University of Regina signs Scarborough Charter on anti-Black racism and Black inclusion

News Release Release Date: November 18, 2021 2:45 p.m.

During a virtual, national event held this afternoon, the University of Regina joined over 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, as well as specific actions and accountability measures that will help guide universities in achieving their academic mission.

The principles (summarized) are:

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.”

As a charter member the University of Regina is also agreeing to participate in the establishment of an Inter-institutional Forum on Inclusive Higher Education to support sector-wide collaboration, learning, sustained commitment, and sharing of resources to redress anti-Black racism and promote Black inclusion. This includes supporting and participating in the work of an Inter-institutional Steering Committee on Inclusive Higher Education.

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.

Universities across Canada signed on to the Charter today, including: Acadia University, University of Alberta, University of Calgary, Simon Fraser University, University of Toronto, and Wilfrid Laurier University.

More information and the full text of the Charter are available here.

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About the University of Regina

The University of Regina—with campuses located on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territories, the ancestral lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota and Nakoda nations and the homeland of the Métis—is a comprehensive, mid-sized university that traces its roots back to the creation of Regina College in 1911. Today, more than 16,000 students study within the University's 10 faculties, 25 academic departments/schools, 18 research centres and institutes, and three federated colleges (Campion College, First Nations University of Canada, and Luther College). The University of Regina has an established reputation for excellence and innovative programs that lead to undergraduate, master, and doctoral degrees.

 

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