A statement was issued today by some members of the Indigenous Cultural Alliance at Bishop’s University denouncing systemic racism on campus and calling for change.
“As Principal of the University I want to reaffirm our commitment to continuing our efforts to address systemic racism in our institution and to advance equity, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of Bishop’s”, said Michael Goldbloom C.M., Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Bishop’s University.
“These are important and at times difficult and painful discussions and we are determined to pursue them in a climate of candor and mutual respect,” the Principal adds.
“Last fall, we established a Joint Board and Senate Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion which has broad representation from across the University. The Task Force issued a preliminary report in December 2020,” he indicates.
“Its first recommendation was that we should hire a Special Advisor on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion whose mandate will be to foster a university environment where individual differences are recognized, embraced and valued. The recruitment process is underway,” the Principal concludes.
“I am confident that as the Task Force continues its work it will identify additional actions that the University must take in order to ensure that we are the truly inclusive institution we aspire to be.”
“The acknowledgement and condemnation of systemic racism at Bishop’s University is a driving force behind the work of the Joint Board-Senate Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. As Co-Chair of this Task Force, I am committed to the active dismantling of all barriers that keep our institution from becoming as equitable, diverse, and inclusive as it can be,” said Dr. Jenn Cianca.
“Barriers are present not only in terms of race-based inequities, but also among other equity-deserving groups, including those experiencing discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious practice, and ability. The Task Force is examining all policies, frameworks, and structures that contribute to barriers to all equity-deserving groups at Bishop’s University,” Dr. Cianca continues.
“I am hopeful that the work of the members of the Task Force, in open and respectful dialogue with the Bishop’s community at large, will help move us towards a community of belonging of which we may all be proud”, she concludes.