Giving back: 30 boxes of local history to benefit women’s studies at U of T, says Toronto Star

Jan 21, 2022
Women's studies founder Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, leaning on a stone column outside a building.
Ceta Ramkhalawansingh (DCS 1974, BA 1977 NEW, MA 1980). Photo by Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

After five decades in activism, city-building and community planning, University of Toronto alumna Ceta Ramkhalawansingh (DCS 1974, BA 1977 NEW, MA 1980) has amassed an impressive collection of local history – especially on women’s studies. And she is donating some of it to her alma mater. 

So far, Ramkhalawansingh – who co-founded the first women’s studies program at U of T in 1971 and was one of its first lecturers – has shipped off 30 cartons of records to the U of T Archives and 17 boxes of feminist-theory and Caribbean-studies books to the New College library, the Toronto Star reported.

“My big pandemic project has been trying to make that knowledge and information available and not lost,” Ramkhalawansingh told the Star.

In a photo from 1975, Ceta Ramkhalawansingh chats with a class of women, sitting on comfy chairs in a circle.
Ceta Ramkhalawansingh (top centre) at U of T in 1975. Photo by Robert Lansdale/University of Toronto Archives

In 2020, 50 years after creating the women’s studies program, Ramkhalawansingh established the Ceta Ramkhalawansingh Scholarship to support students in the Women & Gender Studies Institute at U of T.  She said at the time that she “never really left U of T” and continues to give back to the community through her current project to donate materials.

“If I could make a contribution to increasing that knowledge,” she told the Star, “I’m more than happy to spend the time doing it.”

Read the story of Ramkhalawansingh’s women’s studies gift in the Toronto Star