President Brown: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
March 21st is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This year, the theme is Voices for Action Against Racism.
Racial discrimination continues to exist in Canada, including here at Yukon University. This means that the daily existence of students and colleagues who are not white is negatively affected because of the color of their skin or their ethnic origin. In some cases, discrimination emerges as barriers that are inherent to our structures and systems of operation within and beyond our institution, but at other times discrimination is experienced as disgraces of harassment and unjust behaviors, including silence, imposed by others. This is unacceptable.
We all have a role to play in working to eliminate racism and racial discrimination across Canada, in the Yukon and Yukon University campuses across the territory. As part of Yukon University’s 2022 – 2027 Strategic Plan, Yukon University will develop its first Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy.
This strategy will confirm our commitment to eliminating barriers to inclusion that are currently experienced by racialized students and employees, and it will serve as an action plan to inform our thoughts, decisions and actions to ensure that equity and justice are promoted through our decisions and our actions. This will be a long-term project, but I know that together we can embed EDI into all of our structures and systems so that Yukon University will become a place that is free from barriers to inclusion, including racial discrimination.
This important work will build on the information that I’ve received during several sessions held with students, staff and faculty, in which I’ve sought to broaden my understanding of the challenges experienced by equity-deserving people, and the context unique to Yukon University. I am fully dedicated to continuing the dialogue with students, staff, and faculty to ensure that resources are in place to promote and nurture inclusion, acceptance, and respect for our campus community's diversity.
I believe that by working together, we can build a university community where discrimination is not tolerated; a community where everyone can be their authentic self and where everyone can realize their fullest potential.
Dr. Lesley Brown
President and Vice-Chancellor