The Levana Gender Advocacy Centre has a long history as a part of Queen’s University, the Kingston community, and as an occupant of the Grey House!
The Levana Society represented all female students at Queen’s University from 1888 to 1967, when it merged with the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society. The group provided refuge for female students that felt marginalized on campus, promoted “women’s interests,” and engaged with political issues, most notably in their fight for the banning of fraternities and sororities on campus. The Levana Gender Advocacy Centre took on the Levana name as a nod to the university’s history and a reminder that many continue to feel marginalized and experience gender oppression on campus and in the Kingston community.
The Women’s Centre
The Levana Gender Advocacy Centre was formerly known as the Women’s Centre at Queen’s. The Women’s Centre was founded in 1975 as a centre for information, a referral service, and a women-only space for women from both Queen’s and the greater Kingston community. The Centre’s office was in the Grey House. It was home to the woman’s resource library and the Kingston Women’s Movement archives, both of which are still located in the Grey House and operated through the Levana Gender Advocacy Centre. In the summer of 2010, the Centre began to work towards revival and upheaval. The Women’s Centre needed increased inclusivity, a more radical and political voice, and to start engaging with issues previously deemed peripheral to the feminist cause. The Levana Gender Advocacy Centre was created from these changes.