Race Equity Caucus marks YUFA's 40th anniversary


In celebration of YUFA's 40th anniversary, YUFA and the Race Equity Caucus are honoured to present a public lecture by esteemed critical race scholar, Dr. Malinda S. Smith from the University of Alberta.

Toward an Anti-Racist University:
Racial (In)Equity, Intersectionality, and the Social Injustice of Sameness

A public lecture by Dr. Malinda S. Smith,
Department of Political Science, University of Alberta

The Race Equity Caucus (REC), which represents racialized full-time faculty at York University, aims to engage in critical discussions and develop meaningful approaches to advancing race equity for racialized faculty in the areas of teaching, research, and administrative service. Historically, REC has been instrumental in raising concerns around race equity within the context of YUFA's governance, workload, bargaining, and the broader socio-political and institutional spheres that condition our lives at York University.

YUFA and REC hope that you will join us on November 18 to engage in important discussions about equity at York. Please note the public lecture is open to all faculty, students, and staff. The full details are listed below.

Public lecture
Friday, November 18
2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
152 Founders College
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An abstract of the lecture and a short biography of Dr. Smith are included below.

The lecture will be followed by a private reception, featuring Dr. Smith as a special guest.

Private reception
Friday, November 18
4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Schulich Private Dining Hall
Schilich School of Business

Please note: Admission to the reception will be limited to the first 80 YUFA members who RSVP by Wednesday, November 9 to [email protected] (subject line: RSVP reception).


Toward an Anti-Racist University: Racial (In)Equity, Intersectionality, and the Social Injustice of Sameness

Dr. Malinda S. Smith
Professor, Political Science, University of Alberta

Over the past three decades Canadian university equity policies, practices, and priorities have largely ignored Indigenous peoples and 'visible' or racialized minorities. Compelling equity critiques have focused on under-representation in hiring, promotion, curriculum, and leadership. Less attention has been paid to homophily, cultural cloning, and the preference for sameness that produce over-representation and white normativity across major institutions. It's 2016, but white people constitute 96% of judges (Tutton, 2016), 93% of corporate boards (McFarland, 2014), 86.4% of MPs (Tulley, 2015), and 82% of university professors (CAUT, 2010). Prompted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, most universities are addressing Indigenous peoples, who remain "largely absent from the ranks of the professoriate" and curriculum, but to-date they remain silent on the "overwhelmingly white and male" (CAUT, 2010) academy. Despite needed attention to gender inequity, an "intersectionality failure" (Crenshaw) persists, leading to universities' gender parity initiatives privileging white women, and to gender diverse but all-white university leadership teams (Smith, 2016).

Deploying a critical race and intersectional feminist analysis, this presentation explores three areas: first, drawing on original data, show how equity and diversity have become diversifying whiteness projects that ignore structural barriers and unconscious biases that exclude racialized minorities; second, the dividing practices that simultaneously privilege and marginalize specific equity groups, thereby leading to the production of inequity among equity-seeking groups; and, third, speak to the often unspeakable roles played by mobbing, microaggressions, and hostile workplaces on the lives of Indigenous and racialized scholars and scholarship. The presentation concludes with some ideas for engendering an anti-racist university.


Dr. Malinda S. Smith is a Full Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta, where she teaches and researches in the areas of International Relations, critical race theory, social justice, and globalization and resistance. She is the coauthor (with F. Henry, E. Dua, C. James, et al) of the forthcoming book, The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities (UBC Press); editor of three books, including Securing Africa: Post-9/11 Discourses on Terrorism (Ashgate 2010); and co-editor of two books, including (with Janine Brodie and Sandra Rein), Critical Concepts: An Introduction to Politics (Pearson, 2013); and (with Sherene Razack and Sunera Thobani) of States of Race: Critical Race Feminism (BTL 2010). Dr. Smith is the President of the Academic Women’s Association at the University of Alberta, and serves on the university's Employment Equity Advisory Committee. She is also the recipient of the 2016 HSBC Community Contributor of the Year Award and the 2015 CAUT Equity Award.