This has been a very difficult week for communities across North America and beyond. Families have suffered great loss due to violent racist action. And so many more have had wounds of racist experience ripped open. We’ve been reminded in the most painful of ways of the persistence of racism and discrimination in our society and the magnitude of these issues.
The pain, fear, and anger are palpable. And the response requires all of us.
We need to personally and collectively be brutally and unwaveringly honest about how race affects advantage, disadvantage, life and death. We need to dig deep to uncover the systemic nature of racism in our community. We need to guarantee safety, honesty and find new ways to commit to anti-racist action.
Silence and inaction are themselves harmful.
We need to come together. We need to care for one another. We need to remind that this is an issue that we must all challenge vigorously. We need to do more, at MSVU and broadly.
MSVU stands in solidarity with our Black students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends. You have our University’s unwavering support. MSVU will not tolerate racism of any kind.
As a centre for teaching, learning and research, we have a duty to educate; a duty to encourage safe dialogue; a duty to break down barriers; a duty to move beyond the bounds of our university and be an agent for change in the broader community. We must use our classrooms, our conversations, and our collective to end racism and discrimination.
Many at MSVU are engaged in efforts to foster a community of support and I’m deeply grateful for their work. With the leadership of our Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee, Black Student Support Office, L’nu Advisory Circle, Aboriginal Student Centre, and Students of African Descent Advisory Committee, we will continue to ensure an equitable and inclusive University community.
Dr. Mary Bluechardt
President & Vice-Chancellor
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