The Scarborough Charter: From Striving to Thriving

When I first started working at Queen’s in October 2018, I was excited for this new opportunity and new role. I had heard stories from other Black folks about how Queen’s was not welcoming to Black people and about the trauma that they had experienced during their time as a student here. But I was hopeful that times had changed and that things would be different. Surely much had changed over the years. But within my first two weeks at Queen’s, I attended my first Senate meeting in which I learned about the ban on Black medical students that had been on the books for 100 years. Though this ban had not been in practice at the Queen’s medical school for decades, it was shocking to me that not only had it ever existed in the first place, it still existed in 2018! I remember sitting there with my jaw dropped. Continue Reading »

Scarborough Charter: Everyone has a role to play…

Image credit: Getty/ AndreyPopov

In this piece, Corinna Fitzgerald – Assistant Dean (Student Life and Learning) at Queen’s University, reflects on what it means to be an accomplice, instead of an ally to a cause.

To begin, let me situate myself – I am a white, cis-gendered, straight woman who comes to this territory of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples as an uninvited settler visitor. I am originally from a very rural community in Newfoundland, where most people thought about diversity in terms of whether you were Protestant or Catholic. In fact, this is the territory where the last of Beothuk people were seen and walked, and where Mi’kmaq, Inuit, and Innu people, in the face of racism and exclusion, thrive as close and connected communities today. Growing up, I learned very little about inclusion and nothing about equity until I went to university as a first-generation student in the mid-90’s. Continue Reading »

Walking the Talk: Will the Scarborough Charter Be The Game Changer in Redressing Anti-Black Racism in Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions?

Image credit: Getty/ FG Trade

In this piece, Tawa Braimah, project manager of Queen’s University’s Scarborough Charter implementation group sets the tone for a series of conversations around tackling anti-black racism and promoting black flourishing in the Queen’s community.

In November 2021, Queen’s University became one of the over 50 universities and colleges in Canada to sign a charter committing to redressing anti-black racism in post-secondary institutions. A product of nationwide conversations around the state of anti-blackness in Canadian institutions of higher learning, the Scarborough Charter is a bold pledge to take action against anti-black racism while fostering Black inclusion in these institutions. The 22-page document pivots around four main principles that individual institutions are expected to draw inspiration from in developing meaningful action plans to create conducive environment for Black faculty, staff and students to thrive in. These guiding principles are; Black Flourishing; Continue Reading »

Walking in the Footsteps of My Foremothers

Pvska Oti Ibalhto with squash and pinto beans

In this piece, Misty Underwood, Program Coordinator, Indigenous Pathways at Queen’s University, reflects on the transformative power of remembering; remembering her foremothers, homelands, ancestral seeds and foodways.

I walk in the footsteps of my foremothers;  

I carry their stories and seeds. 

I walk in their path, with ceremony growing corn and beans; 

I am given life. 

I walk as they have walked praying, singing, dreaming; 

I walk along my journey, 

Ever spiraling

     I know that my path is never lonely. 

Each step I walk in my foremothers’ footsteps is a step upon the sacred path, Continue Reading »

Rumpelstiltskin: Spinning Gold from Pandemic Straw

In this blog piece, Dr. Klodiana Kolomitro, Associate Vice-Principal (Teaching and Learning), reflects on the necessary shifts to improve the higher education landscape in the post-pandemic reality

Can you feel it, too? It’s the residue of one of the largest disruptions to education combined with a call to action in the higher education landscape. How do we move from hopelessness, despair, and fatigue to hope, joy, and flourishment? How can we heal as a community? I see the following necessary shifts in teaching and learning to help us get there.

1.Maslow before Bloom

The physical isolation of the pandemic accentuated the need to create a space and place for students as whole human beings at a time when academics and personal life were constantly colliding. A post-pandemic landscape needs to welcome and encourage the whole student through physiological, safety, love, Continue Reading »

White wall with a mask grafitti with the words Covid-19. Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash

Imagining a post-pandemic world with equitable public service treatment

In this blog piece, Ayden Adeyanju-Jackson, a third-year Queen’s student, reflects on the importance of understanding and addressing systemic disadvantages for BIPoC communities in order to achieve lasting post-pandemic change

Over the past 3 decades, the world has watched all levels of society (i.e., supranational, regional, national, and local governments; multinational and national businesses; and international non-governmental organizations and grassroot movements) embrace social justice values and practices at the forefront of their policy agendas. This pervasive, unequivocal aspirational rhetoric for social justice reform is most-likely attributed to the rise of globalization, where cross-regional relationship building and information exchange has increased the voice, organizational capacity, and agency of BIPoC communities around the world. With this greater structural agency (i.e., greater individual and collective capacity for actors to change the structures they are bounded by), the intrinsic and practical value of BIPoC communities to the global value chain can no longer be ignored. Continue Reading »