Dear members of the UBC community, I hope things continue to go well for you.
As you know, the recent anti-black and anti-Asian violence in communities across North America has focused our attention on deeply rooted racism in Canada and globally. UBC itself is not immune to racism and injustice.
Earlier this week, I sent a letter to the UBC community in which I stated that racism and bias have no place in our community and that we have zero tolerance for it. On behalf of the university, I condemn and denounce all incidents of racism and the continued oppression that is directed at indigenous communities. We must work together to dismantle the tools of oppression that remain prevalent and entrenched in our everyday systems.
It’s my hope that at least here at UBC, that we can work to model a different kind of community, one where we embrace difference and work to build each other up while enacting values of dignity, mutual respect, and justice.
I urge you to read the full statement, which you can find here. This is what I say to racialized students and to my colleagues at UBC, this isn’t the first time in history that you have experienced heightened stigmatization and racism, but you are strong and resilient, and will thrive in the face of this as you have done throughout history. Please, don’t let racism cloud your spirit. Go and be the brilliant minds and compassionate hearts that you are and continue to shine at UBC. You belong here and you make us better.
This week from my #SongsofComfort selection, I will be playing the song A Thousand Years on cello. I dedicate the piece to the memory of George Floyd and everyone who is suffering today from racial injustice. I offer to all as we struggle with the pain of the past several days and I pray that, to paraphrase Martin Luther King, we will together move from the midnight of racism to the bright daylight of peace and community.
Stay safe, everyone. Have a good weekend.
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On this Sunday, I dedicate this song to George Floyd , his family and friends and everyone who is suffering today from racial injustice. And I offer it to everyone in Minneapolis, LA, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Toronto, Vancouver, Philadelphia, DC and indeed around the world as we struggle with the pain of the past several days. I pray that we will come together as communities and, in the words of Martin Luther King, move from the “midnight of racism” to the “bright daylight of peace and brotherhood.”