CALL TO ACTION: ANTI-BLACKNESS IN ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS MUST END. #OPENYOURPURSE
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Exhaustion doesn’t even begin to cover it!
Black people and Black students are disproportionately affected and dying because of this pandemic and systemic racism. These institutions are responsible for creating and perpetuating unsafe environments for Black people.
We as a collective find the tweets and emails sent out by York University, University of Toronto and Ryerson University empty, unbeneficial and do not provide the resources or action items to better our institutions and diminish them of anti-Black racism or racism at large.
We demand accountability and action for the devaluation of Black lives that have and continue to occur within post-secondary institutions.
Our university and post-secondary institutions are colonial and deep-rooted in racist policies and procedures. Let us address the fact that education is a right, and the cost of education keeps rising and those most impacted are Black. International and domestic Black students continue to be attacked.
A large percentage of international students are coming from Africa and the Caribbean. These areas have been and continue to feel the impacts of imperialism which has robbed them physically, economically, culturally, emotionally and spiritually.
International students should not have to pay upwards of $25,000-30,000 in tuition annually, especially when their respective countries education systems have been devalued and underfunded by European and North American countries.
The majority of Black Africans, Caribbean and the diasporas have a lower socioeconomic status and less expendable incomes in comparison to their white and non-black counterparts. Not to mention the fact that most racialized and Black students depend on working various jobs and student loans to pay for tuition; which have both been impacted by the pandemic.
How can they pay full price? Additionally, why should any students have to pay full price when the majority of semesters to come will be online? These online and ‘blended’ courses will result in a diminished quality of education and the inheritance of a substantial debt.
Education is an equalizer in society and yet due to the barriers of entry, how are we ever going to get a leg up and prosper?
We call on racialized and non-racialized collectives/ students to join us in calling out our post-secondary institutions to lower the cost of tuition because this is impacting us all and ultimately there is strength in numbers. We highly encourage and will support other students to call-out their post-secondary institutions across Canada.
We don’t want to hear these post-secondary institutions publicly claim they stand with the Black community or Black students when this is just part of how they have been treating us.
WE PAY our institutions for QUALITY education; instead, we are discriminated against, gas-lit, all while we are trying to make ends meet, and in exchange, we receive SUBPAR education via the internet during this pandemic. No.
We demand a minimum of 30% cut to tuition costs for ALL students.
We demand more accessible scholarships.
We demand Black specific scholarships.
We demand investment in the surrounding Black communities.
We demand more funding to support the Existing Black faculty and communities at these institutions.
We demand more Black hires in all positions.
We demand support for Black student collectives.
We demand creation, reintroduction or more funding for community kitchens which many Black and racialized students depend on for food and basic needs.
We demand cops off-campus.
We demand an implementation and institution of community-based alternatives to security and police forces in a campus safety plan, to be determined in collaboration with student leaders like ourselves, the department of social work, and staff and faculty who are familiar with abolitionist frameworks.
We demand the introduction/ re-introduction of the Community Safety Council to advise and oversee the Community Safety Department and Security Service.
We demand the implementation of mandatory Anti Oppression and Mental Health training with the inclusion of student input for all staff and faculty.
We demand the collection of race-based data.
We demand the introduction of a separate reporting process for incidents of Racism and Discrimination.
We demand a committee for reviewing staff members behaviour and supporting student claims in regards to racism and discrimination.
We demand to be heard.
We demand you open our* purse!
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