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Queen’s signs Scarborough Charter on anti-Black racism and Black inclusion

University joins institutional partners from across Canada in move toward more meaningful and concrete action in confronting racism and championing diversity.

Scarborough Charter official image
An official Scarborough Charter signing ceremony took place at a virtual event on Nov. 18, 2021.

Queen’s has joined 40 universities and colleges across Canada as a signatory of the Scarborough Charter — a sector-wide agreement designed to move post-secondary institutions beyond rhetoric and to more meaningful, concrete actions to address anti-Black racism and to promote Black inclusion. Signed by Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane during a virtual ceremony on Nov. 18, 2021, the charter follows through on commitments made by partner institutions at the October 2020 National Dialogues and Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities and provides a framework for delivering on these promises.

“Today serves as an important milestone in Queen’s ongoing commitment to create a more inclusive institution. The Scarborough Charter specifically addresses anti-Black racism and, in so doing, recognizes an integral part of our community’s pledge to address all forms of systemic racism and take action to promote equity and inclusivity across our campus,” says Principal Deane. 

The Scarborough Charter is founded on four core principles — Black flourishing, inclusive excellence, mutuality, and accountability. These principles commit partners to addressing systemic barriers, championing equity, diversity, and inclusion, and further realizing the power of universities and colleges have in boosting the economic development of Black communities, while remaining accountable to regular and concerted progress.

Each of the core principles are underpinned by detailed target areas and actions that seek wide-ranging changes and improvements to post-secondary governance, approaches to research, teaching and learning, and community engagement.

“I applaud colleagues across the sector and here at Queen’s who led and participated in the National Dialogues for this remarkable achievement,” says Stephanie Simpson, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusivity). “Much has happened at Queen’s over the last five years to move us toward greater recognition of the contributions of Black students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members, as well as the challenges we face. The charter affirms our institution’s commitment to support and nurture Black intellectual life, to Black thriving in its many forms, and to our collective responsibility for ensuring Black inclusion throughout our structure, policies and practices.”

The development of the Scarborough Charter follows a year of collaboration and consultation led by the University of Toronto (Scarborough) and involving Queen’s and other institutional partners, as well as Black political and civic leaders and organizations.  

Learn more about the Scarborough Charter and watch Principal Deane deliver video remarks on its importance.