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UM endorses the Scarborough Charter

Charter to address anti-Black racism and foster Black inclusion

January 28, 2022 — 

The University of Manitoba has endorsed the Scarborough Charter on anti-Black racism and Black Inclusion, a historic document that commits UM to combat anti-Black racism and foster Black inclusion in higher education and communities.

The charter is built upon four core principles: Black flourishing, inclusive excellence, mutuality, and accountability.  These principles commit institutions to champion racial equity, racial diversity, inclusion and belonging by addressing systemic barriers, and supporting and enhancing the economic development, and the health and well-being of diverse Black communities.

Building on these four principles, the Scarborough Charter outlines commitments to action, some of which include:

  • Identify the extent of Black underrepresentation and address barriers to belonging by establishing substantive strategies such as targets, timelines, and transparency mechanisms, and provide sustained resource commitments.
  • Build equitable practices into teaching, research grant selection, and research recognition.
  • Review the university’s recruitment, admissions, hiring, retention, and promotion/advancement practices to address anti-Black racism, and eliminate the barriers to access and inclusion that Black people currently face.
  • Recruit and retain Black faculty, staff, and students in all areas of the university, across faculties, colleges and units, through mentorship, sponsorship, and capacity building.
  • Establish Black Canadian Studies and Black Diaspora Studies programming; develop university wide curricular offerings that acknowledge a) the history of a Black presence in Canada, and b) the diversity and complexity of Black experiences and identities.
  • Establish and foster robust community partnerships with Black-led organizations.
  • Provide education on manifestations of anti-Black racism for all Members of the UM community.
  • Develop performance expectations for faculty and staff that build capacity in the areas of anti-Black racism, Black inclusion, and Black excellence.

“The University of Manitoba is proud to endorse the Scarborough Charter,” says Michael Benarroch, UM’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “Its creation was a joint effort from voices across the country and within our institutions. Everyone from scholars to administrators to students had the chance to inform this pivotal document. It is an important declaration: we can and will do better in the area of anti-Black racism, and we will grow stronger because of it.”

Implementing the recommendations of this charter will be driven by the newly established Anti-Racism Task Force, which will hold it’s first meeting in February 2022. This task force is being led by Naomi Andrew, Vice-President (Administration) and Catherine Cook, Vice-President (Indigenous), and it will work in concert with UM’s inaugural and recently announced Executive Lead (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion), Distinguished Professor Tina Chen.

“UM has been demonstrating leadership in creating the Disruption of All Forms of Racism Policy, and this charter further cements that action while also holding us to account on a national level,” says Andrew. “This charter will assist the Anti-Racism Task Force, and our larger community, in finding even more opportunities to further our values and goals of an equitable, diverse, and inclusive community that enables all people to thrive on our campus and in their home communities.”

More news on the Anti-Racism Task Force will be shared in the coming weeks as it begins its operation to further the goals and values outlined in Our Shared Future, the UM’s interim Strategic Plan that was released in October 2021.

Over 50 universities and colleges across Canada have signed the charter and are endorsing the principles, actions, and accountabilities outlined in the Scarborough Charter. The President’s Office officially sent its endorsement of the charter on January 22, 2022.

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