant words of welcome before Mr. Akomolafe’s keynote address, noting, “All of us here are a small rebel force who can use this ability to think in different ways, and I know Bayo is a marvelous thinker. When I read [his book], you feel like you are the sand and he is the ocean coming in and going out again, leaving a little bit of change […] and you realize it really isn’t about the sand and the ocean, but about the forces that created the sand and the ocean.”
This was the first time Chancellor Stohn addressed an audience in Stohn Hall – with a mix of attendees including Trent students and faculty, local community activists, area high school teachers and volunteers. Stohn Hall is a two-storey, 200-seat state-of-the-art lecture theatre in the Trent University Student Centre, which was named in honour of the acclaimed Trent alumnus. The Student Centre, as well as groups like KWIC are reflective of Chancellor Stohn’s sentiment around the enriched student experiences that Trent is known for.