Statement in solidarity with racialized communities

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Renison University College rejects racism and hatred in all its forms and stands in firm solidarity with racialized communities. We declare our commitment to anti-racism in response to the recent murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and the police-involved death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto, as well as the other numerous incidents of racial violence that have led to the deaths of Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) (Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Jason Collins, Eishia Hudson, D’Andre Campbell, Machuar Madut, among others). We recognize that the deaths of George Floyd and Regis Korchinski-Paquet re not singular events, but are the outcome of institutionalized anti-Black racism. We believe that overcoming systemic racism is possible; we are committed to actualizing this change, first of all, within the university environment.

In November, 2019, Renison University College along with the University of Waterloo, hosted a national anti-racism conference that included over 20 universities and colleges from across Canada. The 2 day conference included administrators and students from each participating university to openly discuss and address racism in the academy. This conference was designed to facilitate space for senior administrators from across Canada to listen and learn from the lived experiences of racialized students on our campuses. The message was clear: If we hope to see change, we must help to shape it. For too long, systemic racism has been quietly tolerated within the academy. This must end. Renison University College is committed to creating a sector-wide, anti-racism task force to address the very real issues of racism that exist within the academy.

Renison’s Wellness Centre provides all of our students, staff and faculty with a safe, private space to talk about issues, concerns and fears. These services continue to be available throughout the pandemic in a secure, online environment. Our ministry centre is also committed to providing support and guidance to the entire Renison community. We invite all members of the Renison community to avail themselves of these services, as needed. Also, as an institution, we support and help to advance the goals and initiatives of University of Waterloo’s Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion Office including the Office’s trainings and workshops.

Renison’s management team is committed to equity-informed leadership and will be participating in the upcoming training sessions, on June 16 and June 25, being offered by Kike Ojo-Thompson from the Kojo Institute.

Coming in June (Date TBA): A Dialogue on Anti-Black Racism, facilitated by Dr. Kofi Campbell, Renison’s Vice President, Academic & Dean. Details to follow.

Renison University College strives for a world in which racism will no longer be tolerated; we start by changing the world in which we live and teach.

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