Revised: Statement regarding report of anti-Black racism incident during Congress 2019

We made a mistake. On Thursday evening, we were advised by the graduate student who was subjected to anti-Black racism and racial profiling at Congress 2019 that the language used in the statement we issued had made a bad situation worse.

We apologize for this, and for the burden placed on this member of the scholarly community who invested his energy, time, experience, and knowledge to have to point this out to us. Here is the message we should have written in the first place.

On June 2, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences was informed that a student attending Congress 2019 had been subjected to anti-Black racism, racial profiling, and harassment by two other Congress participants. UBC is the host venue for Congress 2019.

UBC unequivocally opposes and denounces anti-Black racism, racial profiling, harassment and discrimination of any kind. Anti-Black racism and racial profiling in this instance, and more broadly, is deeply concerning to the University, not only for its impact on this valued guest and scholar but also for its impact on on all racialized people who are so frequently subjected to emotional and physical violence, surveillance, and policing.

While UBC Human Resources is supporting the Federation in its investigation of this incident, the Equity & Inclusion office will be reaching out to the graduate student to offer support and resources.

More must be done to call out and eliminate anti-Black racism and discrimination, and to disrupt systemic patterns of discrimination. We are vested in leading and supporting efforts to build more welcoming, inclusive, and respectful campuses and communities.

We are committed to ensuring that equity and inclusion are embedded in all areas of academic, work and campus life, and that the dignity of all community members is respected.

We stand firmly against all forms of racial discrimination and harassment as we strive to provide an inclusive experience for students, faculty, staff and visitors. Institutionally and individually, we all share in the responsibility of creating and maintaining that environment.

Sara-Jane Finlay
Associate Vice-President, Equity & Inclusion