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BLACK AT UOFT: Solidarity Action for Mizzou‏

In Writing (all kinds) on November 17, 2015 at 6:54 PM

The Centre for Women¹s Studies in Education is supporting the Black at UofT: Solidarity Action for Mizzou

What are the experiences of Black undergrads, grad students, faculty and staff at the University of Toronto? What does anti-Black racism look like within this institution?

With #BlackOnCampus events happening across university and college campuses nationally and internationally, black students and our allies in staff and faculty at the University of Toronto are coming together to challenge the anti-black racism within this institution. We stand in solidarity with black students across the united states that are in protest, currently experiencing anti-black racist violence and death threats by white supremacist groups on their campus for fighting back against the multiple forms of violence they experience daily for being black. From Toronto to Mizzou, we stand with you.

#BlackAtUofT
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 18th

Time: 11-1pm
Where: Meet in front of HartHouse

Our solidarity action will begin with a march throughout campus and end with a rally.

WEAR ALL BLACK TO STAND IN SOLIDARITY.

Feel free to bring banners and posters, with your messages of resistance and solidarity! We encourage you to share your stories with the#BeingBlackAtUofT hashtag! If you are a photographer/videographer, please come out and document!

FOR UTSC STUDENTS: Buses will be leaving for Hart House at 9:45am, and returning to the Scarborough Campus by 2pm. Please meet in front of the Old Gym.
_____________________________________________________

We will not back down until the UofT Administration responds to our list of demands to address the systemic anti-blackness in this university.

Our Demands:
1. Stop the funding freeze to the Transitional Year Program. Increase its funding and provide it with standalone, autonomous space and the recognition it deserves as a pioneering program gifted to the University of Toronto from the Black community. The Transitional Year Program has helped hundreds of students over the years, and the systematic erasure of the program by the administration is shameful

2. Address the underrepresentation of Black administrators, faculty and teaching staff with the goal of increases the percentage of black faculty and staff members on all three campuses at least 5 (five) percent by 2017-18. One of the primary experiences students referenced was a frustration at never seeing themselves represented amongst even our teaching assistants, let alone their faculty and administration. This lack of representation, even in programs where we would expect to be represented. This is a major issue that the University of Toronto should investigate and seek to address, in the same manner as would be done if this was an issue of gender.

3. Intentionally address the underrepresentation of Black students, especially in professional programs and graduate programs. While the university often uses our images to promote itself as a diverse campus, our presence on campus is disproportionately small, especially in very expensive programs. You should begin by collecting census data, so that we can accurately assess and effectively address the issue. You should also create a strategic plan to increase retention rates for marginalized students, sustain diversity curriculum and training, and promote a more safe and inclusive campus by 2016-17.

4. Develop a two year plan to establish, adequately fund and support a standalone African & Caribbean Studies Department. Despite Canada¹s history with respect to enslavement, the benefits Canada received as a result of enslavement, the establishment of Black communities, Canada¹s continued direct involvement in the economics and politics of the Caribbean, Canada¹s role as a one of the most popular destinations for diasporic migrants of African descent, there is very little support given to the existing undergraduate African Studies and Caribbean Studies programs. Even more egregiously, there are no such programs in existence at the graduate level; an omission we doubt could occur with other regions of the world and be ignored in assessments of UofT¹s rankings.

5. Establish mandatory equity training for all faculty, students, governors, and all other administrative bodies. This entails mandatory anti-oppression training for all persons employed by the University, and an equity breadth requirement for all students.

In love, rage and solidarity,
Black family at UofT

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