Brock joins in as National Dialogues seeks more than just talk about anti-Black racism

Brock University is in a national movement of 40 universities and colleges to co-sponsor an unprecedented initiative this Fall to get Canadians of all ages examining and taking action on anti-Black racism.

The National Dialogues are a series of national forums focused on addressing equity and inclusion in Canadian post-secondary education.

The first in the series will take place on Oct. 1 and 2, from noon to 4 pm each day. The event is free but participants must register in advance at this website.

This year’s inaugural Dialogues will focus on sharing experiences and ideas, exploring and learning best practices, and contributing to actions that reject anti-Black racism and drive meaningful, enduring Black inclusion within the higher education sector and throughout our communities.

Over the course of two days, participants will have the opportunity to choose from amongst nine interactive online dialogues with panelists from academia and beyond to address student, faculty, and staff access and success; inclusive teaching, learning and curricula; inclusive decision-making structures; responsibilities and obligations of non-black peers; mentorship and more.

The concurrent dialogues will explore the relevant issues considering the diverse and intersecting identities within the Black community.

Besides Brock being an active sponsor, University President Gervan Fearon sits on the Inter-Institutional Advisory Committee, which provides high-level strategic guidance to organizers. Committee members will also be part of a group that takes recommendations that emerge from the forum, and drafts a charter of principles and commitments to action.

Fearon said an exercise like the National Dialogue can have a highly positive impact on the country, by enlightening all of its citizens.

“When we work toward building a more inclusive society, it gives Canada a posture, at a global level, in order to be able to influence the direction of humanity as a whole,” said Fearon. “There can be no greater voice that an individual can have, or a nation can have, than the examples that it brings to the table through the hard work that it does to meet challenges, and to be inspired by the possibility of building an inclusive society.”

The idea behind having a National Dialogue to encourage and support societal efforts toward inclusivity began as a regional initiative at the University of Toronto, but quickly became a national project with participation from post-secondary institutions across the country.

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