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07.06.20 – Countering anti-Black racism: an open discussion with the Daniels Faculty Diversity and Equity Committee

The following is a message from Jane Wolff, chair of the Daniels Faculty's Diversity and Equity Committee:

Dear students and colleagues,

Thanks to you all for your passionate calls to fight anti-Black racism at the Daniels Faculty, and special thanks to our student unions for their letter framing the issues we must address. On July 9 at 4 p.m., the Diversity and Equity Committee will convene a special meeting to talk about how we can move forward together. The meeting is open to all members of our community. Its goal is to make space for inclusive conversations about change. I hope that you will join us.

We’ll begin the meeting by proposing a process for action — and for your engagement — in the immediate and longer terms. After that, the floor is yours: the committee invites your contributions to a moderated open discussion. We’re looking for your insights as we undertake the necessary and difficult work of transforming unjust systems. 

In addition to the members of the Diversity and Equity Committee, the meeting will include key figures in the Daniels administration: Robert Wright, interim dean; Robert Levit, associate dean, academic; Andrea McGee, registrar; Jenny Hill, assistant dean, academic planning and governance; and Nene Brode, manager, external relations and outreach. We have also invited representatives from the University of Toronto’s Anti-Racism Office.

We’ll meet through Zoom. No RSVP is required. Just click the link below on July 9 at or before 4 p.m.: 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82454779488?pwd=Wlk1RjF5SjU5b0dpakRLVDFXdmNFZz09

You’ll need to enter this login information:

Meeting ID: 824 5477 9488
Password: 171956

Meeting agenda:

4:00: Land acknowledgement
4:05: Introductory comments/Dean Wright
4:10: Proposal for action and engagement/Jane Wolff
4:20: Moderated open discussion
5:20: Information about anti-racism resources at U of T/TBD
5:30: Conclusion

We acknowledge that emotionally charged conversations such as the topic we are discussing can resonate in the body. As a way of grounding after this meeting, please join us for a Mindful Moment with facilitator and PhD student Lauren Brown. This meditation will focus on relaxing the mind and body. You will come away with some simple practices to use every day.

Please let me know if you have questions about the meeting’s purpose or content. If you would like to know more about how to join and speak at the meeting or if you have accessibility requirements, please contact Nene Brode (nene.brode@daniels.utoronto.ca).

Thank you again for your commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion at Daniels. I look forward to working with you.

Kind regards,

Jane Wolff
Associate professor
Chair, Daniels Faculty Diversity and Equity Committee


About the Daniels Faculty Diversity and Equity Committee:

The Diversity and Equity Committee, a standing committee of the Daniels Faculty Council, was struck in 2017 following a grassroots initiative by senior faculty members. The committee recommends principles and goals for equity, diversity, and inclusion at the Faculty and advocates for the implementation of those standards across the Daniels Faculty’s curricula, staffing, and public programming. The committee's reports to Faculty Council are posted on the Daniels Faculty website.

The committee's current members are:

Chair: Jane Wolff 
Secretary: Jen Hill 
One graduate student: Janice Theresa Miyagi/Nicole Tratnik
One undergraduate student: Randa Omar/Clara James

One teaching staff member from each program in the Faculty:
M.Arch: John Shnier 
MLA: Fadi Masoud 
MUD: Mauricio Pacheco 
VS (graduate and undergraduate): Charles Stankievech 
BAAS: Aziza Chaouni 
PhD program / Post-professional program: Mary Lou Lobsinger
Forestry: Danijela Puric-Mladenovic

Ex-officio members:
The dean: Robert Wright 
The chief administrative officer (non-voting): Didier Pomerleau 
One administrative staff member: Markus Peterson