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University of Regina signs Scarborough Charter committing to Black inclusion

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: November 18, 2021 2:50 p.m.

 University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen signing the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black racism and Black inclusion.
University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen signing the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black racism and Black inclusion. University Advancement and Communications

During a virtual, national event held November 18, 2021, the University of Regina joined more than 40 other universities and colleges from across Canada to sign the Scarborough Charter on anti-Black racism and Black inclusion in Canadian Higher Education.

“This Charter is congruent with the University’s 2020-25 Strategic Plan – All Our Relations – which recognizes the important role we must play in redressing historical and current barriers to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) inclusion and representation in post-secondary education,” said Dr. Jeff Keshen, President and Vice-Chancellor.

“Healthy institutions and communities are those that are characterized by equity, diversity, and inclusion, and are free from racism and oppression. By signing the Charter, we acknowledge that as an institution and indeed as individuals, we have much to do in this regard, and are resolutely committed to doing it.”

The Charter establishes four overarching principles:

  • Black Flourishing – entails removing structural barriers to equity, inclusion and social justice while advancing innovative critical thinking, and engaged dissemination of knowledge to foster equality, human dignity, and sustainability.
  • Inclusive Excellence – embodies the recognition that not only is post-secondary education enriched by equity, diversity and inclusion; equitable inclusion is critical to excellence in teaching, innovation and societal transformation.
  • Mutuality – recognizes the positive, interactive relationship with Black communities that universities and colleges can assume in Black communities’ economic development, notably as anchor institutions and local employers.
  • Accountability – encourages universities and colleges to move beyond mere representation and take responsibility for supporting fulsome, transformative inclusion across structures, policies and procedures.

“The Scarborough Charter identifies supporting actions that are relevant to each of the four principles,” said Pauline Streete, Senior Advisor on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Oppression at the University of Regina. “The University will develop an institutional Action Plan that will operationalize these principles with actions addressing governance, research, teaching and learning, and community engagement as appropriate to the University’s specific context.”

The University’s 2020-25 Strategic Plan recognizes the important role the University has in redressing historical and current barriers to Indigenous inclusion and representation in post-secondary education and commits to addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action relevant to post-secondary education. In signing this Charter we are also recognizing the role universities have played in enabling discrimination against other historically excluded groups, including Black people, and we are affirming our commitment to redressing anti-Black racism and supporting Black inclusion in higher education.

President Keshen’s video statement and signing of the Scarborough Charter on anti-Black racism and Black inclusion in Higher Education can be viewed here.