The Division of Students stands together against anti-Black racism
Recently you received the communication from President Lenton expressing that we stand with Black community members in the ongoing fight to end racism and hate.
I, as you, have followed the news surrounding the tragic death of innocent people and the deeply troubling acts of anti-Black racism in the United States, Canada and around the world.
These are difficult times, especially for community members who experience exclusion, oppression or micro-aggressions on a regular basis and we recognize that the events of recent weeks have imposed an enormous burden of pain, fear and anger, in addition to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19.
We all struggle right now to understand what is helpful and what adds further to the pain. What we do know is that there is much work to be done and while we condemn racism and discrimination in all its forms and reaffirm our deep commitment to diversity, inclusion and human rights this alone is not enough.
As the Vice-Provost Students, I commit to you to listen closely before we act. We cannot presume to know where we need to strengthen our initiatives and deepen our efforts until we have a better understanding of the impact of exclusion. Our Division will provide opportunities to educate ourselves, taking advantage of learning resources available through the University and community professionals which we will make available to all our staff.
We’ve made a start. Within the Division, Student Community & Leadership Development has shared anti-racism resources for students and our Student-Athletes & Varsity Sport Council released a message to #SpeakoutagainstRacism.
We will listen, we will learn, and we will act. This will take time. The changes necessary to create equitable, inclusive, socially responsible and safer learning and working spaces will take time. Over the summer we will provide safe spaces for people to share concerns and recommendations.
If you are struggling through these recent events, please do not hesitate to reach out. I invite you to access the resources available below.
- Centre for Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion
- Employee & Family Assistance Program (support available 24/7/365)
- Mental Health @ Wellbeing Resources (including the YU Psychology Clinic, Office of Student Community Relations, The Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education and more)