Anti-racism

Academic group supports Chief Spence and Idle No More

idle-no-moreA group of academics have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and to Governor General David Johnston to express their solidarity with Chief Theresa Spence and the Idle No More movement.

The letter can be read online in English, French and Spanish, and the group has also launched a Facebook group, Academics in Solidarity with Chief Theresa Spence, which has more than 1,600 followers.

Today is Day 23 of Chief Spence’s hunger strike. Leader of the Attawapiskat First Nation, she has called on Prime Minister Harper and the Governor General to meet with Aboriginal leaders to “initiate immediate discussions and the...

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Crossroads: Race and Gender in the Canadian Academy – Searching for Equity

Caitlin Stone Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

During the afternoon of May 31, Frances HenryCarol TatorCarl James, and Ena Dua gathered to present their research and findings on the marginalization of racialized faculty in Canadian universities. Research was conducted using personal interviews, surveys, and site visits and the results were not surprising. As Tator explained, universities have been very slow to make positive changes to make their universities a more equitable environment for racialized faculty members. What often occurs is that administrations will pay lip service to equity issues for faculty but no real changes will take place.

The majority of faculty surveyed who identified as a visible minority were...

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Privilege vs. Complicity: People of Colour and Settler Colonialism

Beenash Jafri, York University
Guest Contributor

This entry is part of the Equity Issues Portfolio’s series on Indigenizing the academy and Indigenous education.

March 21st marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It is a day to commemorate lives lost during the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, and to reflect on our contemporary efforts to challenge racism and colonialism. In the spirit of this day, I would like to contribute to the ongoing Equity Matters discussions – for example,...

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Resisting Invisibility: Black faculty in Art and Art History in Canada

Charmaine Nelson, McGill University
Guest Contributor

This entry is part of the VP Equity Issues series on Black History Month in Canada.

As Black History Month draws to a close and Women’s History Month begins, I am reminded of the importance of my identity as a black female scholar. More specifically, I am a rare breed of Canadian academic, a black female art historian. At the most recent meeting of the Universities Art Association of Canada (UAAC) annual conference in Ottawa in 2011, I found myself again...

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Homonationalist Discourse, Queer Organizing and the Media

Fatima Jaffer, University of British Columbia
Guest Contributor

This entry is part of the CFHSS’s VP Equity Issues series on issues related to LGBTQI2-S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning, intersex and Two-Spirited) peoples.

Media stories build on tropes and themes familiar to readers. Such tropes and themes act as a shorthand or ‘common sense’ of what we, as readers, are assumed to believe or are likely to accept. I would argue that in Canada these tropes haven’t changed much since Confederation, although they have varied in form over time and space. Historically these tropes – of white superiority versus the racial inferiority of...

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Indigenous Peoples, Colonialism and Ballet-Slipper Socks: Telling Stories and Storytelling

Jocelyn Thorpe, Memorial University
Guest Contributor

This entry is part of the Equity Issues Portfolio’s series on Indigenizing the academy and Indigenous education.

Our daughter rarely wore the pink ballet-slipper socks she received when she was born. My partner couldn’t stand them, finding in those socks every limitation ever imposed upon a girl. But I hung onto them, unable to give away newborn socks that actually stayed on newborn feet. Two-and-a-half years later, those socks have made a reappearance, this time on the feet of our baby boy. Suddenly, my partner can’t get enough of...

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Black History Month and Paradoxes of Narrating the Nation: Black-Mi'kmaq Relations

Paula Madden, University of Sussex
Guest Contributor

This entry is part of the VP Equity series on Black History Month in Canada.

Black History Month is an interesting time of year. All across the country African Canadians celebrate their achievements. They assert their belonging and an equal claim to the project that we call Canada based on their many contributions to building Canada and also for their length of tenure. The stories of Black Pioneers are shared and Black participation in wars such as the War of 1812 is told and retold. As well, the story of...

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Canada’s Black Writers: Achieving Excellence and Avoiding Annihilation

Zetta Elliott, Borough of Manhattan Community College
Guest Contributor

Last summer, after returning from a cross-border trip to Toronto, a friend of mine asked: “What’s wrong with Canada?” It’s a question she and I have considered over the years as we’ve worked to establish ourselves as black women writers and scholars. Rosamond is a poet/performance artist/activist. I met her in graduate school at New York University, where she wrote her dissertation on Caribbean immigrant literature, including texts by Canadian authors Dionne Brand and Austin Clarke...

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Black queer and Black Trans – Imagine Imagination Imaginary Futures

Rinaldo Walcott, University of Toronto
Guest Contributor

This entry is part of the CFHSS’s VP Equity Issues series on issues related to LGBTQI2-S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning, intersex and Two-Spirited) peoples.

Over the last few years I have had the opportunity to teach, to learn from and to learn with an incredible and impressive group of Black queer and Black Trans students. These students live and work at the interstices of communities, studies and politics and in each case they are often not imagined as belonging. In most...

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