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A message from President Michael Benarroch regarding Scholar Strike Canada

September 8, 2020 — 

The University of Manitoba is a community where we exchange ideas, where we shine a light on past actions and hard truths, and where we question established patterns. We do this work because it allows us to grow, both as individuals and as a community. Our community and our nation are now at a crossroads, and we must ask ourselves – how will we listen, how will we learn, and how will we grow?

Canada’s academic community has been invited to participate in Scholar Strike, planned for September 9 and 10. We intend to empower our community members to participate so that they can listen, learn, and grow.

Participation in this action is voluntary, and the University supports its community members using this time in the way that will benefit them most. Participation can also take many forms. Some in the academic community will choose to directly participate in these two days of reflection and learning, while others will search for different ways to advocate for change, such as in-class exploration, deepened research, or joining online anti-racism sessions.

Faculty and instructors who choose to participate in Scholar Strike are asked to communicate to students and to their Academic Administrator any changes to class schedules or academic obligations with as much advance notice as possible as per the Responsibilities of Academic Staff with Regard to Students Policy.

I want to be clear – the University of Manitoba condemns all forms of racism. Anti-BIPOC racism (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) has no place on our campuses, in our curricula, or in our governance systems. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion must form the bedrock of our institution, and indeed, all modern and accessible universities in Canada. The University is continuing to work on developing an action plan to address racism through the work of the Office of the Vice-President (Indigenous) and the President’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

More information about Scholar Strike, including the key note address by journalist and activist Desmond Cole, and a Programme Schedule of cross-campus digital teach-ins can be found at https://scholarstrikecanada.ca/. All are encouraged to participate in these important conversations.

I understand that this is a difficult and uncertain time. If you need support, please reach out to the resources below. An important part of this moment is taking care of ourselves, and taking care of each other.

Resources for Students

Resources for Faculty and Staff

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