As August speeds on, I know that all of us in Student Affairs are eagerly anticipating the arrival of students back on campus in a few short weeks. However, I cannot help but intentionally reflect on what occurred in Charlottesville Virginia this past weekend, on a university campus, in an area and city that I have visited frequently. The blatant racism and intolerance that occurred that day, and has continued since, reminds us all that we are far from an inclusive, just and equal society.
Here at AACUSS, we denounce all forms of racism, inequality and prejudices, and support our offices, schools and communities in supporting this mission. It is important for us to recognize that this is not just a problem for our neighbours to the South, but that Canada is not immune to racism, nor is Atlantic Canada. Talk to any racially visible student, colleague or friend, and you will hear lived experiences of facing blatant and systemic racism daily. This means that this is all our problem and there are things that we can be doing each and every day to help fight systemic racism. I especially encourage my fellow white colleagues to consider what we can do to recognize our own biases as well as to be active allies/accomplices. I have attached a few resources to this message that I encourage you to reflect on and consider. I also encourage you, the AACUSS membership, to challenge us, to ensure that AACUSS is advocating for the values of inclusivity and diversity and continues to work on making AACUSS a supportive environment for all its members. As always, if you have any questions, thoughts or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
(Resources from @nyashaJunior)