As ongoing protests against anti-Black racism in the U.S. and anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism in Canada are streaming onto screens and flowing into daily conversations, many members of the Brock University community are expressing anger, sadness and fatigue over the events that triggered the protests, while also indicating a need for resources and supports to combat the impact of systemic racism.
To accommodate this need, Brock’s Human Rights and Equity (HRE), in partnership with Student Life and Success, and the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre (SWAC), compiled existing resources from around the University into a purpose-built space.
The Racial Injustice Supports for Students, Staff and Faculty page on the HRE website recognizes that racial injustice is a complex issue and that people may need different supports and resources.
The mandate of the website is to help visitors: heal, get support, learn and educate, be an active ally, and take action.
The resources offer direct support to people who have experienced structural discrimination and systemic racism as well as information for all visitors on how to begin the difficult work of engaging in challenging conversations, reading about Canada’s colonial past and examining their own behaviour and interactions.
“We wanted to ensure there was a choice of resources as we recognize people are experiencing this movement and the emotions it cultivates in different ways,” said Sexual Violence Support and Education Co-ordinator Larisa Fry.
SWAC Director Sarah Pennisi said her team was able to help by providing health-related resources.
“We want to be there for students who are struggling or who are supporting someone who is struggling,” she said.
Off-Campus Student Engagement Co-ordinator Rox Chwaluk said the online resources are available to the entire Brock community.
“The goal is to guide students, staff, faculty and our broader community to come to an easy-to-find place where resources will be permanently available,” she said. “As a campus, it is our collective responsibility to do this work, and recognize that it is not only the job of specific departments.”
In addition to the existing resources, HRE Director Leela MadhavaRau said the information on the page will continue to develop.
“We have launched this website of resources as a space for, but also by, the community,” she said. “We want people to let us know what they would like to see included, as well as what issues should be addressed. As HRE, we have a ‘Get Support, Give Support’ model, which extends to the current moment as well.”
As the site’s resources continue to grow, MadhavaRau emphasized the need to work together.
“For HRE, we are also looking to the long term, as we have a responsibility to examine the structures within the University that can contribute to inequities and prevent us from achieving our strategic priorities,” she said. “The more members of the community who continue to travel this road with us, the better.”
To visit the Racial Justice Supports for Students, Staff and Faculty website, click here.