The Carleton University’s Shared Online Projects Initiatives (SOPI) has awarded a grant to Lori G. Beaman (University of Ottawa) and Melanie Adrian (Carleton University) to develop an online course that explores religious freedom in law and a human rights framework.
The course is organized by weekly modules based on different countries or themes, with the first module addressing religious freedom in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics for this module include religious responses to the pandemic, restrictions on religious gatherings, and how fears related to COVID-19 are causing a rise in discrimination against religious minorities. Other pertinent issues explored in this course include Indigenous rights to sacred sites, debates over religious symbols in public spaces, and intersections between discrimination and religious, sexual, and gender identities.
To make the most of the online format, the course uses videos, interviews, and podcasts to supplement readings and even has a Hollywood-style course trailer. Research assistants Lauren Strumos (University of Ottawa) and Kimiya Missaghi (Carleton University) and librarians Jennifer Dekker (University of Ottawa) and Julie Lavigne (Carleton University) worked alongside Professors Beaman and Adrian to gather and create original materials for the course, which will be available in an open-access format for future use.