TRUFA Statement against Racism

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May 1, 2020
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June 5, 2020
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TRUFA Statement against Racism

The Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association (TRUFA) stands in solidarity with communities seeking justice for the murder of all racialized people by police. We join the calls of those demonstrating across the globe as well as in the United States and in Canada for an immediate end to State-sanctioned police violence against unarmed Black people and Indigenous people, with special focus on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit people (MMIWG2S). We join the call for changes to legislation, judicial and police practices, and societal norms that uphold and reinforce racist attitudes and outcomes. There is a long and ongoing history of racial discrimination and violence perpetuated locally within Secwépemc’ulucw, the traditional unceded territory of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, as well as the traditional territories of the “Williams Lake” T’exelcemc, Xat’sull and the Tsilhqot’in peoples, and far beyond our local and global borders. We commit to overturning this history.

We call on all TRUFA members to reach out to each other during this time, and to all racialized members of our university community, especially people of African and Caribbean descent, as the most directly triggered by George Floyd’s murder and subject to anti-Black racism. We acknowledge the direct personal impact of such events on all Black people and how hard it is to continue everyday work at this time. We stand with you in grief, rage, and confusion, and we honour your emotions and reactions. Those of us who belong to other communities targeted by ongoing police violence also reach out our hands to you and offer our support. Collectively, we acknowledge our different locations and knowledges, recognizing that we all need to step up and take risks and care for each other at this time, and this involves addressing causes as well as manifestations/effects of racism.

TRUFA is committed to solidarity in the struggle to eradicate racism. Anti-Black racism and Anti-Indigenous racism must be directly addressed, as they have unique historical roots and forms of violence. We also recognize the interconnections between the multiple systems of oppression that maintain racism and disadvantage for all racialized people in our society. Axes of oppression are not additive but often interact and create specific types of challenges and barriers that are difficult to anticipate or understand from an external perspective. Racist norms are embedded in the existing systems and structures of society and reverberate through every institution. The criminalization of people of African and Caribbean descent and Indigenous people not only increases the likelihood of their entering the criminal justice system, but affects their access to and experiences within the education and health systems, their ability to secure lodging and bank loans, and so forth. These events further propel us to work collectively against racism as well as promote awareness of its intersection with various other forms of oppression.

The voices of TRUFA members carry considerable influence and power, through our leadership in teaching, research, and community engagement. We pledge to increase personal and organizational accountability to maintaining a specific focus on combating racism and to better mobilize our influence and voice to dismantle the structures of oppression. TRUFA, while standing for social justice, solidarity, human rights, and equity, also recognizes the need to courageously look at ourselves as an organization. We recognize the importance of supporting this statement with concrete actions and call on all of our members to work towards this end in solidarity with all racialized people.

Some Cutting-Edge Anti-Racism Resources

Building the anti-racist university: next steps, by Shirley Anne Tate & Paul Bagguley

A Love Letter to Black, Indigenous & People of Colour, by Layla F. Saad

National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health, Resources for Anti-Indigenous Racism

Climate Justice is Racial Justice; Inclusivity Is Necessary for Climate Activism to Move Forward, by Abeer Almahdi

Responding to Anti-Indigenous Racism in the Health Care System (Webinar), BC Patient Safety & Quality Council

The Spiritual Activism of Rachel Ricketts (free resources)

Digital membership club designed for people of color to thrive (membership fee)

This long list of resources (follow the link) is a pdf document intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen anti-racism work

Remote Professional Development Opportunity (for a fee), “Mindful Allyship: An Intro Course for Heart-felt Racial Healing” E-Course runs July 1, 8, 15 and 22, 2020

TRUFA Equity Committee’s Good Equity Practices wiki document (live) and Equity Calendar

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Online Workshop, videos and resources (free): Drop the Guilt; Equity Awareness and Mindfulness