Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Positive change through action – addressing racism within our community

June 11th, 2021

The recent horrific news concerning the discovery of a mass grave of indigenous children at a former residential school in BC, the tragic hate crimes perpetrated in London, Ontario earlier this week, and the shared experiences of members of our Antigonish community who are subjected to racism reinforce why we, as a community, must commit ourselves to do more to ensure that the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion are held at the highest level in all that we do as an institution of higher learning.  There is much energy in this university to create positive change through action and we ask that, as a community, we put our collective weight behind the work of the President’s Action Committee on Anti-Racism (PACAR). The call for change has been made. The call needs to be answered. What we do as an institution matters.

Members of the PACAR Committee have commenced their work of delivering on the vision of a safe, accessible, supportive and welcoming campus community for all. The Committee is currently gathering and reviewing information and reports compiled by those who have come before them in this work at StFX. They are also gathering resources from other institutions and organizations who have demonstrated leadership in anti-racism. From this, the Committee will distill key learnings concerning the systemic changes needed to support change and the ways in which each member of our community can contribute to this work. The Committee will be sharing opportunities in the coming months for you to contribute your expertise and your energy in support of this work. 

As a reminder, the PACAR will identify and address systemic barriers to full and equal participation at StFX, review university policies, procedures, and practices to ensure alignment with our goals of equity and inclusion. Widespread education about racism and clear communications about our intolerance of racism and racist practices must be at the forefront of our anti-racist strategy. The scope of work will encompass the entire sphere of university operations. The objectives are to:

  • Serve as a resource to the President, and members of the senior leadership team, on anti-racism with particular attention to anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism.
  • Work with existing offices, committee structures, and positions within the university to ensure highly coordinated, and well communicated university-wide approaches to addressing anti-racism.
  • Review current policies and procedures with an intention to better address community racism and promote anti-racism.
  • Work to provide community informed pathways to adjust, improve and implement a university-level anti-racism action plan. This action plan will speak to diversity, equity and inclusion issues related to reporting, teaching and learning practices, and services and supports.
  • Serve as an ongoing lens focused on all matters associated with addressing racism and the promotion of anti-racism at StFX.

 

We wish to recognize and thank all who expressed interest in contributing to this important work. The members of the PACAR are:

Robert Upshaw, Faculty, Co-Chair 

Elizabeth Yeo, VP Students Co-Chair 

Kerry Prosper, Indigenous Elder 

Dr. Tim Hynes, VP Academic and Provost 

Dr. Ornella Nzindukiyimana, Faculty 

Dr. Shelley Price, Faculty 

Krista Hanscomb, Staff 

Lee Anna Osei, Staff 

Ann Sylliboy, Community 

Sabrina Skinner, Community 

Ella Mulvihill, Student

Che Morales, Student 

Gord Gallimore, Student 

Lynne Delorey, Working Group Administrative Support 

 

The PACAR will draw on the expertise and experience of the StFX community and particularly those who bring subject matter expertise relative to the objectives under consideration. 

Sincerely, Andy, Elizabeth and Robert

Andy Hakin, President and Vice-Chancellor, StFX University

Elizabeth Yeo, Co-Chair, President’s Action Committee on Anti-Racism

Robert Upshaw, Co-Chair, President’s Action Committee on Anti-Racism

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