June 1, 2020
TORONTO, ON - Over the past week, we have witnessed Black men, Black women, and Black trans folks be killed by police brutality. Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Regis Korchinski-Paquet — these are just four names in a list of hundreds of Black people who have been victims of police violence in recent years. As an organization that represents around 150,000 undergraduate students in Ontario, we have a duty to speak out on these injustices and address acts of anti-Black racism happening across the world, including in Ontario and on our campuses.
The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) stands with the Black community and emphasizes our stance that Black Lives Matter.
Violence against Black people is the ultimate manifestation of anti-Black sentiment and the result of a society that upholds white supremacy. OUSA and the students we represent need to continue to unlearn the discriminatory biases we live with. We have a duty to educate ourselves, to listen to the experiences of marginalized communities and Black voices in particular, and to engage in continued action to strive to be anti-racist. This takes ongoing work and education.
As an organization, OUSA is committed to better supporting Black students and other racialized students. At our March 2020 General Assembly, we passed a resolution to introduce a new policy paper titled, “Racial & Religious Equity”. OUSA will collaborate with Black and other racialized students to highlight the concerns students of colour experience and propose recommendations to guide our advocacy efforts.
We are also in the process of producing a video series titled “Perspectives on Campus (POC)”, which will highlight the experiences of racialized students on campus, led by OUSA’s Research Intern, Zamir Fakirani.
As we move forward, we will continue to take active steps against anti-Black racism in our communities. For a list of how we are acting and learning, and to learn more about what you can do, visit: https://www.ousa.ca/blog_against_anti_black_racism
To all the Black students reading this: Please know that your life matters. Please be kind to yourself and prioritize your own mental health and well-being. Black lives matter.
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OUSA represents the interests of 150,000 professional and undergraduate, full-time and part-time university students at eight student associations across Ontario. Our vision is for an accessible, affordable, accountable, and high-quality post-secondary education in Ontario.
Communications & Operations Coordinator
Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance