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Concordia welcomes Angélique Willkie as special advisor to the provost on Black integration and knowledges

The position will advance the university’s commitment to inclusivity and equity
September 9, 2021
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By James Roach

Smiling Black women with short hair, green eyes and a turquoise singlet. Angélique Willkie: “Being appointed to lead university-wide efforts to address systemic anti-Black racism is a historic undertaking that I don’t take lightly.”

Concordia has appointed Angélique Willkie to be special advisor to the provost on Black integration and knowledges. The selection of the associate professor in the Department of Contemporary Dance for this new role aligns with the renewed global conversation on anti-Black racism and complements Concordia’s ongoing efforts to address anti-Black racism.

Willkie’s initial two-year mandate began on July 1, 2021 and will be reconsidered in summer 2023.

A core responsibility of Willkie’s new position is to continue chairing the President’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism and, ultimately, to present Concordia’s president with a comprehensive set of recommendations and an action plan to combat anti-Black racism at the university.

As special advisor to the provost on Black integration and knowledges, Willkie will report to and counsel the provost as well as provide institution-wide leadership on issues of particular concern to Black faculty, students and staff. She will also provide guidance on the adoption of task force recommendations following the publication of the final report in fall 2022.

“Angélique will take the bold steps necessary to see Black Concordians fully included in all areas of university life, where oftentimes they’ve been either assigned peripheral roles or excluded,” explains Anne Whitelaw, provost and vice-president, Academic. 

“Seeing greater participation of Black students, faculty and staff on campus is long overdue. This will not only provide the opportunities necessary for them to actualize their potential but it will also serve to advance our university as a whole. Angélique has the full support of university leadership.”

‘A momentous opportunity’

Willkie’s mandate also encompasses helping to establish Concordia as a leader in academic and research innovation in Black and African diaspora studies in Quebec and Canada.

This means working with departments, faculties and other relevant units to pilot curricular offerings that address the development of Black knowledges at the undergraduate and graduate levels and support the mobilization of Black and African diaspora research and research–creation expertise.

“Being appointed to lead university-wide efforts to address systemic anti-Black racism is a historic undertaking that I don’t take lightly,” Willkie explains.

“It’s a momentous opportunity for me to help remedy past inequities and shift our university narrative to one that is purposefully inclusive of present and future generations of Black Concordians. At the same time it pays homage to those who paved the way for the work that is now taking place.”

Willkie’s leadership will also support the development of work-study agreements with partner organizations in the cultural and educational spheres to support Black community collaboration and engagement.


Take a moment to learn more about
Concordia’s President’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism.

 



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