June 2, 2020Print | PDF
Dear Members of the Laurier Community: Students, Faculty and Staff,
Recent events in the U.S. have shed harsh light on the persistent inequities faced by Black, Indigenous, and racialized members of our community. The trauma and grief that people are experiencing is intensified as the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacts marginalized communities. In the past week, we have witnessed thousands taking to the streets to protest anti-Black racism, systemic racism and violence in the U.S. and Canada.
Not surprisingly, many in our community are making connections between broader societal events and their own lived experiences at Laurier. What we see happening are not isolated events, but only an especially intense outbreak of a much larger systemic problem with pervasive effects everywhere. These events and the thoughts they evoke remind us once again that we have still not done enough to address racism within our own community. We want you to know that we are listening. We hear that you are in pain. We acknowledge your anger and frustration. We recognize that Laurier must do better, and we must do more.
As senior leaders, we reaffirm our commitment to taking direct action, providing necessary resources and infrastructure, holding ourselves and others accountable, and working toward racial justice. In 2019, the research presented in the Being Raced report* outlined several actions to be enacted by Laurier in addressing racism. Based on these recommendations, we want you to know that we are continuing to move ahead with the following priority actions:
Over the coming months, we will update the Laurier community on progress with these important actions. We hope that you can prioritize caring for yourselves and your loved ones in the days ahead.
Pamela Cant, Chief Human Resources and Equity Officer
Maureen Mancuso, Interim Provost and VP Academic
David McMurray, VP Student Affairs
If you are a member of the Laurier community who needs additional support at this time, please contact the following.
*The Being Raced study was produced by four Laurier students who have since graduated: Paige Grant, Azka Choudhary, Joey Lee and Kate Harvey, with the assistance of Associate Professor Vanessa Oliver, Education and Inclusion Coordinator for the Brantford campus, Lauren Burrows, and Laurier’s then-director of Equity and Diversity, Laura Mae Lindo.
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