Provost Christopher Manfredi on McGill’s Plan for Addressing Anti-Black Racism

Plan will address five key areas; student experience, research and knowledge, outreach, workforce and the creation of dedicated space for Black members of the McGill community

Provost Christopher Manfredi issued the following message to the McGill community on July 3.

Dear members of the McGill community, 

As Principal Fortier signaled in her message of 30 June 2020, I have been given a mandate to develop a plan for McGill University to advance our work in connection with anti-Black racism. This plan shall include specific actions, targets, and timelines and will be accompanied by an allocation of resources to realize its goals.

My intention is to work assiduously with you over the coming weeks and months toward the development of McGill’s Plan for Addressing Anti-Black Racism. While the summer may be upon us, this work will begin immediately. The matter in question is one of urgency and pressing importance for our university, so there is no time to lose.

Our Plan for Addressing Anti-Black Racism will address five key areas, which track McGill’s Strategic EDI Plan 2020-2025:

  1. Student experience, which will focus on outreach, representation, support, and success vis-à-vis Black students at McGill.
  2. Research and knowledge, which will focus on the recognition of McGill’s Black researchers and on enhancing, through scholarship, a critical understanding of our institution’s historic ties to slavery and colonialism.
  3. Outreach, which will focus on engagement with Montreal’s Black communities.
  4. Workforce, which will focus on representation, retention, and promotion of Black academic and administrative and support staff at McGill.
  5. Space, which will focus on measures to represent the vibrance and contributions of McGill’s Black community members on our physical campuses and the creation of dedicated space for Black members of the McGill community.

Over the coming weeks, I intend to continue meetings with: McGill’s Black Students’ Network, the Dr. Kenneth Melville McGill Black Faculty Caucus, the Subcommittee for Racialized and Ethnic Persons, and McGill’s Black Alumni Association. I am grateful to each of these groups for their longstanding contributions to McGill to-date and for engaging with Principal Fortier and myself as we have set out to undertake concerted efforts to address anti-Black racism at McGill.

Additionally, three virtual Town Halls will be held in early September, one of which will be reserved for Black members of the McGill community.

Last, any member of the McGill community is welcome to communicate with me in confidence about their views as to the content and implementation process for McGill’s Plan for Addressing Anti-Black Racism at the following email address: equity.provost@mcgill.ca.

I will communicate McGill’s Plan for Addressing Anti-Black Racism by 30 September 2020.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment and engagement with this matter of crucial importance to our University. 

 

Professor Christopher P. Manfredi

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)

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Chers membres de la communauté mcgilloise,

Comme la principale Fortier l’a mentionné dans son message du 30 juin 2020, elle m’a confié le mandat d’élaborer un plan qui donnera à l’Université McGill les moyens d’aller plus loin dans la lutte contre le racisme anti-noir. Ce plan contiendra des mesures, des buts et des échéanciers précis, et des ressources seront consacrées à sa réalisation.

 Au cours des prochaines semaines et des prochains mois, je compte travailler d’arrache-pied avec vous à l’élaboration du Plan de lutte contre le racisme anti-noir de l’Université McGill. Bien que la période estivale soit commencée, nous entamerons ce travail immédiatement. Il s’agit d’un dossier urgent et d’une importance capitale pour l’Université; il n’y a donc pas de temps à perdre.

 Notre Plan de lutte contre le racisme anti-noir sera composé de cinq volets importants qui seront alignés sur le Plan stratégique en matière d’équité, de diversité et d’inclusion 2020-2025 de l’Université :

  1. Expérience étudiante : Sensibilisation, représentation, soutien et réussite des étudiants noirs de l’Université McGill.
  2. Recherche et connaissances : Reconnaissance de l’apport des chercheurs noirs de l’Université McGill et approfondissement, grâce à la recherche, de la compréhension des liens historiques de notre établissement avec l’esclavage et le colonialisme.
  3. Actions communautaires : Interaction avec la communauté noire de Montréal.
  4. Personnel : Représentation, fidélisation et promotion des membres du personnel enseignant, administratif et de soutien noirs à l’Université McGill.
  5. Espace : Mesures de représentation du dynamisme et de la contribution des membres de la communauté noire de McGill sur nos campus et création d’espaces consacrés aux McGillois noirs.

Au cours des prochaines semaines, j’entends continuer de rencontrer les membres du Réseau des étudiants noirs de McGill, du Caucus professoral noir Dr Kenneth Melville de McGill, du Sous-comité mixte sur l’équité pour les personnes racisées et de minorités ethniques, et l’Association des diplômés noirs de McGill. Je suis reconnaissant à chacun de ces groupes de contribuer depuis longtemps à l’Université et d’avoir engagé le dialogue avec la principale Fortier et moi-même afin de collaborer à nos efforts pour lutter contre le racisme anti-noir à McGill.

De plus, trois assemblées générales virtuelles auront lieu au début septembre, et l’une d’elles sera réservée aux membres noirs de la communauté mcgilloise.

Enfin, tous les McGillois sont invités à communiquer avec moi en toute confidentialité à equity.provost@mcgill.ca pour me faire part de leur point de vue sur le contenu et le processus de mise en œuvre du Plan de lutte contre le racisme anti-noir de McGill.

Je vous transmettrai le Plan de lutte contre le racisme anti-noir de McGill d’ici le 30 septembre 2020.

Je vous remercie pour votre engagement soutenu envers cette question d’une importance cruciale pour l’Université.

 

Professeur Christopher P. Manfredi 

Vice-principal exécutif et vice-principal aux études

Comments on “Provost Christopher Manfredi on McGill’s Plan for Addressing Anti-Black Racism”

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    Anne Farray

    Dr. Manfredi and Principal Fortier thank you for the University’s effort in contributing and ameliorating the racism and discrimination problems here in Quebec and the world. One additional and extremely important area which could result in widespread and fundamental change in the struggle that the Black and minority communities face here in Quebec is to have our history of contribution to nation and society-building be taught in our schools. As the University has a seat at many important tables and stages within the Quebec society, arenas where decisions are made about our educational institutions, it is of utmost importance that the University’s voice be used to address the “erasure” of our existence and contribution to the society. Our history and experience here should be included in the history taught in schools at every level. It is time that we are made to feel included in the society and that the majority community in Quebec and Canada realize that it is right and humane to be treated better and fairly. We have helped to build Quebec and Canada. Our children and families need to see and to feel that our contributions matter. We need to be validated …. our lives and efforts matter. It is time that we are not made to feel like the perpetual immigrants or as I coin it – after over 40 years of employment at McGill University – “the invisible visible minority” we are here and continue to be here for many years and generations. People who feel included are assets to society as they add to the human capital… building for the greater good of society which is a benefit to all. Thank you.

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