By Jennifer Khil, July 10 2020 —
The University of Calgary Students’ Union has made a number of anti-racism resources available online for students, which include information on how students can help right now, links to petitions students can sign, a list of local and Canadian organizations doing anti-racism work and educational resources on racism and discrimination.
“The petitions are important because we want people who are unable to participate in the protests especially to be able to do something while they’re at home,” says Semhar Abraha, vice-president academic. “But we also have articles and lists of Calgary-based and Canada-wide organizations that are doing amazing work regarding anti-racism advocacy policies.”
The educational resources on anti-racism are important for students with varying levels of understanding on current issues.
“Because the SU represents 20,000 plus students on campus, we know that every student has a different level of understanding on current issues, and why the BLM movement started or why students are talking about racism,” says Abraha. “We want everyone to be on the same page regarding awareness and knowing where or how people are experiencing discrimination and racism.”
In addition to the online resources, the SU is working with a number of university clubs and associations to progress anti-racism advocacy on campus.
“We’re currently working with student leaders from groups like the Polisci Students Association, Development Studies Association, and International Relations Association, and those associations mostly have black leaders as presidents,” says Abraha.
“We’ve reached out to them so we can build a document to set advocacy university-wide, regarding admissions, scholarships, awards, and what our definition of inclusivity is or how we want to see inclusivity and an inclusive environment in classrooms and across the university. That document is something that we’re working on externally with students, and hopefully we’ll launch that document soon.”
The SU’s online anti-racism resources can be found here.