Universities across Canada have committed to anti-racism and are taking steps to help support Black students and broaden understanding of Black histories and experiences.
Dalhousie University advances diversity and equity in health care
Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University announced in November 2021 that it has set aside at least 40 seats in its nursing program for Indigenous and Black students, with priority for those who are Mi’kmaq or African Nova Scotian. This initiative, which will come into effect in the 2022-23 academic year, is part of an effort to support health equity and improve care and comfort among those from marginalized communities.
Dalhousie University also offers a minor in Black and African Diaspora studies. The four-year program examines the diverse histories and cultures of African-Canadian people.
New University of Waterloo programs promote anti-racism
The University of Waterloo is introducing new academic programming on Blackness as part of their commitment to anti-racism efforts. Starting in fall 2022, diplomas in Black Studies and Fundamentals of Anti-Racist Communication will be offered to students. The university has further plans in the works—including supporting Black entrepreneurship and anti-racist community engagement—and hopes that its efforts drive positive change in Canada.
University of Toronto explores Black mental health
The University of Toronto is introducing a ground-breaking new course this fall, entitled Fundamentals of Black Mental Health. This course aims to explore the specific racialized challenges facing Black people and the most effective treatments and interventions. Its introduction comes at a time where mounting evidence shows the inequitable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the wellbeing of racialized Canadians.
Black studies and research thriving at York University
Since 2018, York University in Toronto has offered study and research opportunities relevant to historical and cultural productions of Black and other racialized communities. The university offers a certificate in Black Canadian Studies, a graduate program stream addressing theories of race and racism, as well as networks supporting Black youth and communities.
While there is more work to be done, Canadian universities are committed to supporting Black inclusion and have made many strides towards this in recent years. The signing of the Scarborough Charter by postsecondary institutions across the country this past November was monumental and signals more work to come.
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Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, advancing higher education, research and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians.
Assistant Director, Communications
Tagged: Equity, diversity and inclusion