Acting on Racism at Queen's University
To: Principal Woolf and Provost Bacon,
In light of the recent Queen’s student costume party which stereotyped racialized people, we call upon you to recognize that the University could do far more to end the longstanding culture of White privilege.
The party violates two of the Four Pillars of the Queen’s Academic Plan (the focus on global awareness and inclusion; and community health and wellness). Furthermore, recent political developments have implicitly given sanction to expressing racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist, and classist views. In such a political climate, it is all the more imperative for Queen's University to stand emphatically against these developments, and to implement and enforce policies that not only respect but promote and uphold difference and diversity. Therefore, we demand that the university investigate the incident, and apply its own code of conduct and non-academic disciplinary procedures, where applicable, in order to signal to all students that we are a multi-ethnic, multi-racial university, where everyone should and must feel safe and welcome.
As members of the Queen’s community, we know that this is not an isolated event. The Diversity and Equity task force (2011) had specific recommendations that were never implemented. These were based on previous reports and recommendations of the DARE panel, the Breslauer report, the Henry report and the PAC-Berry report. We call on the university to implement the many recommendations of its own Diversity and Equity task force.
Principal Woolf and Provost Bacon- we are educators who are committed to teaching global citizens. But we cannot perform our job as individuals, and without a commitment for structural changes by you. It is time you step up and lead this institution away from its culture of whiteness and into the diverse reality of Canada.
Queen’s faculty members