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Reflections on the Inaugural U of T Race, Equity & Action Speaker Series  

podium setup at the Speaker Series event in Campbell Conference Facility

View photos from the event

 

U of T’s inaugural Race, Equity & Action Speaker Series wrapped up last week with Rabbi Julia Appel addressing anti-Semitism in postsecondary environments. Rabbi Appel, who serves as the Senior Jewish Educator and Campus Rabbi at Hillel at U of T and is on the executive team of the Toronto Board of Rabbis, discussed the rise of anti-Semitism and the various ways in which it manifests on campus, among other issues. In offering methods to combat antisemitism, Rabbi Appel explored how to turn this acknowledgement into action. The three-part series, organized by the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office (ARCDO) in the division of Human Resources & Equity, engaged in critical dialogue on ways educational institutions can advance equity, diversity and inclusion.

“The efforts of our tri-campus Equity Offices’ initiatives, like the ARCDO Speaker Series, spark inspiration to make change, educate us on how to become authentic allies, and continue to create safe, brave, welcoming and inclusive spaces for our diverse communities,” said Karima Hashmani, Executive Director, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI), HR & Equity. “Feedback from our community is vital in challenging our systems, enhancing our processes and creating equity within all our practices.”

The Race, Equity & Action Speaker Series consisted of three lectures given by local and international experts:

  • Rabbi Julia Appel: Addressing Anti-Semitism in 2020: Increasing an inclusive postsecondary environment (January 22, 2020)
  • Dr. Shaheen Azmi: Responding to race-based human rights complaints: Understanding institutional responsibility (November 25, 2019)
  • Dr. Lisa Coleman: Increasing racial equity, diversity and inclusion in hiring, admissions and culture (October 31, 2019)

“Allowing for challenging discussions on anti-racism, and intersectionality inform our efforts in advancing an intentionally inclusive environment,” said Jodie Glean, Director, ARCDO. “We will continue to engage all levels of our University community in these important dialogues and ensure the conversations continue.”

On February 6, 2020, ARCDO and the Black History 365 Committee will host their inaugural Black History Month Symposium: Complexities of Blackness: Stories Told, Strategies Shared. This event will provide the U of T community the opportunity to increase the dialogue on the intersectionality of the Black identity and the tools needed to navigate spaces in the post-secondary environment. Registration for the event is now open. 

ARCDO works with its University partners to host local and international experts, academics and advocates to increase dialogue and understanding of racial equity, cultural diversity and inclusion in postsecondary environments. Learn more about ARCDO’s services, events and programming.