Standing together against racism

June 2, 2020 - 4:30pm

I know many of you are experiencing feelings of anger, fear and an overall sense of heaviness over the recent rise in anti-Black racism that led to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am feeling all of these things too and wanted to take a moment to recognize and acknowledge how deeply troubling and upsetting recent world events have been.

Racism has no place at VIU. As a place of learning, VIU has an important role to play in combatting systemic racism, discrimination and intolerance through education and awareness initiatives. We are deeply committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for everyone on all of our campuses. We recognize there is more work to do and are always open to new ideas on how we can continue to do the critical work of ensuring all members of our community know that they belong and how much they are valued. This is one reason we applied for an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Grant which will allow us to build on and support our work in this area.

I am grateful for the ongoing work happening at VIU to celebrate and promote diversity, address unconscious biases and identify ways to improve and promote equity, diversity and inclusion on our campuses.

If you’re feeling impacted by these world events, please reach out for support. We are here for you. If you have been a victim of any form of discrimination, please connect with VIU’s Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Office. VIU does not tolerate discriminatory behaviour and these behaviours are treated very seriously.

Finally – I recognize there is much work to do and I want you to know that I am committed to this work. I also feel hopeful when I see so many in our community speaking out when they come up against racist attitudes and behaviours. Our diversity is our strength and we will do all we can to combat discrimination in all its forms.

We stand in solidarity against racism, intolerance and injustice.

Thank you,

 

Deb Saucier, PhD

President and Vice-Chancellor


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