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Abstract

Over the last decade, internationalization efforts have accelerated at leading postsecondary institutions in North America and elsewhere, with universities now aggressively competing for the most talented students worldwide. With the focus on recruiting international students, one of the major attendant objectives has seemingly been a social-justice-oriented agenda on tackling pressing global issues; the local has indeed become the global. However, not everyone is ostensibly benefiting from this new global focus. For some, their local issues and conditions are increasingly precarious and nonprioritized in institutional and broadening neoliberal governmental agendas. In the Canadian context, various Indigenous and low-income racialized communities, youth in particular, face multiple implications of this reality. For these communities, secondary school completion and postsecondary educational attainment are decreasing, while incarceration rates among the youth are significantly increasing. In this viewpoint paper, we briefly highlight two localized program examples, sharing our experiences as educators, and call for a constructive dialogue regarding how universities’ social justice agendas can better work for all people, both locally and globally.

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