Special Projects | 17-Jul-2020

UTS Community Statements in support of Black Lives Matter: Updated

Last updated July 21, 2020

After much debate and discussion with alumni, students, parents and staff, UTS developed action steps to guide our school forward as we seek to improve diversity, equity and inclusion at UTS. The steps outline actions we will take to support our students and train our community on anti-racism, as well as policies, curriculum, hiring practices, and the role of the Equity Committee. 
 
Since UTS originally posted our first community statements in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on June 3, the conversation continues to evolve and expand, with more members of our community adding their insights and powerful voices to this page.     

Letter from UTS Principal Rosemary Evans, June 3, 2020

Dear members of the UTS community:

At UTS, we have been deeply disturbed by the racist and discriminatory rhetoric and events which have transpired in the United States. We have been stunned and saddened by the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed and Tony McDade. We express our solidarity with our Black students, staff, families and alumni in condemning anti-Black racism and violence. We recognize that racism, including anti-Black racism, continues to be a reality in Toronto and Canada. 

 

Posted June 3, 2020

As members of the UTS community, we are each accountable to uphold UTS values and condemn racist speech and actions. We will not tolerate racist jokes, social media posts or hate speech of any kind. Within our school community, we understand the importance of questioning our assumptions and interrogating our practices. We encourage all community members to speak out on behalf of others and be vocal allies. 

Our purpose as a school is to graduate students who take initiative and innovate as socially responsible global citizens. Our commitment to equity and inclusion forms a central pillar of our strategic plan which supports this mission. All students should see themselves and their traditions reflected in our school program and experience acceptance, respect and belonging. We must accept the challenge to uncover discrimination including systemic inequity in our school and in the broader society, advocate against all forms of injustice and take direct action to combat discrimination in our community.  

In addition to anti-Black racism, we recognize that hate and prejudice takes many forms. It is essential that we work together to guarantee that all members of our community are accepted and respected for who they are. We oppose prejudicial treatment based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, language, ability, and other forms of difference. We are united against all forms of injustice – anti-Black racism, anti-Asian sentiments, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, lack of acceptance of LGBTQ2S and Indigenous rights – indeed all forms of hatred and discrimination. 

Every member of the UTS community is encouraged to consider what actions we can take as individuals and as a school to make a difference.

I encourage you to make your views known, to support organizations that are committed to change, and to get involved to shape a more equitable and inclusive world. We welcome open discussion with our students, staff, parents, and alumni and deeply appreciate hearing your views and suggestions. A special thank you to the students and staff that helped me to shape this message, especially student leaders and Black Equity Committee heads Leyat (M3) and Daeja (S5), who have been engaged in anti-racism work long before the events of this week. 

Sincerely, 

Rosemary Evans
Principal, University of Toronto Schools

 


Messages from our community

Student and Alumni messages
 
(Students, staff, alumni and other community members are invited to sign the letter!)
 
The 2020 Show, a podcast by S6 (Grade 12) Anjalee interviews Dr. Amy Yeboah, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Howard University, on institutional racism in society and the Black Lives Matter movement, June 24, 2020
 
 
 

 

 

Posted June 3, 2020

 

Posted June 4, 2020

UTS Captains/Student Statement on EQUITY and INCLUSION at UTS, June 4, 2020
 

 


Message from Vice Principal Garth Chalmers

Posted June 3, 2020
 
 

Messages from UTSPA leadership, June 4, 2020

 
Rimmy Kaur, UTSPA Co-President
The events in recent days have highlighted that we have a long way to go to address the anti-black racism and biases that continue to be prevalent in our society. To be treated with respect and dignity is a basic human right. So many of us are heartbroken and angered by the injustices that we have seen, but now is the time for us to take ownership of creating a better world  Every person deserves to be treated equitably with respect and dignity. We stand in solidarity with our black community, and commit to creating a better world through our actions and words. 
 
Will Burnfield, Outgoing UTSPA Co-President
Our family has been watching with intense concern the events over the past week, which have highlighted the deep discrimination that the black community and other communities continue to face – not just in the US, but in Canada and elsewhere. We have been having ongoing discussions with our kids about these disturbing events. We strongly support UTS and its students as they speak out against discrimination and injustice in all its forms. 
 
Dr. Fei Song, Incoming UTSPA Co-President
In recent days and weeks, members of the Black community have had their lives senselessly taken and Asian Canadians have experienced xenophobic acts of hatred resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. I feel shaken and my heart is heavy. To our students and their parents, as the incoming co-president of UTSPA, I am reaching out to say we value all of you and we care about the impact of these events on you. We are not unaffected by racism; we are not protected from brutality; and our privilege will not save us from fascism. As Martin Luther King said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Let’s renew our commitment to being intentionally inclusive – in thought and action. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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