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Friday, July 29, 2022 | Daily Bulletin

Recognizing Emancipation Day

A message from Dr. Christopher Taylor, Associate Vice-President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism. This is the latest news post on the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism website.

Following years of campaigning by Black lawmakers and community advocates, in 2021, the government of Canada federally recognized August 1, as Emancipation Day, and the month of August, as Emancipation Month.

While it was less than 200 years ago, in 1834, that the British Empire ended the practice of slavery in the former British colonies, which included Canada, many Canadians are unaware that Black and Indigenous peoples were once enslaved here.

Canada’s recognition of Emancipation Day and Month falls within the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent, which recognizes that people of African descent (approximately 200 million people in the Americas) represent a distinct group, whose human rights must be promoted and protected.

Therefore, as we recognize Emancipation Day and Month, and appreciate the strength and perseverance of Black communities, it is equally important that we address the underacknowledged history of slavery and anti-Black racism in Canada.

I believe that Emancipation Day should not be a celebration, but a call for action, a call for change, a call for a true understanding of the violence that is embedded in the policies, procedures, and actions of the systems that we live and work under. Emancipation Day and Month must be a clear call to action to reflect, educate and engage in the ongoing fight against anti-Black racism and discrimination.

Our history of enslavement, our history of colonialism, this country’s on-going history of settler colonialism, anti-Black racism, and white supremacy are defined through violence. This is something our society does not want to teach us, nor does it want us to know that our existence, and the attempted erasure of our existence was a physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually violent act.

We also do not talk about the fact that during the period of enslavement, we were dehumanized to justify our given place as “beasts of burden.” That is violence. That our ancestors were marched from the interior to the coast, shackled and raped in the dungeons, abused and tortured on the ships, and worked to death in the Americas, is also violence. We were beaten, maimed, and killed, for profit. That is violence. We were legally stripped of our drums, our language, our beliefs, and displaced from our homes. That is violence. We are told we are not as smart as the other children in class. That is violence. We are told to believe that our skin color or hair isn’t as pretty as a cartoon character named Ariel. That is violence.

Before we move forward, we have to understand and acknowledge that 188 years later, we are not truly free of all the forms of violence that we were ‘legally’ emancipated from on August 1, 1834.

We still have a lot of work to do. We must act collectively to end anti-Black racism and strive for justice. This is everyone’s work to do, every day.

If you are experiencing or have experienced anti-Black racism, you can find resources and support here.

Call for expressions of interest to join the Dimensions review committee

An out of focus dazzle of light

A message from the Office of Research.

The Tri-agency is seeking reviewers to help assess postsecondary institutional applications for Dimensions recognition.

The Dimensions: equity, diversity and inclusion Canada pilot program was launched by the three granting agencies (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) in 2019 to increase equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at postsecondary institutions and help drive a deeper cultural change within the research ecosystem. The program will be accepting the first applications from postsecondary institutions that were part of the cohort to be recognized for their efforts advancing the state of EDI in their research communities.

Scholars, administrators and professionals at postsecondary institutions across Canada who self-identify as a member of one of the five equity-deserving groups (women, Indigenous Peoples – First Nations, Inuit, Métis, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities/racialized groups , and members of LGBTQ2+ communities) are invited to submit an expression of interest to join the Dimensions review committee.

The Dimensions review committee will assess the applications received and provide constructive feedback to help institutions continue to make change. Expressions of interest from across the postsecondary research sector are encouraged, including those with expertise in academic studies related to understanding inequity and exclusion in society, and in the higher education context in particular, and those who have experience or expertise related to efforts to address EDI in the postsecondary research sector.

Interested parties are invited to review the details of the call and submit an expression of interest by Friday, August 19, 2022. Questions may be directed to DimensionsEDI@nserc-crsng.gc.ca.

What’s open and closed this long weekend

Monday, August 1 is the Civic Holiday, which, in addition to adding up to a nice long weekend to start the month off, means that many University operations will be closed or operating under modified hours. Some examples of operational changes include:

“All W Store, W Store Essentials and W Print locations will be closed on Monday, August 1 for the Civic Holiday,” says a note from Print + Retail Solutions. “All locations will re-open for regular business hours starting Tuesday, August 2. Enjoy the long weekend!”

the Student Life Center and Turnkey Desk will be open 24 hours a day during the long weekend. the Turnkey@DC location will be closed on Monday, August 1.

Virtual reference hours at theLibrary will be available on Monday, August 1 with chat from 12 noon to 4:00 pm and email from 12 noon to 6:00 pm Both Dana Porter and Davis Center will be open from 12 noon to 6:00 pm on Monday, August 1.

Most Food Services locations will be closed on Monday, August 1, while Tim Hortons SLC will be open from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm

athletic facilities will be closed on Sunday, July 31 and Monday, August 1.

the Visitors Center will be closed over the long weekend and will not be running campus tours.

Have a great long weekend, everyone. the Daily Bulletin will return on Tuesday, August 2.

There’s still time for staff to vote on MOA; other notes

“Have you had a chance to vote yet?” asks the University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA). “Polls for the updated Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) close on August 2. Thank you to all members who have already taken the time to vote – your commitment is recognized and appreciated.”

On July 14, 2022, UWSA Members (as of June 30) received an email invitation to participate in the online vote. The email was sent by the University Secretariat with the subject line “MOA Vote Now Open”. If you are a UWSA Member and you did not receive an invitation to vote, please contact us.

“A strong voter turnout and a simple majority of votes in favor will indicate support of the updated MOA to the University’s Board of Governors, which has the ultimate authority to adopt the MOA,” says the note from UWSA. “Your voice starts here.”

Voting runs from July 14 to Tuesday, August 2.

FLIGHT Virtual Summer Camp takes off on Tuesday, August 2 and runs until August 13. FLIGHT (Future Leaders Innovating to Go Higher in Technology) virtual summer camp provides a strong introduction to tech entrepreneurship to girls aged 13-18 who self-identify as Black or another underrepresented minority.

In this 2-week program, students work in teams to create a technology-backed business idea around a problem that they identify within the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Students chat at a table.

The Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business will be running a Part-Time Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Session on Wednesday, August 3, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm, on Zoom.

The Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) is a graduate entrepreneurship master’s program that combines interdisciplinary courses with practical experiences in venture creation and commercialization. In MBET, students learn inside and outside the classroom. Networking, practical experience, and hands-on learning with like-minded people in the Waterloo entrepreneurship community that complement the core Master’s-level courses inside the classroom.

Register for the event.

Human Resources has reported the following employee and retiree deaths from the first quarter of 2022 as follows:

January

  • Diane Mojnowski, who started working at the University in January 1990 and retired in September 2016, died on January 15, 2022;
  • Ernest “Ernie” Holmes, who joined the University in April 1971 and retired in April 1989 having served as professor in the Faculty of Engineering and as the University’s Dean of Research, died January 23, 2022;
  • William David Taylor, faculty member in Biology, who started at Waterloo in August 1981 and retired in September 2013, died January 24, 2022;

february

  • Andrzej Kesik, who started working at the University in July 1970 and retired in July 1996, died on February 22;
  • Grace Slocombe, who joined Waterloo in January 1970 and retired in June 1980, died on February 21;
  • Gwen Todd, who began working at the University in January 1966 and retired in March 1993, died on February 11;
  • Professor Emeritus Samuel Yagar, who started at Waterloo in May 1970 and retired in September 1996 as a faculty member in Civil and Environmental Engineering, died on February 25;

March

  • Derick Haywood, who joined the University in December 1987 and retired in February 2006 as a Plumber in Plant Operations, died on March 22; and
  • Edward Lank, professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science who started working at Waterloo in September 2005, died on March 21.

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