The YUFA Executive Committee is proud to announce the Association’s endorsement of the Joint Toronto Universities’ Faculty Associations Statement, in support of the growing #ScholarStrike movement across North America on Turtle Island. The Ontario College of Art and Design Faculty Association, the Ryerson Faculty Association, and the University of Toronto Faculty Association are also signatories to the Statement.
At this critical moment in history, YUFA members have an opportunity and, indeed, a responsibility to be in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities that are leading the struggle for racial justice. We recognize and applaud the leadership of these communities, which includes many YUFA members, and the historic role they have played in building this movement over decades and in responding to this moment today.
We encourage all our members to engage, support, and follow the lead of our colleagues who have responded to the call for #ScholarStrike and who have initiated #ScholarStrikeCanada. In particular, members may consider:
- Visiting the website of #ScholarStrikeCanada and sharing it with your students.
- Adding your name to the #ScholarStrikeCanada statement by completing this form (scroll to the bottom of the page).
- Checking out the list of actions on the “How Can I Get Involved?” page.
- Reading and sharing the statements of support by the Canadian Association of University Teachers and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations.
We echo calls by other faculty associations that urge their administrations to support, and not penalize, those colleagues who choose to participate in #ScholarStrikeCanada. Along these lines, the York administration has recognized that this action is to be regarded as a protest activity intended to engage and involve faculty, staff, and students, rather than as an unauthorized job action. The administration has issued guidelines for informing students about how our courses would be adjusted to avoid any adverse consequences for their academic work.
Like all institutions in the post-secondary sector, and in society at large, York University must confront and oppose its own systemic anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, and all other forms of racism and oppression, and take immediate steps to make “justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion” a real, lived experience for every member of our community.
In solidarity for peace and justice,
The Executive Committee
September 2, 2020 – Joint Toronto Universities’ Faculty Associations Statement
OCADFA, YUFA, and the Executives of UTFA and the RFA condemn racist policing and related forms of institutionalized violence. We stand in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities in Toronto and across North America on Turtle Island. We hear the demands for justice from the families of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Rodney Levi, Ejaz Choudry, Chantel Moore, Andrew Loku, Abdirahman Abdi, and D’Andre Campbell. We also extend our heartfelt sympathies to all who are facing trauma and loss.
We acknowledge that our own Black, Indigenous, and racialized faculty, librarians, staff, and students are bearing the burden of the current moment. Many of the conditions that allow institutionalized violence to disproportionately affect racialized communities have now been exacerbated in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We join with those organizing #ScholarStrike and #ScholarStrikeCanada who “believe that it’s of crucial importance for those of us in higher education to take a stand in solidarity with our students and the communities we serve [and] …affirm protestors, workers for social justice, and activists who are crucial parts of making our communities safer places.” Scholar Strike is a labour action/teach-in/social justice advocacy happening on September 9-10, 2020.
We are asking University Administrators to support faculty, librarians, and other staff, and not penalize those who choose to participate in this action. Recognizing the precarious labour status of many of our colleagues in academia, this labour action will invite people to participate in ways that mirror their capacity to engage.
We therefore strongly encourage our members to pause on September 9-10, and to listen, reflect, and join in a broader public dialogue and educational events related to police violence from historical and contemporary perspectives. We ourselves further acknowledge the need to have sustained conversations with our colleagues, families, students, and other community members about how our faculty associations can support and effect systemic change.
For more information, please visit #ScholarStrikeCanada.