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The President’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism releases its preliminary recommendations

The report highlights 12 proposals for a more equitable and inclusive university
November 15, 2021
By James Roach

The President’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism has released its preliminary recommendations to Anne Whitelaw, Concordia’s provost and vice-president, academic.

The 12 recommendations stem from the work of the task force’s six subcommittees to better understand the lived experiences of Black Concordians and identify solutions to the systemic issues they have faced, individually and collectively, as students, faculty and staff. The recommendations also align with Concordia’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, accessibility and decolonization.

Reporting to Whitelaw, the task force was formed in fall 2020 with the mandate of overseeing and coordinating the work required to generate recommendations that will address systemic anti-Black racism as it occurs across the university — in areas including in employment, policies, teaching and learning. 

Angélique Willkie, task force chair and special advisor to the provost on Black Integration and Knowledges, shares her appreciation for the work that has led Concordia to this moment.

“The knowledge, insight and emotional labour required to engage in this work is significant and requires the commitment of a dedicated team. The task force’s steering, leadership and sub-committees have been invaluable in this respect. They have laid the groundwork to create a more equitable university experience for present and future generations of Black Concordians and I am very grateful to them,” she says. 

“I also thank the generations who came before me for their courage and for leading the charge when the price for engaging in this type of anti-Black racism work was significantly steeper.”

In the coming weeks, Whitelaw will publish her response to the task force’s preliminary recommendations.

“The work undertaken by Angélique and the task force is historic. They’ve seized the moment by heeding global and local calls to put an end to what they and generations of Black Concordians have faced and continue to experience in academia,” she says.

“It’s time to disrupt the cycle of creative excuses that we routinely hear and the loud silences surrounding why Black students, faculty and staff have been overlooked when they strive to ascend to the next level and when they seek courses and services that reflect who they are. It’s time to shine and hold a spotlight on Black excellence.”

“I look forward to carefully reviewing the preliminary recommendations and sharing my response with the Concordia community.” 

Following the release of these milestone recommendations and Whitelaw’s response, the work of the task force will continue as it moves towards the presentation of the final recommendations to Concordia’s president in summer 2022 and their publication later that fall.

Learn more about the Concordia's President’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism and read its preliminary recommendations.


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