The University of Manitoba has announced it has signed the Scarborough Charter on anti-Black racism and Black inclusion. The U of M’s vice-president (administration) Naomi Andrew called the charter a “historic document” and said over 50 universities took part in the discussions leading to its creation.
“What makes the charter unique is it ensures institutional accountability […] It guides universities and provides themes and action items that universities should focus on and also provides guidance in terms of metrics and outcomes.
“The group will meet regularly, so there is that commitment and there is that accountability to signing on,” said Andrew, also stating that accountability would require setting concrete goals and maintaining a sense of responsibility to senior executives, the board and the community.
As part of its commitment, the university has also established an anti-racism task force led by Andrew to implement the recommendations of the charter. Its first meeting is Feb. 11.
“We’ll have a formal announcement going out on that, but what I will say is that our task force is […] probably another historic task force. Twenty members [consisting of] deans, faculty, students, staff [and] alumni, all from racialized backgrounds, have formed this task force.”
In addition to the principles and action items from the Scarborough Charter, Andrew said the task force will also be incorporating recommendations from the senior Indigenous leadership accord.
“The anti-racism task force is envisioned as a bridge between the raw expression of lived experience gathered through community engagement and the development of a comprehensive anti-racism strategy, led by Indigenous, Black and racialized students, staff and faculty,” Andrew said.
Andrew noted the U of M is proud to sign on to the charter.
“It really is a historic document that commits [the U of M] to combat anti-Black racism and foster Black inclusion in higher education and communities. Signing this charter builds on recent progress we have already made and supports our ongoing commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.”