Published: April 11, 2022
We acknowledge that the impact of racism is real, interpersonal, institutional, and systemic. We also acknowledge that our country’s current foundation, built and imposed by white people, rests on the dispossession, displacement, and genocide of Indigenous peoples, which continues to this day. At this very moment, racialized people continue to face consistent oppression and marginalization at the hands of colonial structures, institutions, and processes.
Acknowledging racism is only our first step in becoming an anti-racist organization. As an organization supporting post-secondary education in B.C., we know that we hold power, and we have the agency and privilege required to contribute to changing and influencing practice, both our own and for those we work with.
Regardless of one’s intentions, we acknowledge that we all operate within a system that has long upheld white supremacy. It is embedded in the B.C. post-secondary sector. We draw on the work of Black activists and writers such as bell hooks, Dr. Lisa Gunderson, and Parker Johnson, to define white supremacy as a system of oppression predicated on the false notion of white superiority and an emphasis on traits (social, political, physiological, and other) associated with whiteness. To effectively challenge white supremacy, and uphold our values as an anti-racist organization, we must do so in an intersectional manner, considering the ways in which systems of oppression interconnect and reinforce one another.
We consider any organization that supports racist policy through its actions or inactions a racist organization.
There is little representation of racialized voices in our system, and post-secondary institutions are spaces where the voices, experiences, and ways of knowing of racialized people are often discounted, appropriated, or silenced. These are things that show up in our work and have been built into the policies of our organization. In the past, for example, the structure and wording of certain calls for proposals and funding distribution decisions have upheld inequity by reinforcing colonial ways of knowing and being.
We are committed to anti-racism as a practice. We resolve to remove barriers to education and services for racialized people and communities and to do all we can to ensure that no one is further marginalized, nor have this experience exacerbated, through working with us. We also recognize that for change to happen, we must make specific, practical, measurable goals for which we are accountable:
- We will allocate our time, resources, and funding to amplify racialized voices. This will include but is not limited to:
- A 25% increase in representation of racialized people on all our advisories
- Amplifying, sharing, re-sharing, and spotlighting through our social media channels one racialized voice and one Indigenous voice in our sector each week
- Seeking out and prioritizing at least a 50 % representation of racialized speakers per event (including speakers, panelists, and keynotes)
- Working to eliminate barriers to participation for and to be more inclusive of racialized and Indigenous people through collaboration, process, and policy change. This will include but is not limited to:
- Reviewing and revising our grant programs and calls for proposals annually to make them more accessible to racialized applicants, increasing our number of racialized grantees by 40%
- Reviewing and revising hiring processes annually to increase the number of racialized personnel by 40% in the next three years
All metrics will be evaluated based on the data collected in the coming fiscal year.
- We will change our own internal organizational policy structures to reflect our commitment to anti-racism and share these changes broadly. We will examine our current practices with respect to organizational policy change to improve transparency and inclusion, both internally and externally. This will include, but is not limited to:
- Conducting an external equity, inclusion, and anti-racist audit of the organization every two years through at least two external organizations that have racialized leadership
- As an organization, we will listen, ask more, be courageous, and be vulnerable. We will give our whole authentic selves, our compassion, and our love to the work of anti-racism. This will include but is not limited to:
- Providing mandatory biannual training on bias, active listening, and community care
- Providing monthly opportunities to practice interrupting racism
- We are committed to holding ourselves and the post-secondary sector, at large, accountable for this work. We commit to reviewing, revising, and iterating our anti-racism policy quarterly. We are also committed to listening to and learning from those with lived experiences of racism. This work is an iterative process that is non-linear and not bound by time. It is work of the heart that we are deeply passionate about. The changes we make will be applied across communities, classrooms, and curricula, valuing multiple ways of knowing and being.
BCcampus’ Anti-Racism Statement will continue to evolve and iterate as we review our metrics, commitments, and statements on an annual basis.
Anti-racist: One who is supporting an anti-racist policy through their actions or expressing an anti-racist idea. (Ibram X. Kendi)
Intersectional: First coined by Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw back in 1989, intersectionality is the concept that all oppression is linked. Intersectionality is the acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression, and we must consider everything and anything that can marginalize people – gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc.
Racialized: The concept of racialization refers to the processes by which a group of people is defined by their race. Processes of racialization begin by attributing racial meaning to people’s identity and, in particular, as they relate to social structures and institutional systems, such as housing, employment, and education. In societies in which white people have economic, political, and social power, processes of racialization have emerged from the creation of a hierarchy in social structures and systems based on race. The visible effects of processes of racialization are the racial inequalities embedded within social structures and systems. (Adapted from Racialization: Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society)
White supremacy: White supremacy culture is the idea (ideology) that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are normal, right, and superior to those of Indigenous people and people of colour. White supremacy culture is reproduced by all the institutions of our society, including media, education, and healthcare. (Adapted from https://www.dismantlingracism.org/white-supremacy-culture.html)
*The definitions are for you to consider as you read through BCcampus’ Anti-Racism Statement. They are by no means the only definitions and/or explanations for the terms above. As definitions evolve over time, we will update them to reflect up-to-date meaning.