Working to break down barriers for Black scholars

Published: 28 February 2023

Recent events, including the murder of George Floyd and the COVID-19 pandemic, have drawn global attention to the reality of inequities in health care, the justice system, and higher education that disadvantage Black people. Reports show Black scholars face more barriers as they move up the research career ladder. In Canada, an advisory committee was created in 2021 to recommend ways to break down existing barriers for Black scholars and to ensure equitable access to federal research funding and training programs. McGill University Professor Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey co-chaired the committee, which recently released its report and recommendations. “The committee’s work is part of a long tradition of Black people asserting our rightful place in Canadian society,” says Professor Adjetey, who teaches African diasporic history in the Department of History and Classical Studies. “After four centuries of enslavement and quasi-freedom in the lands that became Canada, Black people barely have a toehold in Canadian society. The advisory committee tried to shine light on the many anti-Black inequities in the Canadian academy, while prescribing recommendations to redress these injustices,” he says. Some of the recommendations include providing dedicated support for Black scholars and students, eliminating systemic biases in merit review, and strengthening research hubs in Black communities.

wendell.adjetey [at] (English)

Back to top