The University of Victoria Students’ Society stands with Black and Indigenous communities and People of Colour in the United States, Canada, and around the world.
Even though most of us live outside of the United States, we are all implicated in systems of oppression that benefit white folks at the expense of Black and Indigenous folks, and People of Colour (BIPOC).
Canada is marked by historical and ongoing systems of colonialism that have forced Indigenous peoples from their lands, homes, and families, and have led to inequities within our education, child welfare, and health care systems.
Canada is also defined by violence against Black bodies and communities of colour that leads to racial profiling, the over-policing of BIPOC peoples, and their over-representation in our prison systems. We recognize the effects of anti-Black racism and colonialism. We acknowledge the trauma of repeated images of violence against racialized folks in the media.
As Board members, we hold immense privilege and the power to take collective action, support Black communities and students, and challenge our own systems and institutions. We stand in solidarity with our members who demand an end to police brutality and the ongoing violence against BIPOC people.
We don’t presume to know what BIPOC folks need and we have a duty to support them. We will plan events with, provide financial support for, and lift up the voices of our marginalized members. We continue to learn from UVSS Advocacy Groups and thank them for holding us to a higher standard.
We encourage our members to prioritize BIPOC voices, practice anti-racist allyship and seek out additional educational resources about racial injustice and white supremacy.
With respect and care,
Caleb, Dalal, Emily, Sarina, and Sebastian
2020-2021 UVSS Lead Directors
The UVSS stands in solidarity with students, staff, faculty, and community members of McGill University who demand anti-racism change at McGill, a university founded on colonialism, slavery, and the theft of Indigenous land. Unknown to many, UVic was established in 1903 as an affiliated college of McGill. Because of this, UVic is inextricably linked to McGill University. If truly committed to decolonisation and anti-racism, recognising and addressing this history is an important step that UVic must take. While this history is inexcusable, UVic continues to operate on the unceded land of the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples, and has over $40 million invested in the fossil fuel industry, driving the ongoing colonisation of Indigenous peoples today.
UVic needs to take responsibility for the colonisation of Indigenous peoples and to work towards a university that is fair and equal for all.
Resources for Learning and Unlearning
This is what we’re reading:
- Empire’s Track by Manu Karuka
- Me and White Supremacy: How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World by Layla F. Saad.
- This Is an Honour Song: Twenty Years Since the Blockades by Kiera L. Ladner and Leanne Simpson
- The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement by the Kino-nda-niimi Collective
- On Intersectionality: Essential Writings of Kimberlé Crenshaw, 2017
This is what we’re watching:
- When They See Us – Netflix
- 13th – Netflix
- Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance
This is what we’re listening to:
- Anti-imperialism w/ Manu Karuka, Christina Heatherton, & Lara Kiswani
- Intersectionality Matters!
- Code: Switch NPR
- Nova Reid and Vicki & Selina from loveprojectlove
This is training we plan on doing:
UVic recently announced that the first level of a new EQHR Anti-Racism Training program will be available online for UVic faculty, staff and students starting July 1. Completing this training is a good first step in unlearning embedded racism.
Further calls to action:
- Contribute to the George Floyd Memorial Fund
- Contribute to the Vancouver Chapter of Black Lives Matter
- Sign the petition for Justice for Regis Korchisnski-Paquet
- Sign the petition or call to demand justice for George Floyd
- Sign this petition: Civil rights group Color of Change launched a petition asking that all the officers involved in Floyd’s death are brought to justice
- Sign this petition to release data on police-involved deaths in Canada
- Call Toronto officials and demand an independent investigation into the death of Regis Korchisnski-Paquet:
- Gord Perks, City Councillor for High Park: 416-392-7919
- Bhutilla Karpoche, MPP for High Park: 416-763-5630
- Arif Virani, MP for High Park: 613-992-2936
- Police station (11th division), which polices High Park: 416-808-1100
- Attorney General of Ontario, Doug Downey: 416-326-2220