U of T leads first-of-its-kind national dialogue to address anti-Black racism in higher ed

Vice-President and Principal, University of Toronto Scarborough Wisdom Tettey is coordinating a national forum with universities and colleges across Canada to address anti-Black racism in higher education/photo by Dylan Toombs


The University of Toronto is leading a first-of-its-kind national dialogue focused on tackling anti-Black racism in Canadian post-secondary education. 

The gathering is the first in a series called National Dialogues and Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities. Coordinated by Professor Wisdom Tettey, U of T vice-president and principal of U of T Scarborough and Karima Hashmani, U of T’s executive director, equity, diversity and inclusion, it is a partnership with universities and colleges across Canada.

“Our hope is to facilitate a national conversation that goes beyond talk and actually promotes concrete actions to address anti-Black racism within our institutions and across our sector,” said Tettey.

“The goal is to come up with feasible, effective, and sustainable ideas and actions that meaningfully respond to calls for change by members of our higher education community.”

Scheduled to take place in late September or early October 2020, the forum will enable participants to share experiences of anti-Black racism in academia, learn from best practices currently being pursued by post-secondary institutions, and come up with concrete actions to enhance them. 

“We must confront and eradicate anti-Black racism on our campuses and in the world around us,” said President Meric Gertler. “I am grateful to Professor Tettey and Karima Hashmani for leading this national dialogue. It is an opportunity for all of us to work together for lasting change.”

Sessions will address and make recommendations regarding specific topics, such as access and success for Black students, staff and faculty; inclusive teaching, learning and curricula; representation within decision-making structures; enabling community and belonging; responsibilities and obligations of non-Black peers as partners; and how best to collect and use race-based data. 

Tettey said the conversation will be as inclusive as possible, with faculty, staff, students and senior administrators from across Canada invited to participate. 

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