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Home » Message from the President and Vice-President Equity, People and Culture

Message from the President and Vice-President Equity, People and Culture

In late February 2021, against the backdrop of COVID-19 and the rising consciousness of anti-Black racism and white supremacy, York University released its seminal document, Addressing Anti-Black Racism: A Framework on Black Inclusion and a draft Action Plan (for further consultation) to the York community. In December 2021, the Action Plan on Black Inclusion was released, alongside announcing our endorsement of the Scarborough Charter. We promised the community annual updates on progress and are pleased to offer this first report on the implementation of the Framework and Action Plan. 

A year later, we continue to navigate through the economic and health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic as we simultaneously work to advance the priorities of the University Academic Plan 2020-2025 (UAP) and strengthen our impact on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our continued and renewed efforts to make significant progress on activities described in the Action Plan on Black Inclusion, as well as Truth and Reconciliation initiatives, and our broader equity strategy, are central to the realization of the UAP and our commitment to drive positive change.   

We also want to acknowledge that while this report provides a snapshot of the efforts undertaken by the university community over the past 12 months, there is still much more to do. We want to thank everyone who has been engaged across York in the varied actions that have been taken as well as those who have highlighted what remains to be done.  

The accomplishments described below build on the past collective efforts of many York students, faculty, instructors, and staff, and they are a demonstration of the commitment to enact change and remove the systemic barriers facing our Black colleagues. We look forward to continuing to champion the taking up of the Framework in Faculties, Divisions, units and organizations across the university to build a more equitable and inclusive community, where all feel they belong and can find success.

Rhonda Lenton

Sheila Cote-Meek
Vice-President Equity, People and Culture