The Black Student Lounge
The Black Student Lounge (BSL) is an identity-affirming space on campus where Black students at Toronto Metropolitan University can study, heal, relax, gain tools and resources, make new friends and build community. The lounge aims to counter the harms of institutional racism and provide intentionally safer spaces where Black students can heal, recharge and feel a sense of belonging at the university. Although this is primarily a student-centered space, Black faculty and staff at TMU are also welcome.
The space holds approximately 30 occupants and is furnished with seating, tables, a projector screen and whiteboard. It also has a computer area and kitchenette that Black students can use.
Location: Kerr Hall West 77A (KHW 77A)
Hours of operation: Monday to Sunday from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. (excluding holidays)
How to access: Black students, staff and faculty must complete the access form (external link) to gain entry to the BSL. Access to the space is issued on a rolling basis within 7 days after the form has been submitted.
About the Space
In 2020, the Office of the Vice President, Equity and Community Inclusion published the (PDF file) Anti-Black Racism Campus Climate Review, a report highlighting the experiences of Black students, faculty and staff at Toronto Metropolitan University. The report highlighted persistent experiences of anti-Black racism on campus and indicated that Black-identified students did not feel a sense of belonging at TMU. In response to these findings, the report published six student recommendations to respond to the findings.
Created in 2019 by the Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion (opens in new window) and launched in 2022 by the Presidential Implementation Committee to Confront Anti-Black Racism's Student Working Group (opens in new window) , the Black Student Lounge directly addresses student recommendation six from the Climate Review.
Anti-Black Racism Campus Climate Review - Student Recommendation #6: A dedicated Black student space on campus with the necessary resources allocated to it for Black students to feel safe and a sense of belonging is needed. These resources should involve funds for staffing and programming for Black students (Anti-Black Racism Campus Climate Review Report, 2019, p.15).
This initiative is offered as part of a larger effort by the university to confront anti-Black racism, foster belonging and promote Black flourishing across all areas of campus life and beyond. Learn more about the other work that the university is doing to respond to the Climate Review at the Presidential Implementation Committee to Confront Anti-Black Racism website.
Events in the Black Student Lounge
In addition to providing a safe space that Black students can freely occupy, the Black Student Lounge is used to host events for Black students, staff and faculty.
The Tri-Mentoring Program collaborates across teams to deliver regular programming in the Black Student Lounge such as:
- Let’s Talk: A brave space to engage in dialogue on key topics of interest to Black students.
- Connect2Flourish: Monthly group mentorship sessions that invite Black students and faculty to access resources and learn from one another.
Additionally, Black networks and committees at TMU as well as Black students and student-led groups may organize their own events, meet-ups and activities in the Black Student Lounge.
For questions about upcoming events and how to access the space, please email Black Student Support at firstname.lastname@example.org.