President’s Message of Solidarity

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University of Guelph entrance wallDear Members of the U of G Community,

Like you, I am deeply saddened and shaken by the killing of George Floyd and the troubling outbreaks of violence and hatred in the United States and other countries around the world, including Canada.  Moments like these are a call to all of us in our University community to condemn anti-Black racism and stand together and reaffirm our deep commitment to diversity, inclusion and human rights.

We find ourselves in a historical moment. A snapshot in time when we’re called upon to deepen our commitments, enlighten ourselves about the suffering of others, and do all that we can to find solutions to society’s ills – as individuals and as an institution.

We stand in solidarity with our students, staff and faculty who are united in promoting mutual respect. Now more than ever it’s vital that we collaborate with our Black students and all of our students, faculty and staff in addressing and fighting hatred, violence, and racism. We are all in this together.

U of G remains firm in our commitment to combat acts of racism and discrimination that occur within our midst. This pledge is not one we just make today, but one we commit to in the long days ahead. This includes responding appropriately to disturbing events, such as recent anti-Black racist, and hateful social media posts from students.

Our message is clear, we promise our U of G community that we are committed to promoting diversity of thought, diversity of ability, gender diversity, and racial and ethnic diversity.

It is not sufficient to simply express our commitment to these values. More is needed. And we will do more. Our action plan involves taking swift and deliberate steps when such events occur, from disciplinary action to offering anti-oppression, anti-bias and allyship training.

Recent scenes on our television screens of violence and heartbreak against the larger backdrop of the Coronavirus pandemic, have been devastating. These difficult times call upon all of us to find the strength, the humanity and the voice to speak up and collectively say no. No to hatred, no to bigotry and no to intolerance. It’s time to take the lessons we’ve learned from recent events and use them to build a solid foundation for action and positive change in our community.

Please join me in working together to create a strong path forward for all of us towards the global healing process.

If you or someone you know experiences racism, hatred or discrimination please contact our Diversity and Human Rights Office, dhrinfo@uoguelph.ca or reach out to our Cultural Diversity Advisor at tameera@uoguelph.ca.

To access services, or to learn how to be an effective ally, please visit:

Office of Diversity & Human Rights
Cultural Diversity Office

Sincerely,

Franco Vaccarino
President and Vice-Chancellor