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Our commitment to action on anti-Black racism at the Faculty of Community Services

The Dean’s Office in the Faculty of Community Services (FCS) shares the anger, grief and continued desire for change that is felt by so many members of FCS in the current context of the global pandemic COVID-19, compounded by legacies of ongoing anti-Black racism.  We know that the anti-Black racism and the white supremacist practices we are all witnessing in this moment are not new. At the same time we recognize that this is also a particularly important time to speak, to act, and to further enhance our efforts to continue to challenge white supremacy and to eradicate anti-Black racism and other forms of racism and oppression.

We know that many people inside and outside of the FCS community are impacted by what they are seeing and hearing in the social world. Anti-Black racism affects the capacity of members of this community to work, teach and learn. We argue that discussion of anti-Black racism and white supremacy belongs in the academy and in the classroom. We take responsibility for making change in this Faculty, and we urge all members of FCS to take action to address anti-Black racism and other forms of racism and oppression inside and outside the institution.  As members of this community, we all have important roles to play in working to dismantle systemic anti-Black racism and other forms of racism and oppression that are deeply embedded within this institution and within our everyday practices in FCS.

As part of our ongoing commitment to continually challenging anti-Black racism, the Faculty of Community Services will take the following actions in the coming months:

  • This year the FCS Equity and Inclusion Project Fund, established in winter 2019 to strengthen equity and inclusion values and practices within the Faculty, will be dedicated to projects that focus on challenging anti-Black racism on campus and to projects that focus on providing supports to Black students. 
  • This Fall we will establish a curriculum re-development fund for FCS Schools that are working to review and redesign their curriculum to be more inclusive of critical Black scholarship and Black studies.
  • This Fall we will establish a new student sponsorship fund for activities led by Black students and/or that address anti-Black racism on campus.
  • We will add an anti-Black racism series to our Positioning for Success Series which offers workshops, writing circles and mentorship opportunities to support faculty members to develop their capacity as researchers and teachers on an ongoing basis.
  • We will focus the work of the FCS Learning & Teaching Committee on issues of anti-Black racism, including pedagogical workshops for faculty to support practices of responding to and challenging the ways in which anti-Black racism operates within classrooms. 
  • This Fall we will launch new scholarships and awards for Black students.
  • We will provide resources to assist FCS Schools in their efforts to recruit and retain Black faculty. We are also committed to reviewing and evaluating these strategies on an ongoing basis within FCS.

This is just the start of our anti-Black racism focused action plan. We will continue to announce additional new initiatives as we continue to progress in this work. 

The Dean's Office always welcomes additional suggestions and ideas from our faculty, staff and students for continuing our shared work toward challenging and ending white supremacy and anti-Black racism.  We understand that this work takes a long-term commitment and we are committed to this work on an ongoing basis. We will continue to take suggestions from all community members within FCS and to further build on the strategies going forward. We look forward to working collectively together and making the necessary changes required to eradicate and actively work against anti-Black racism not only within FCS but within our broader communities.