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More than Just Words: From Anti-racism Statements to Action

In our October blog, Alana Butler, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s, walks us through the importance of moving from awareness to action in relation to our anti-racism commitments

The summer of 2020 not only brought us new social norms about dealing with a global pandemic, but worldwide protests against racist police brutality. The May 25 murder of George Floyd might have gone unmentioned were it not for multiple cell phone videos capturing his agonizing death in eight minutes and 46 seconds while under the knee of a White police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Tragically, this type of event was not new. Black men and women have been the victims of state sanctioned murder for centuries.  So have Indigenous and other racialized Americans over history. After the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, Black Lives Matter has emerged as a recent social movement whose goal was to draw attention to the issue of racialized police brutality.   Continue Reading »

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Together We Are: 6th year!

The school year is starting with many changes and uncertainties. But in times of crisis, solidarity becomes key.

During 2020, several events of international relevance have prompted equity-seeking communities to keep challenging the oppressive systems that have made them more vulnerable. In this 6th year, the Together We Are blog will explore how equity-seeking communities are supporting each other during times of crisis, and how equity-seeking groups can ensure that the ‘new normal’ is built on equity principles.

As we update this blog with excellent pieces from Queen’s students, staff and faculty members, don’t forget that YOU are part of this conversation as well. Together We Are is part of the Queen’s and broader Kingston community, therefore, you can share and comment on all of our Social Media platforms.

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Compassion, Acquisition, Respect, Evaluation (CARE): Key to Academic Acculturation

In our final blog post, Liying Cheng, professor and Director of the Assessment and Evaluation Group (AEG) at the Faculty of Education, talks about how we can re-shape higher education systems in Canada with a more equitable approach

At Queen’s University, we are proud to state that “We are people who want to learn, discover, think, and do. We push the limits of what can be achieved and develop ideas that can make a difference in the world”. In order to achieve this goal, we need to challenge our thinking, learn something new (Learning), relearn what we have acquired (Re-learning), and have the capacity to challenge what we learned previously (Un-learning), which is this year’s theme for Together We Are! Most importantly, this learning, re-learning and un-learning within a higher education setting need to be conducted in a Safe Space where compassion, Continue Reading »

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Speaking Up with Love (and maybe a glass of wine)

In this blog, Vanessa McCourt, Academic Advisor and Undergraduate Program Coordinator in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, talks about the importance of having courageous conversations

 

I’ve never been one to speak up. I get red and flushed in the face, my underarms sweat, the right words don’t come, and I feel REALLY uncomfortable. So, for those reasons, when people have said something that I think is offensive – either directed to me or someone else – I usually keep quiet.

Fast forward 40 years (well, minus the two years before I could speak), I read a Facebook post that made me really upset. Then to my husband’s chagrin, I responded back with my own comments. Of course, this started a commenting frenzy of defending opinions.

The person who posted is my neighbor. The neighbor who is nice to my kids, Continue Reading »

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Rediscovering my identity: a biracial journey

In our February blog, Nathan Utioh, Residence Life Coordinator, narrates his experience as a biracial person and analyses the impact of an interesting journey of re-learning

I grew up in a small town in rural Manitoba, the younger of two- my mom is a white woman who grew up in the prairies and my dad is a black man who emigrated from Nigeria. Apart from the kids of my parents’ friends, I do not remember other black kids at my school through elementary years and none in my class until high school. It is not an understatement to recognize that I was limited in the scale of diversity I was exposed growing up.

At the same time, I know the smells of my dad’s fufu and pepper soup and can hear the rhythm of the music he would play around the house. Continue Reading »

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My safety: Rethinking safe spaces through intentional community building

In our January blog, Mofi Badmos, Diversity and Inclusivity Coordinator at the Smith School of Business, talks about the importance of community and how creating spaces for BIPoC individuals is key to fostering belonging

We finish our third book club meeting discussing Akwaeke Emezi’s Freshwater, with so much awe and gratitude that I say to my friend and book club member “wow, I can’t believe we continue to make this happen”. I am stunned at how five Black women, in four different countries, across different time zones come together, in community, to discuss books and themes all connected through our different but shared experiences as Black women navigating society.

Our lazily named Best Book Club was intentional on the membership being Black and non-Black racialized women from African countries reading books by other Black and non-Black racialized African authors. Continue Reading »