catalyst: [noun] an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.
It took less than a week for a political crisis to spark in the new year. Millions of people across the globe watched as far-right sympathizers stormed the Capitol, a landmark of the American democracy. This unprecedented event will go down as the closing chapter in the tumultuous political legacy left by incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump, leaving yet another indelible stain on U.S. politics.
As the world navigated between a global pandemic and large-scale social movements striving for social justice, academics, researchers, and journalists alike have worked to make sense of the rapid changes taking place around us. Staff writers and editors at Catalyst have spent the past few months curating content that seeks to educate the McGill community — and beyond — on the many social, political, and economic issues that defined 2020 and the decade to come. The name ‘Catalyst’ is no coincidence: now more than ever, there is a fundamental need to not only understand rapid significant changes, but to be a part of them as well.
Just like the world around us is changing, Catalyst is evolving too. As we come close to celebrating our second anniversary, this new semester will see many exciting additions to our publication, with the creation of a Francophone section honouring Quebec’s rich culture that is deeply immersed in the French language. In a time where digital communication demands an ever-increasing amount of creativity, we are also pleased to introduce a media team that will curate graphic, video, and audio content for our publication.
Amongst the myriad of prospects and hopes that we carry for this new year, it is important to remember the role that we all play in dismantling institutions built on oppression. As we move forward, Catalyst urges us all to continue to strive towards a more just and equitable society.
Robin Vochelet (he/him)
IDSSA VP Publications 2020-2021, Catalyst Editor-in-Chief