Student Response to Racism

Statement from the Graduate Association of Students in Psychology (GASP) - June 8, 2020

The Undergraduate, Graduate, and Post-doctoral students of the McGill Psychology department unequivocally condemn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, along with all those documented and undocumented. At home in Montréal, we remember the murders of Bony Jean-Pierre (2016), Pierre Coriolan (2017) and Nicholas Gibbs (2018), killed by the SPVM.

We understand these murders as a symptom of widespread police brutality, which is but one part of the institutionalized and structural Anti-Black racism pervasive across North America.

Black lives Matter.

We oppose the further demonstration of police brutality and excessive force against individuals engaging in peaceful protests against institutionalized and structural Anti-Black racism.

Understanding that words can – especially given the ongoing tragedy – ring hollow and be perfunctory ceremonial, we stand in solidarity with those who experience racism and inequality.

We continue to advocate for the eradication of systemic barriers within higher education, and call on McGill to decolonise its curriculum.

The onus, however, remains on each individual and institution to consciously and continuously address the manners in which they maintain and contribute to systemic oppression.

How can we use our voice to fight inequality? We believe knowledge is power and therefore, it all starts by educating ourselves on current affairs, white privilege, and the lived experiences of Black individuals and people of colour.

Education, however, without action is silence.

It can be overwhelming to navigate all the information available on the web and social media. With the generous help of the GASP executive members, we have compiled a list of important resources that may help you better understand what is going on and what you can do to help others as well as yourselves (see the Anti-Racism Resources tab).

We strongly believe that we must show solidarity in response to explicit and unconscionable manifestations of oppression and hope to use this platform to help create positive change.

We urge you to take a look at the resources, confront your own biases, learn from them and take part in helping eradicate systemic barriers. It takes all of us to stand up.

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