The events of the last two weeks have brought to the foreground issues of racism against Black people in a way that we don’t always see. As a Faculty, we have begun to reflect on our own actions, inactions and systemic biases. We acknowledge that we come up short and that we desire to do better. In Applied Health Sciences, we are committed to recognizing and respecting lived experiences and we continue to work toward a world where equity, diversity and inclusion are the norm. Our Faculty prides itself for being ‘people people,’ and we take this commitment to heart.
Just this week, we approved our five-year strategic plan. Two of the goals in the report are to “deliver an exceptional experience that allows everyone to flourish and that reinforces a sense of belonging,” and to “create an environment in which diversity and inclusion are the norm.” The mechanics of those two goals will be fleshed out in the coming weeks and months, and we will be looking at any actions through a Black Lives Matter lens – our goal is that no student, faculty or staff member should ever feel unwelcome or unequal because of skin colour.
We also continue to work with the University, Campus Wellness, Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion and all other areas to ensure that Black students do not face discrimination, harassment, violence or injustice.
In short, we are just beginning a process of assessing how we can do better by Black students and other community members. We want to support you and be there for you so that you flourish along with your peers. We stand in solidarity with the actions that are already taking place, and will be forthcoming with more in the near future.
Dean, Applied Health Sciences