On June 11th, 2020, the President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Robert Gordon, announced the University’s priorities as it relates to confronting, challenging, and eliminating Anti-Black Racism at UWindsor. The approach requires components incorporating education, action, and collaboration. These priorities include initiatives that will confront our racist, oppressive past and present as a colonial institution through the process of learning and unlearning in order to create a safer and more equitable experience for Black students, staff, and faculty.
The following four priorities were identified as the initial University-wide initiatives:
• Establish an Anti-Black Racism Task Force. The Task Force will consist of Black students, staff, faculty, and Alumni community members, representing the diversity and intersectionality of Black communities. Its mandate is to: (a) actively engage the Black communities on campus to learn about student, staff, and faculty experiences of Anti-Black Racism across UWindsor; and (b) identify, review, and recommend policies, programs, pedagogical practices, research, and other concrete actions that foster and support equitable, safe, and engaging environments for Black students, staff, and faculty on campus. The Task Force is set to begin its work in Fall 2020.
• Implement a race-based data collection framework, through extensive consultation with the campus community, experts in the area, and other bodies such as the Ontario Human Rights Commission, to better understand, monitor, track, and address forms of racial discrimination across the University. The data will be used for specific purposes, such as gathering campus demographics by program and faculty, demographics info in campus police encounters, who is using campus services and how we can better cater the accessibility of those services, and the racial makeup of faculty and senior administration. This will help to improve understanding of the foundational challenges and systemic racial inequities experienced by Indigenous, Black and other racialized members of our campus community and allow for our progress to be continuously assessed and improved upon.
• Conduct an external review of our broader institution-wide equity, diversity and inclusion processes, policies, programs, committees and reporting structures. This review will be a collaborative undertaking that is efficient, transparent, and inclusive, welcoming contributions from across the University community. The University will prioritize strategic goals based upon the recommendations from this review.
• Establish a training and educational framework to raise awareness and understanding of Anti-Black Racism, whether intentional, unconscious or systemic, as well as proactive and remedial strategies to deal with it. Students, staff and faculty will be invited to participate in training opportunities which will be mandatory for all senior administrators and Board of Governors members.
Together, we must make meaningful and substantive progress in dismantling the barriers, practices, and cultures that perpetuate Anti-Blackness within the University. A key component of progress is translating discussion to action, particularly the calls to action identified by the Anti-Black Racism Task Force and the other processes set out above. To achieve that, we will:
• Implement the Anti-Black Racism Task Force’s Final Report and Calls to Action, including early identified initiatives.
• Annually Report on the Progress of the Calls to Action.
Give Us Your Feedback
These initiatives are a starting point for a long-term Anti-Black Racism Strategy. There is much more work to be done; we can and must continuously do better. The work of eliminating Anti-Black violence within institutional practices, policies and culture is an evolving process, and we welcome your feedback. Please contact us with your suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.