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:
- Student experience, which will focus on outreach, representation, support, and success vis-à-vis Black students at McGill.
- 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.
- Outreach, which will focus on engagement with Montreal’s Black communities.
- Workforce, which will focus on representation, retention, and promotion of Black academic and administrative and support staff at McGill.
- 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 [at] 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)