Changing the future, together

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The death of George Floyd from police brutality has put an international spotlight on the sustained injustice faced by Black people. We recognize that the University of Waterloo and Faculty of Science are not immune to racism. This is our time to reflect, stand together and build a more inclusive community for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC).

We, Science senior leaders, are committed to understanding and identifying racism, removing systemic racism within Science and leading by example. Change requires teamwork. This month, all of us will be participating in an anti-racism and equity leadership development course.

Change always begins with listening and learning. We are committed to creating lasting change within the Faculty of Science and value your input. Over the past week, some of you have reached out to us and shared your thoughts and experiences. We appreciate your courage and honesty.

We want to continue the conversation faculty-wide with a virtual Town Hall. All Science students, faculty, staff and alumni are welcome to come listen and learn or share their experiences.

The virtual Town Hall will be held Wednesday June 24th from 2:00 to 3:30 pm on WebEX.

We want to hear from you about your experiences, fears, ideas and hopes. Additionally, we have created an anonymous, online anti-racism form for the Science community to start submitting their comments, experiences and suggestions. Together, we will grow in awareness, identify gaps and commit to change.

We must all be vigilant and anti-racism ambassadors to make the Faculty of Science and University of Waterloo an open, safe and prejudice-free environment. The Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion Office (HREI) offers a workshop (EQ201 Anti-Racism Workshop) on how to engage critically in anti-racism and enact anti-racist practices on campus. HREI also provides guidelines for teaching assistants as well as supervisors and managers encountering harassment and discrimination.

HREI, Campus Wellness and RAISE are resources and sources of support available to you. The University of Waterloo is committed to taking actions in support of anti-racism in our campus community. The Faculty of Science is ready to listen and chart an inclusive future together.

Additionally, the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW) Equity Committee engages in education and advocacy activities to promote equity on campus. The University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) offers support and advocacy services or can connect you with supports and community resources if required.

We want to do better. This is our opportunity to change. Join us at the Town Hall.

Bob Lemieux, Dean of Science
Hugh Broders, Chair of Biology David Edwards, Hallman Director of Pharmacy
Ian McKenzie, Director of Science and Aviation Brian McNamara, Chair of Physics and Astronomy
Bill Power, Chair of Chemistry Jean Richardson, Director of Science and Business
Dave Rudolph, Chair of Earth and Environmental Sciences Stan Woo, Director of Optometry and Vision Science