February 1st marks the start of Black History Month. This is an important time to honour the remarkable achievements and extraordinary contributions of Black people in our community and across Canada. It is also a time to recognize the significant role Black communities have played in advancing the struggle for racial justice and equality.

This year’s theme is Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; A Future to Build. As we reflect on the rich history and legacy of Black Canadians, let us also celebrate the exceptional achievements of our Black students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

As a university, we remain committed to supporting Black success and well-being across our campuses and beyond.

Our efforts

In this moment of reflection and celebration, I would like to highlight a few university initiatives that support Black Excellence in our community. They include:

Let us also reflect on the ongoing effects of anti-Black racism on Black people and communities. We are committed to ensuring that hatred and discrimination have no place at U of G. Our efforts include:

Each day is a chance to do better in fostering a culture of inclusiveness and belonging at U of G.

The future

As we look towards the future, it is clear that there is much more work to do.

By working together, we can help support an equitable and inclusive future for Black people at U of G and across Canada. We all have an important part to play in building a more inclusive and just society.

I encourage you to engage in your own anti-oppression and anti-racist education journey. The Office of Diversity and Human Rights has developed several online trainings including Principles of Belonging: Anti-Oppression & Anti-Racism, Principles of Equitable Recruitment: Unconscious Bias in the Hiring Process, and Building Community: Introduction to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. These are a great start.

I also hope you will join us at this year’s Black History Month activities, events, and lectures. You can find more information on our website.

Thank you to everyone who developed and organized Black History Month initiatives on our campuses and in our communities. Our shared commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion gives me great hope for a welcoming and anti-racist future.

Warm regards,

Dr. Charlotte A.B. Yates
President & Vice-Chancellor