Office of the President

Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor

Petter's Perspective: Notes from the President

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SFU reaffirms commitment to ending racial discrimination

March 20, 2019

March 21 is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

As the tragic events in Christchurch, New Zealand last week remind us, it is more important than ever to stand together against racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance and discrimination. 

We at SFU have committed ourselves to creating a diverse and inclusive university community that is free of prejudice and hate.

SFU benefits greatly from the diversity of our students, staff and faculty. Our varied backgrounds and cultures provide a wealth of experience, knowledge and perspective, and are a source of strength and pride.

Over the next week, Global Community Days, organized by the Global Student Centre, will build on these strengths to promote intercultural engagement, and to explore strategies aimed at building healthier, more connected communities.

On March 21, the SFU Interfaith Centre will host the annual Non-Violence Day at Burnaby Campus, where students will be sharing their stories of standing up to racism (James Douglas Safe Study area, 12:30 – 1:30 pm).

On the same day, the SFU Surrey-TD Community Engagement Centre, the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership and Surrey Libraries will host a special Inclusive City Philosopher’s Café: “How do we get from colour-blind to colour-brave?” (City Centre Library, 5:30 – 7:00).

The rise of nativism and extremism around the world – and within Canada – means we must be more vigilant than ever to counter racist movements, and to support groups that are fearful or targeted.

As Canada’s engaged university – and one committed to ‘engaging the world’ – let’s continue to demonstrate our shared commitment to equality, inclusion and respect, and work to put an end to all forms of discrimination.