This Framework on Black Inclusion outlines overarching values, understandings and objectives to guide the university community in making impactful systemic change related to anti-Black racism.
York University’s vision is to combine academic excellence and inclusiveness to create maximum societal impact. York University strives to provide all students access to a high quality, research-intensive learning environment committed to the public good. The University’s work is underpinned by the following values:
- We strive for Excellence in fulfilling all aspects of our mission.
- We are Progressive, encouraging open-minded inquiry, innovative approaches and forward-looking solutions.
- We uphold Sustainability—environmental, social and fiscal—as a vital compass for decisions and initiatives.
- We are passionate about advancing Social Justice and Equity through critical insight, creative problem solving, and socially responsible action.
- We champion Diversity and Inclusivity, embracing differing perspectives, peoples and ways of knowing, and fostering global fluencies and cross-cultural knowledge.
York University is also guided by our Racism Policy and Procedures, which outlines the following:
- York University affirms that the racial and ethnocultural diversity of its community is a source of excellence, enrichment and strength.
- York University affirms its commitment to human rights and, in particular, to the principle that every member of the York community has a right to equitable treatment without harassment or discrimination on the grounds prohibited by the Ontario Human Rights Code, including race and ethnicity.
- York University acknowledges its ongoing responsibility to foster fairness and respect, to create and maintain a positive working and learning environment and to promote anti-racism including anti-Black racism.
- Anyone in the York community who infringes a right protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code shall be subject to complaint procedures, remedies and sanctions in the University’s policies, codes, regulations and collective agreements as they exist from time to time, and to such discipline (including rustication or discharge) as may be appropriate in the circumstances.
To realize our vision, live our values, and meet our commitments, we must work to remove the barriers placed on Black faculty, instructors, staff and students’ access and successes. As York Professors Carol Tator and Frances Henry (2009) have noted:At every level, our universities must become responsible, accountable, and answerable to the diverse constituencies within its walls, as well as the racialized and Indigenous communities within Canadian Society. We believe it is time to move beyond studies, task forces and inquiries related to racism. Action is needed now to address the direct and indirect structural and systemic barriers deeply embedded in the White culture of the Canadian academy.1
This framework is also informed by the following understandings:
1 F. Henry & C. Tator, “Introduction: Racism in the Canadian University”, Racism in the Canada University: Demanding Social Justice, Inclusion & Equity, p. 38
3OHRC Policy Guidelines, 2009, p.11. Ontario Human Rights Commission
4 https://www.law.columbia.edu/news/archive/kimberle-crenshaw-intersectionality-more-two-decades-later#:~:text=Crenshaw%3A%20 Intersectionality%20is%20a%20lens,class%20or%20LBGTQ%20problem%20there