Dear Gender Studies Community,

Events of the past week in the US and Toronto have created more opportunities to reflect on 400 years of colonialism; Black oppression; state violence against Black, Indigenous and radicalized people; and White supremacy in the northern parts of Turtle Island.

George Floyd, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor
Regis Korchinski-Paquet, D’Andre Campbell, Machuar Madut, Nicholas Gibbs

These are the name of just a few Black men and women killed recently by police in the US and in Canada. 

Black people in Toronto are 20 times to be shot dead by police than white people.

This stark and deeply disturbing fact is the bottom line on numerous other related facts about the experiences of Black Canadians. It underscores the urgent need to unsettle White Canadian’s complacency around—and therefore complicity with—anti-Black racism. 

Universities have particular and important obligations to address our colonial histories and help dismantle systems of oppression. We have much work to do; we have barely started.

This morning I wrote to Dean Barbara Crow and copied the Principal, Provost, and others, asking them to fulfil an important recommendation from the PICRDI report: the funding of a research chair in Black Studies. I hope there will be quick, decisive and positive action on this request.

Sammi King has already posted a notice of the Solidarity Vigil at Skeleton Park tomorrow (2 June) at 4:30. I hope to see many of you there.

I would also like to bring to your attention a number of useful links posted by the Queen’s Black Academic Society.

There is so much more that could be said, but words fail me today. And, our actions will speak louder than our words.

In solidarity for justice,

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