UNBC has joined over 40 universities and colleges across Canada to enact the Scarborough Charter on anti-Black Racism and Black inclusion in Canadian Higher Education.
“The principles, actions, and accountabilities outlined in the Scarborough Charter will guide us at UNBC as we take action to eliminate systemic racism and support Black inclusion across our campuses,” said UNBC interim President Dr. Geoff Payne.
“We are looking forward to working with other post-secondary institutions across Canada to ensure we are all doing the important work to support equity, diversity, and inclusion.”
The Charter contains four overarching principles that institutions can apply as they develop policies:
· Support Black flourishing by removing structural barriers to equity inclusion and social justice while advancing research, critical thinking, and engaged dissemination of knowledge that foster substantive equality, human dignity, and sustainability;
· Through inclusive excellence, recognize that equity, diversity and inclusion and that equitable inclusion enriches post-secondary education and is critical to excellence;
· Foster mutuality by developing positive, interactive relationships with Black communities, locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally;
· Accepting accountability through a process of continuous improvement, including ongoing, sustained implementation of the Charter’s principles-based commitments to action.
Global and International Studies Associate Professor Dr. Nathan Andrews participated in the National Dialogues and Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities in October that helped elevate the issue of anti-Black racism and Black inclusion to a national-level audience.
“The Charter represents an important step in not only acknowledging that systemic racism in higher education disproportionately affects Black people and hinders their excellence but it also reveals proactive ways of addressing this problem,” Andrews said.
“I would expect that institutions such as the UNBC will not only sign on to the Charter as a goodwill gesture but will commit to certain actionable and measurable initiatives that will tackle anti-Black racism, including race relations in general, and enhance inclusive excellence at the university and beyond.”