June 1, 2020
To our Waterloo Community,
We acknowledge and accept responsibility for our silence on the issues of anti-black racism and hatred on our campuses. HREI wanted to ensure our statement came with tangible, coordinated actions, but we regret that we were not more responsive and thank our campus community for their continued honesty and for holding us accountable. We commit to doing better.
We know that for many people on our campus, this has been an overwhelming and emotional time of anger, mourning and advocacy. We want you to know that we hear you and stand with you. Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (HREI) acknowledges the racism on our campus, the gaps in anti-racist processes and resources, and the many spaces in which silence is read as complicity. We will never stop advocating for change, for anti-racism, for responses to systemic racism and interpersonal acts of racism on our campuses, and are committed to doing better and to working harder.
While this work is long and ongoing, we commit to the following actions:
- Immediate: Establishing Dr. Christopher Taylor as Anti-Black Racism Advisor to HREI
- Immediate: Directing financial support to groups doing this work on our campus
- Immediate: Embedding anti-racism in our work on equitable recruitment and selection
- June 2020: Creating space for Black campus community members to come together for support, collective care and action, facilitated by Dr. Christopher Taylor (lecturer), and Victoria Rodney (student)
- June 2020: Implementing training to senior leaders on anti-racism and equity, led by Kike Ojo-Thompson from the Kojo Institute*.
- June 2020: Creating online resources for those impacted by anti-black racism, and for allies seeking learning and action opportunities; and an invitation for community members to suggest additional resources
- July 2020: Establishing a virtual space for allies to come together to deepen understanding and create opportunities for action
- Termly starting in this Spring semester: Expanding our anti-racism training offerings from three a semester to monthly
- Fall 2020: Embed goals related to anti-racism in the institutional equity plan and commit to accountability across the institution.
We will not stop at these commitments; we will continually evaluate this work with those impacted by racism on our campus. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Equity Office at email@example.com for support.
In solidarity, respect, and commitment to change,
*In June 2020, the Equity Office is hosting training sessions led by Kike Ojo-Thompson from the Kojo Institute. This training, for University of Waterloo leaders, will result in goals and commitments around anti-racism and equity. These training sessions will build capacity for our institution’s leaders to engage in necessary change around equity, anti-racism and anti-black racism. Their specific goals around anti-racism will be included in the University’s institutional equity plan.