Department of Geography and Planning
The Department of Geography and Planning is an integrated department that studies the earth's places, societies, environments and landscapes. The Department is unique in bridging the social sciences and humanities (human geography and urban planning) with earth system science (physical geography and environmental planning) and offers BA, BSc, MA, MSc, MPL and PhD degree programs as well as a Certificate in Geographic Information Science and a Certificate in Urban Planning Studies.
The Department of Geography and Planning aspires to promote a diverse, safe and inclusive environment for all students, staff and faculty through its teaching, research and actions. We stand in solidarity with the movements protesting police violence, anti-Black, and anti-Indigenous racism and are committed to being more actively anti-racist in all aspects of departmental life. We recognize that this requires a long and ongoing process of learning and necessitates actions that go beyond one statement on our website.
We invite all members of the Department to reflect on how they can centre racial justice and the struggle against all systems of oppression in their work. To our BIPOC communities: we see you and we stand with you, but we know this is not enough, we know, actions speak louder than words. Our first actions as a Department are to form a departmental Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee with a mandate to make recommendations on needed policy changes, consult with BIPOC students, staff and faculty on what issues they identify within our Department and work collaboratively to find solutions, and commit to using the departmental Speaker Series to educate ourselves on issues around anti-Black racism, abolition, and decolonial possibilities.
Special Notice on Racism and Hate
Recent news reports remind us that racism and hate run deep within Canada. This is not part of the Canadian national narrative - the stories we tell ourselves about who we are as a nation, but it should be. The reported deaths of the last two weeks are horrific and distressing even if starkly different in time and context: the terrible and confirming findings in BC of 215 Indigenous children buried unceremoniously in unmarked graves on the grounds of a Kamloops residential school, and this past Sunday, the horrifying murder of a Muslim family in London, ON. We struggle to find the words to express our outrage and sadness, and stand in solidarity with those of you feeling grief, fear, anger and sorrow. As a department we are even more resolved to using our resources and teaching spaces to educate ourselves to recognize and challenge racism and hate in all its forms, both at home and abroad. We want our department, our university and this country to become the safe and inclusive place that it should be. We can do more. We must do more.