OISE Commitment to Addressing Anti-Black Racism
OISE supports the participation of members of our community in the range of events being organized as part of the Canada-Wide Scholar Strike for racial justice taking place on September 9 and 10th. Indeed, many of our OISE scholars are speakers at these important events.
We are supportive of the opportunity that the Scholar Strike presents for all members of our community to further educate ourselves about anti-Black racism and we are working quickly to adjust events and meetings to make it possible to participate. I encourage everyone to be flexible in recognizing the importance of this moment and to balance this opportunity alongside academic requirements and operational needs at this time.
At OISE we recognize that many graduate students will experience their first interactions with the new academic year on the days of these events, and we emphasize the importance of making students feel welcome especially on these first days of the term. At the same time, the Canada Scholar Strike provides members of our community with an opportunity to acknowledge that anti-Black racism is a reality within Canadian society, including within our universities, and to participate in a range of educational events over this two-day event. We will encourage our new students to participate in these events.
Any OISE staff who are interested in participating in the events can request time from their managers where this is operationally feasible and in line with normal practice.
The University of Toronto is strongly committed to addressing anti-Black racism and Black inclusion. While important efforts are being made on all three campuses on this issue, and the University has made some progress, much more remains to be done. As Dean of OISE, I have been receiving advice from our Black Faculty Caucus on the numerous initiatives that we can and should be taking to support our Black community. Our searches for 2020-21 include new positions in “Black Studies in Education” and “Clinical and School Psychology: Anti-Black Racism in Mental Health and Education,” and we will be announcing other OISE and department initiatives later in the fall. At the same time, OISE is working with the University of Toronto Equity, Diversity and Inclusion portfolio within HR & Equity, including the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office (ARCDO), to help find ways to address anti-Black racism. Please review further information regarding these and other initiatives found at the following link: https://www.utoronto.ca/news/u-t-led-national-dialogue-address-anti-bla….
I will be sharing further information with the OISE community as available. Until then, we stand in solidarity with the Black community and all racialized communities.
Glen A. Jones, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean