BrainsCAN statement on acts of racism
June 5, 2020
Dear BrainsCAN community,
BrainsCAN stands in solidarity with the Black community who are experiencing the hurt and painful reminders of their lived experiences of anti-Black racism through current events. The recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd in the USA brought to light issues that are not unique to American society. In Canada, systemic anti-Black racism exists and reproduces trauma and marginalization of Black people, as seen with the recent deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto, and D’Andre Campbell in Brampton. This is reflective of those seen south of the border.
Historically, universities have been an unwelcoming space for Black students, faculty and staff and the legacies of anti-Black racism are evident today in various types of institutional exclusion and discrimination. BrainsCAN is committed to doing its part in eradicating these existing practices through intentional and intersectional programmatic self-reflection, assessment and changes in policy to encourage, support and empower individuals to overhaul systems that advantage their advancement to the detriment of others.
Black Lives Matter.
We condemn any form of prejudice, stigmatization, or racism, and will continue to strive to ensure that the academic and research environment we provide is equitable and inclusive. Leaders and those in positions of power in the Canadian academy must reflect on their personal privilege and the ways in which they have benefited from this system and take purposeful action to change the structure from within.
We invite you to let us know how we may better support our BrainsCAN community in this endeavor. Please contact our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Specialist (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions, comments, or suggestions. Also, we invite you to access the resources available on the BrainsCAN EDI website for those who seek to be allies and be more informed about the issues.
Lisa Saksida, Ravi Menon, Adrian Owen, Fay Harrison
BrainsCAN Executive Committee
Paul Gribble, Lisa Saksida, Fay Harrison, Nicole Kaniki, Kasey Van Hedger, Alexandra Levine, Dendra Hillier
BrainsCAN Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee