September 8, 2020
University statement regarding Scholar Strike Canada
Western leadership is committed to the work of anti-racism, and in particular the work against anti-Black racism, as we build a more equitable and inclusive environment on campus.
We are at an inflection point, not only in higher education but in society broadly, and universities have a critical role to play in both furthering dialogue and seeking solutions.
Western is addressing these very issues in a number of ways, through the commitments made in response to the President’s Anti-Racism Working Group report, through the passionate dedication of staff and faculty who focus on EDI work, and through the ongoing dialogue we are having with our community to chart a better path for Western.
Western supports the core spirit of the Scholar Strike Canada initiative – to call out systemic racism and violence and to demand justice for racialized groups, in particular Black and Indigenous communities.
As we begin a new academic year, in a very different way, we want to offer our students some measure of stability and certainty, and ensure they have a smooth start to their first week of studies. We hope faculty, staff and students can engage in these critical conversations either by participating in the range of events this week, or in other ways throughout the year.
The pandemic has been challenging for society at large. But the violent events of the past months have highlighted the ongoing systemic barriers and challenges Black and other racialized groups face. Western stands in solidarity with our community to continue to support, listen, learn and act against racism.
Our goal is to provide a safe and inclusive environment in which to teach, learn and conduct research, and through these endeavours to continue fostering dialogue that helps society’s institutions, including Western, do better.