Thank you for wanting to learn more about the Black Perspectives Office. The BPO serves all Black students, staff and faculty at Concordia University and engages with all members of the Concordia community.
Here is an overview of our work and our values:
We work from an anti-racist, anti-colonial and anti-oppressive framework.
We are committed to our ever-growing practice of being inclusive and accessible to all, and we actively aim to oppose all forms of discrimination and oppression.
We facilitate bridging and connection with internal Concordia units, collaborate with local resources and programming, and incubate pilot initiatives that champion the perspectives, success, and wellness of our Black communities.
We work alongside the President's Task Force on Anti-Black Racism to address anti-Black systemic racism and ensure an inclusive university.
We make intentional efforts to foster relationships with local and international Black communities and universities.
We acknowledge systemic racism
We acknowledge that systemic racism exists within Canadian academia.
We commit to denouncing anti-Black racism within Concordia University.
We commit to educating students, faculty and staff about the legacies of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, anti-Black violence, and structural inequities that historically impacted, and contemporarily affect, Canadian universities.
We recognize the legacy of systemic racism that stems from Concordia’s Sir George Williams University in 1969.
We commit to continuing the work of Black students who were, and continue to be, at the forefront of demanding racial justice at Concordia University.
We support the movement for Black lives
The Black Perspectives Office, located on traditional Kanien’kehá:ka Nation Territory, stands in solidarity with, and will always be informed by, Black communities and activists in Canada and around the world who continuously fight against anti-Black interpersonal and systemic racism, violence, and oppression. We honour and stand with the Movement for Black Lives in the fight for Black liberation and justice.
Concordia University is located on unceded Indigenous lands. The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of the lands and waters on which we gather today. Tiohtiá:ke/ Montreal is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations. Today, it is home to a diverse population of Indigenous and other peoples. We respect the continued connections with the past, present and future in our ongoing relationships with Indigenous and other peoples within the Montreal community.
Honouring Our Ancestors
We call upon our ancestors, remembering all who came before us. We honour you, our African ancestors, who paved the way for us in the diaspora and in the Mother Land, cradle of civilization, Mother Africa. Your bodies, blood, flesh and bones, then and now, nourish the earth and colour great and small, fresh and salted waters. African, Caribbean and Black people, no matter where in the world we are, share a common bond of courage, determination, indomitable spirit and greatness, and we acknowledge our differences and similarities embedded in the bloodlines of kings and queens, inventors, warriors and philosophers. Some of you endured the brutality of transatlantic enslavement, forced to give free labour, built nation states worldwide in bare backs and still manage to be victorious in achievements. We honour you today and call upon your wounded and triumphant spirits to share this space and bask in our glory of you — all our fore mothers, fathers, parents and relations.
We know that you fought alongside Indigenous peoples yesteryear for freedom, so we know that our liberation is tied to the liberation of Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island and the world. We cannot ever be liberated if our Indigenous relations remain in bondage under the tyranny of historical and modern colonialism. We will not let your toil and service to humanity and to Black peoples go in vain, so we carry on in your footsteps, reaching for higher heights, creating memories and deeper prints for those of us here now and babes unfertilized yet to come.
Written by Dr. Delores V. Mullings. Offered to the Inaugural Inter-Institutional Forum of the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education, May 2022, Vancouver, Canada