Unity in a time of crisis
These are difficult times. In recent days and weeks, we have witnessed acts of race-based hatred and violence against members of racialized communities. Asian Canadians have experienced xenophobic acts of hatred resulting from COVID-19 and members of Black communities have had their lives senselessly taken in acts of anti-Black racism. I am sure that many of you, like myself, are struggling to process this. With all of this occurring against the backdrop of a global pandemic, it is not surprising that many people feel overwhelmed and deeply distressed.
For a university such as Ryerson, with a diverse population of students, faculty and staff, and a commitment to being intentionally inclusive, the current situation touches us all. Our physical distance from each other does not diminish the effects.
I know that recent events have been disturbing and we recognize the negative impact anti-Black racism and discrimination has on members of the Ryerson community. It is a pain that is deepened by the awareness of and the historic legacy of race-based violence these recent acts perpetuate.
I encourage you to access the counselling resources that are available to you. Students can learn more about services through the Ryerson Centre for Student Development and Counselling. Employees can get support through the Employee and Family Assistance Program. Both offices are currently offering their services remotely.
As a university, our response must be to re-dedicate ourselves to calling out injustices and to stay the course in building a campus culture that is respectful and focused on ensuring human rights and dignity for all.
We can be a model for the kind of society our city and country aspire to be, by coming together and reconfirming our values – in thought and action – and by condemning racism, bigotry and hatred, in all of its forms and wherever it takes place.
President and Vice-Chancellor