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Media Advisory - Queen's moves to right historic wrong

Monday, April 15, 2019

KINGSTON – Principal Daniel Woolf and Dean Richard Reznick will formally apologize for school’s 1918 ban of Black medical students, during an official letter-signing ceremony on Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2019.

In 1918, the Senate of Queen’s University voted to support a motion prohibiting students of African descent from attending its medical school, at the request of the Faculty of Medicine – a ban that was enforced until 1965. According to recent research by Queen’s PhD candidate, Edward Thomas, the ban was put in place to demonstrate alignment with discriminatory policies favoured at the time by the American Medical Association, the organization that ranked medical schools in North America.

Even after 1965, archival evidence suggests the historical facts of the ban were misrepresented by the university when confronted with the issue in 1978, 1986, and 1988. In 2018, once Mr. Thomas presented his research findings to the current Queen’s Senate and brought to light the motion’s continued existence, the university formally rescinded the resolution that enabled the ban.

Since, a commission formed at the request of Dean Reznick has identified a series of necessary steps to address this historic injustice, many of which are already underway.

When / Where
The ceremony will take place on Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2019 starting at 3:30 pm EST, in advance of the meeting of the Queen’s Senate. The meeting takes place in Robert Sutherland Hall Room 202.

Ceremony speakers:
Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University
Richard Reznick, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University
Stephanie Simpson, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion)

Available interviews (immediately following ceremony):
Mala Joneja, Director, Diversity and Equity, School of Medicine, Queen’s University
Stephanie Simpson, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion)

Principal Woolf and Dean Reznick will sign the official apology letter. They will then share remarks, as will AVP Simpson.

Anne Craig
Communications Officer, Media Relations
Queen’s University
613-533-2877 or 613-484-3979 (cell)