Black Lives Matter

SFU Geography Statement: Black Lives Matter

The Department of Geography at SFU stands in solidarity with all who are engaged in the long fight for justice and equity for Black people and against anti-Black police violence, racism and white supremacy. The police killing of George Floyd and countless other Black people worldwide remind us that anti-Blackness is a particular form of racism that needs to be named and confronted. The recent death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto reminds us that Canada is not immune to anti-Black racism. We commit to educating ourselves about the long history of systemic racism in Coast Salish territories, Canada and beyond (links below).

The forms that racism takes against Black people, Indigenous people, Asian people and other people of colour are different, but these racisms are all part of white supremacy and the settler-colonial project. From its origins, the discipline of geography directly advanced these structures, and our discipline’s whiteness has been durable, despite longstanding efforts by racialized scholars and their allies. SFU Geography has its own histories and cultures of whiteness that we are learning from in order to enact norms and practices welcoming to all. We commit to stand against all forms of racism and to strive to dismantle white supremacy and colonial practices in our department, across the SFU campus and in our lives outside the university. We urge anyone affiliated with SFU Geography and who has sufficient means, to donate money to support anti-racism organizing efforts here in unceded Coast Salish territories and elsewhere (links below).

We commit to:

  • Undergo anti-racism training in our department
  • Support Black-owned businesses through departmental activities and purchases
  • Review and modify any aspects of our departmental culture or physical surroundings that suggest ongoing legacies of white supremacy
  • Advocate for targeted university funding for BIPOC students at SFU
  • Consider how we can address racism, white supremacy, and/or colonialism in our courses.
  • Further diversify our faculty, with a particular focus on racial diversity
  • Create and communicate clear pathways to support racialized students experiencing racism, including harassment or bias, on or off campus

 

Organizations to support

Black Lives Matter Vancouver: https://www.gofundme.com/f/blmvan

Hogan’s Alley Society, Vancouver: https://www.hogansalleysociety.org/

Black in BC Community Support Fund for COVID-19: https://ca.gofundme.com/f/covid19-black-community-support-vancouver

Black Lives Matter Toronto: https://blacklivesmatter.ca/donate/

 

Student groups supporting Black students at SFU

SFU SOCA - Students of Caribbean and African Ancestry: https://www.sfusoca.ca/about.html
SFU Somali Students Association: https://www.sfusoca.ca/sfu-somali-students-association.html
SFU Nigerian Students Association: https://www.sfusoca.ca/sfu-nigerian-students-association.html

 

Resources for reading and listening

Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard: https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/policing-black-lives

The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/536075/the-skin-were-in-by-desmond-cole/9780385686341

The Secret Life of Canada podcast, hosted by Leah-Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/secretlifeofcanada

The Hanging of Angélique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montréal, by Afua Cooper: https://ugapress.org/book/9780820329406/the-hanging-of-angelique/

North to Bondage: Loyalist Slavery in the Maritimes, by Harvey Amani Whitfield: https://www.ubcpress.ca/north-to-bondage

White Fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism, by Robyn Diangelo: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/566247/white-fragility-by-robin-diangelo/

How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X Kendi: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/564299/how-to-be-an-antiracist-by-ibram-x-kendi/

The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities, by Frances Henry, Enakshi Dua, Carl James, Audrey Kobayashi, Peter LI, Howard Ramos and Malinda Smith: https://www.ubcpress.ca/the-equity-myth

 

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