Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Compassion and a strong moral compass is essential to every democratic society. Yet, persecution, injustice and abuse still runs rampant and is tearing at the very fabric of civilization. We must ensure that we have strong institutions, global standards of justice, and a commitment to peace everywhere.

How SFU is contributing



The Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue


SFU Public Square—a signature initiative designed to spark, nurture and restore community connections—establishes SFU as the go-to convener of serious and productive conversations about issues of public concern. 

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The SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue is both a world class, accredited conference facility and a programming unit with a mandate to foster shared understanding and positive action through dialogue and engagement. 

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Student leadership at SFU

SFU's newly constructed Student Union Building offers 113,000 square feet of amenities, student activity and study space, including space for SFU Student Society staff.

The SFU Student Society (SFSS) is a student-led organization that represents and advocates for the interests of the 25,000+ undergraduate students at SFU. The SFSS is home to various social and academic clubs open to all SFU students. Students also have access to several services through the SFSS, ranging from free legal advice to affordable medical care.

The SFU Graduate Student Society (GSS) is the society and government for all graduate students at SFU, representing over 4,000 students in 38 academic units. The GSS supports graduate students to achieve their personal, professional and academic goals at SFU and beyond. The society is committed to receptive stewardship in order to provide relevant representation, advocacy and services to its membership.

Learn more: SFSS | GSS

Working with government

The Hon. Harjit Sajjan (centre), Canada's former Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for Pacifican, visiting SFU in November 2022 to announce the establishment of the Centre for Environmental and Food Analysis (CEFA) which includes more than $2 million in funding from the federal government’s Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan).

Simon Fraser University has a rich history of deeply engaged partnership practices at the local, national and international levels. SFU works very closely with the City of Burnaby and Burnaby-based organizations, engaging in a variety of levels through various departments and units, with faculty, staff and students from all areas of the university. The university also engages at the regional level by working with the British Columbia provincial government on initiatives of strategic importance, such as the B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation. SFU is not absent from the national stage either, collaborating with the Federal government on large-scale and long-term projects such as the establishment of of the Canadian Energy and Emissions Data Centre.

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Research, Teaching and Learning

SFU Professor Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is the Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media, and leads the Digital Democracies Institute which was launched in 2019. The Institute aims to integrate research in the humanities and data sciences to address questions of equality and social justice.


Officially launched in January 2023, Simon Fraser University's 2023-2028 Strategic Research Plan (SRP) captures some of the breadth of activities at the university. It also defines priority areas of research strength and focus for 2023-2028. The SRP is accompanied by an implementation plan that identifies specific actions that will be taken to enhance the impact of the university in its key research priority areas.

In preparing the SRP, we have interacted with hundreds of community members through townhall-style meetings, survey responses and email. We have discussed their priorities and where they see their research going in the coming years. Clear themes emerged from these discussions, such as the role of SFU in confronting the climate crisis, the growth of human-health focused research at the institution, the need for the institution to value diverse forms of scholarship, the need to respect and incorporate Indigenous perspectives and knowledge(s) into research at the institution, and the need to support graduate students and other early career researchers in our community.

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The Centre for Restorative Justice is an initiative by the School of Criminology at SFU that—in partnership with individuals, the community, justice agencies and the university—exists to support and promote the principles and practices of restorative justice. 

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  • 669 research publications related to SDG 16, 2017-2022 (source: SciVal

  • 339 active research projects related to SDG 16 funded from 2017-2022

  • Since the 2018/19 academic year, SFU has offered 25 courses related to SDG 16, representing over 5,278 students


SFU President and Vice-Chancellor Joy Johnson's statement on academic freedom emphasized that academic freedom carried out within a culture of respect and inclusion defines a vibrant academic community and reflects the civic health of a democratic society.


At SFU, both the Board of Governors and the Senate have elected representation from all major stakeholder groups—faculty, staff and students. 

The Board of Governors is the senior governing body at SFU constituted under the University Act. SFU Board members do not receive any remuneration for their services to the Board. The overall responsibility for the business of the university (property, revenue and policies) is vested in the Board. The Board has 15 members including the Chancellor, the President, two elected faculty members, two elected students, one elected staff member and eight individuals appointed by the Government of the Province of British Columbia.

The Senate is responsible for the academic governance of the university and so it must be concerned with all important matters that bear on teaching and research in the university: this includes the development of new initiatives; the formation of priorities; and the consideration and approval of policies. The Senate is composed of the University Chancellor, University President & Vice Chancellor, and several members of the senior executive team. It also includes the 8 faculty deans; 16 faculty members; 18 joint faculty; 17 students and 4 convocation members.

Learn more: Senate | BoG


During times of war and international conflict, thousands of young children, youth and scholars are forced to flee their home countries. Today, there is an urgent need to provide sanctuary and assistance to scholars and students facing immediate threats of violence and/or political repression.

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The SFU Faculty Association Collective Agreement describes academic freedom as, “the freedom to examine, question, teach and learn, and involves the right to investigate, speculate and comment without reference to prescribed doctrine, as well as the right to criticize the University, Association and society at large.” This freedom includes members of the university as well as those invited to participate in its fora.

See SFU President and Vice-Chancellor Joy Johnson's full statement on academic freedom at SFU


SFU's Responsible Investment Policy states that, "the university incorporates environmental, social, and corporate governance considerations into its investment decisions." The policy also notes that "SFU is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment to support incorporating [environmental, social, and corporate governance] into its investment decisions." 

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SFU is home to a community of students, faculty and staff who come from all around the world, bringing important knowledge and ideas with them. SFU community members with ties to Afghanistan may be struggling with grief and pain, and others may be wondering how to help.  

In addition to the personal toll the current situation may have, as an institution of learning, SFU is invested in protecting the rights of scholars worldwide. The right to academic freedom and the right of women to receive an education have historically been threatened by Taliban forces, and Afghan scholars and students are worried about what this development could mean for their future.

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