The last week has brought to the forefront of mainstream news the violence against Black people across North America. The horror of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, followed by Regis Korchinski-Paquet’s death in Toronto, must forever change us. This has followed innumerable murders and deaths of Black individuals, which came to international attention following the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012. As a society and as individuals we must do more. Alarmingly, these acts of violence and injustice against Black people are frequent. Systemic racism, in all its forms, must not be tolerated. It is incumbent upon us all to use our voices to support the urgent call for real change. For those of us who are white, this call for real change starts within us, no matter how progressive we believe we are. We join others as our internal call for change expands and extends to demand a reshaping of our society.
Many are sharing Desmond Tutu’s words in the last week, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” In our condemnation of anti-Black violence, we stand united with our Black students, alumni, faculty, staff and board volunteers. We must be honest. This is not as large a collective group as we want it to be. We have continued work to do as a university, including by offering you support.
King’s new Equity Officer, Tanisi Pooran, has resources and supports available. She is also available to just listen—particularly to Black, Indigenous and racialized students and other people of colour who are members of the King’s community and who feel impacted by events of the past week. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jordon Roberts, King’s Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Officer, who is trained in active listening and anti-racist solidarity, is also available, particularly to white and non-Black people seeking resources around how to support those directly affected. Email: email@example.com, tel (902) 229-6123
Additionally, the Racialized Students’ Collective (@ukingsRSC on Instagram) is compiling a list of resources.
Together, we shall raise our voices and diligently work toward a future that is better than this.
President and Vice Chancellor