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Concordia launches new task force for a safe and inclusive on-campus environment

Read a message from Concordia President Graham Carr
April 3, 2024

Dear Concordians,

I am acutely aware that the past six months have been deeply distressing and isolating for many members of our community. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East has led to heightened tensions on our campuses, which at times have boiled over into manifestations of hate, acts of intimidation and other instances of identity-based violence. These incidents are completely unacceptable. Even one such occurrence is too many.

At Concordia, we are staunchly committed to maintaining a safe and open environment for everyone. In this spirit, we have listened to and engaged widely with students, faculty and staff as well as with community organizations, subject-matter experts and Montrealers of various backgrounds. It is clear we all want to do better, but we need the right vehicle to help us move forward.  

Today, in response to your feedback, we are announcing the launch of the Standing Together against Racism and Identity-based Violence (STRIVE) Task Force. STRIVE will use campus engagement initiatives, in-depth consultations and open dialogue to understand community experiences around identity-based violence. The task force will then develop university-wide recommendations in several areas, such as training and complaint processes aimed at addressing identity-based violence as well as how to promote a climate of respect, empathy and compassion on our campuses. 

This is a crucial step toward ensuring Concordia provides an inclusive and positive environment for every member of our community. You can read more about STRIVE’s mandate, structure and leadership on our website

STRIVE’s work will complement and align with recommendations from both the Indigenous Directions Action Plan and the President’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism. The results of these initiatives affirm that the task force model can help us confront complex social issues, if we are methodical in our approach, consult widely and deliver concrete recommendations, which the university then implements. 

Change is possible, but we need your help. There are numerous ways for students, faculty and staff to get involved in STRIVE’s work. Please take a moment to explore the opportunities to participate

The task force can only succeed if it draws upon as many different perspectives as possible. Likewise, Concordia can only reach its full potential if everyone feels they can participate wholly and proudly in university life. The STRIVE Task Force presents us with an opportunity — made by and for Concordians — to collectively recommit to celebrating diversity in all aspects of our learning, teaching, research and operations. 

Thank you to everyone who has helped launch STRIVE. Reporting to the provost, the task force will establish a timeline for its work in the coming weeks. We will update the community on its progress as we are able. 

Graham Carr 
President and Vice-Chancellor


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