Psychology graduate students, staff, and faculty raise over $5000 towards Stand Against Racism Fundraiser

July 14, 2020
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The recent deaths of George Floyd and other unarmed African Americans have been tragic reminders of the systemic racism and oppression that Black people in North America endure every day. This recent spotlight on police brutality has also highlighted the racism toward Black and Indigenous people within Canada, specifically the tragic deaths of D’Andre Campbell and Chantel Moore, amongst others.

People around the world are making history responding to these current events. They are protesting racism and police brutality as well as calling for real structural change. This broad public response has left some of us more optimistic that we may see some real meaningful change.

The Psychology Graduate Student Caucus has responded by organizing the Stand Against Racism Fundraiser to support the fight against racial inequality.

A total of $2000 was raised by Psychology graduate students, with funds being distributed between American and Canadian organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the NAACP Legal Defence and Educational Fund, Hogan's Alley Society, and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

Following consultation with members of Psychology’s Indigenous Reconciliation Committee, the Psychology Graduate Student Caucus extended the fundraising challenge to ask the department’s faculty and staff members to meet or exceed student donations, with all proceeds going toward Canadian Indigenous organizations.

In response, psychology faculty and staff members have collectively donated $3259 to Canadian Indigenous organizations in the Stand Against Racism Fundraiser. Funds predominantly went to the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society, Indspire, Raven Trust, and the Native Women's Association of Canada.

Funding these important initiatives is just a start. Structural and systemic racism has a long history and is complexly threaded through our institutions, our university included. It impacts people of colour’s everyday lives and their communities, at times in ways that are a matter of life and death. It takes proactive work from everyone—especially from those in positions of power—to address and dismantle the systems that perpetuate racial inequality and injustice.

Below is a list of resources and books that you may wish to review and share with others:

• Affirming Black Lives Without Inducing Trauma  by Teaching Tolerance
• Addressing Anti-Black Racism in Education webinar by University of Toronto
• Recognizing and Dismantling your Anti-Blackness by Janice Gassam
• So You Want to Talk About Race by Iljeoma Oluo
• How to be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
• First Peoples, Second Class Treatment: The role of racism in the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples in Canada by Dr. Billie Allan and Dr. Janet Smylie
• Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
• Beyond 94: Truth and Reconciliation in Canada  by CBC News