Confronting Anti-Black Racism
Systemic anti-Black racism permeates nearly every institution across Canada and our university is no exception. This reality can often subject Black students, faculty and staff to systemic exclusion, experiences of individual racism, racial microaggressions, chronic underrepresentation across the university, inequitable course content and delivery, and many other discriminatory outcomes.
The Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion (OVPECI) recognizes that while we have made some progress towards furthering equity, diversity and inclusion at TMU—including hiring the first vice-president (Dr. Denise O’Neil Green) fully dedicated to equity and community inclusion at a Canadian university, and hosting the first White Privilege Conference in Canada—more direct action needs to be taken to realize sustainable social progress and racial equality.
In recent years, a number of consultative, evidence-based and action-oriented reports have enabled the OVPECI and partners to continue to identify and address anti-Black racism at the university.
Over ten years ago, an Anti-Racism Task Force at Toronto Metropolitan University released a report that examined systemic racism and barriers on campus while laying out recommendations to create a more inclusive campus environment for all students, faculty and staff to study, work and teach. A few years later, the Black Liberation Collective–TMU, a student group, raised new concerns regarding the prevalence of anti-Black racism on the campus.
In 2019, in response to these concerns and as the tenth anniversary of the (PDF file) 2010 Anti-Racist Task Force approached, the OVPECI, under the direction of former vice-president, equity and community inclusion, Dr. Denise O’Neil Green, initiated the Anti-Black Racism Campus Climate Review.
The Anti-Black Racism Campus Climate Review Report was released at an online event (external link) in 2020, and highlights the real-life experiences of Black students, faculty and staff to foster a greater understanding of the realities they experience with anti-Black racism in a Canadian post-secondary institution.
The findings were gathered from focus groups in which over 60 Black-identified students, staff and faculty were interviewed. The 14 recommendations outlined made clear what needed to be accomplished in order to create a campus environment:
- where everyone feels they belong;
- that is reflective of our school’s entire population; and
- where people feel welcomed, valued, seen and heard.
We would like to thank the Black students, faculty and staff who shared their personal experiences with us as well as the changes they would like to see on campus.
Visit the Presidential Implementation Committee to Confront Anti-Black Racism reports page to view the documents.
What is the Presidential Implementation Committee to Confront Anti-Black Racism?
In tandem with the release of the Anti-Black Racism Campus Climate Review Report, the Presidential Implementation Committee to Confront Anti-Black Racism was formed. This committee, composed of close to 50 dedicated individuals from across the university, is tasked with the implementation of the 14 recommendations included in the report.
Visit the Presidential Implementation Committee to Confront Anti-Black Racism website for more information and to read the reports.
- If you have any questions or require more information about the university’s work to confront anti-Black racism, please contact the OVPECI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have any questions or require additional information about the Anti-Black Racism Climate Review, please email email@example.com.
- We Heal Together: A Monthly Support Group for Black identified TMU students hosted by Consent Comes First
- Brave Space Discussions for Black-Identified Students hosted by Student Affairs
- Tri-Mentoring Program
- The Centre for Student Development and Counselling
For faculty and staff
For students, faculty and staff
Human Rights Services is available to offer support, coaching and provide you with information so you understand what options are available to you as it relates to human rights concerns. If you choose to file a complaint, we can guide you through the process.
About the 2019 focus group sessions
Black-identified students were asked to participate in sessions led by Dr. Walcott, lead facilitator for TMU’s Anti-Black Racism Climate Review. There were a total of:
- five sessions for students
- five sessions for TMU Faculty Association members
- three sessions for CUPE Local 3904, Unit 2 members
- six sessions for staff
Participants also had the option of setting up one-to-one interviews.
About Dr. Walcott
Dr. Walcott is the director of the Women and Gender Studies Institute in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as well as a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Walcott is also a member of the graduate program in Cinema Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto. Recognized as an international expert, his teaching and research is in the area of Black diaspora cultural studies and postcolonial studies with an emphasis on questions of sexuality, gender, nation, citizenship and multiculturalism.