Seizing the moment during an unprecedented opportunity to create change, the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education today launches Together Against Racism: A Year of Action 2020-2021.
We recognise the many calls from a broad coalition of students, professors, staff, partners and the general public to contribute to action for racial justice and to address anti-Black racisms and other racisms in our Faculty, University and society. We are listening and learning – from online petitions, emails and letters, to organised teach-ins and a professors’ strike for racial justice – and are committed to action for lasting change. We join with the University’s President in supporting Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Colour (BIPOC) within our wider community.
Equity and social justice are key aspects of our strategic plan, and this includes action on anti-Black racism. In the past year, we have taken some important steps, including the creation of an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, composed of students, administrative personnel and professors to provide leadership with respect to equity and racial justice. Among other measures, the Faculty also formally adopted the United Nations Decade for people of African descent.
As we launch this year of action, we will be guided by three principles: Action, not more studying the problem; Engagement with stakeholders, including students and staff, and community partners in crafting our long-term action plan; and Sensitivity to the additional work and emotional cost that may inadvertently be borne by BIPOC members of our community.
The year of action for racial justice has three dimensions:
- We will engage with our community, with virtual panels, learning opportunities, and communications efforts focused both on outreach and inreach.
- We will identify what we must change, by reviewing our policies and procedures, and seeking out best practices from across the country.
- Because we cannot wait, we will take some immediate steps, including training on antiracism for professors, additional electives in our programs and a new microprogram on antiracist education.