To the Mount Allison community,
This past week we have been reminded, again, of the reality of racism and injustice that exists in society. We do well to reflect on what this means for us as a community, and as individuals.
The tragic death of George Floyd and the protests in cities and communities across the United States and Canada that we have been witness to in the days that followed, are not unique. Sadly, they are only the most recent in a long history of such incidents.
This is not only an American issue. The latest flashpoint may have been Minneapolis, but systemic racism exists everywhere, including Canada. We have just as much work to do as other countries in combatting racism and social injustice.
When such incidents are viewed only as a ‘societal’ problem, we are unable to see them for what they are. Each of us as individuals has empathy for the victims, families, and communities most directly impacted by the effects of systemic racism and prejudice, but we are often unable to see past the privilege of our own lives and perspectives.
Mount Allison aspires to be an institution where diversity and equality in every respect– whether racial, cultural, religious, or socio-economic - are valued and supported. In recent years we have taken a number of steps to help realize this aspiration. Yet we cannot rest on our past actions. We need to do more.
Difficult as the incidents that have happened recently are to fathom, we can use them as moments of personal and institutional reflection. Naming and acknowledging racism and intolerance for what they are is not only the start of such reflection, but the journey itself.
The change we hope to see in society starts with each of us as individuals: it is my hope that we as a learning community can come together in a shared commitment to working toward achieving a more just and equal campus community, here at Mount Allison.
President and Vice-Chancellor
For more information about the University’s Racism & Racial Harassment Prevention & Response Policy, please visit: