City Institute Solidarity Statement

At the City Institute we stand in compassion and solidarity with all Black, Indigenous and racialized communities who are grieving and rising up. We are angered and outraged by ongoing police violence and brutality against Black citizens and protestors across the North American continent. Alongside many scholars, activists and others, we denounce the onslaught of police violence against peaceful protestors and the political discourse that labels protestors as domestic terrorists. And while much of the current media attention is focused on the United States, these same issues are also played out across Canada. We also recognize that this state violence is endemic, long-standing and a function of structural white supremacy.

As a research institute committed to critical analysis, social justice and activism, we believe that research is an essential vehicle for dismantling systemic injustices, including how racialized, classed, and gendered inequalities are played out in myriad urban places. We know this work can never be assumed finished and that solutions begin with listening to and learning from those who face anti-Black racism, and by standing next to those fighting for a more just world. We have a responsibility to document, challenge and propose solutions to racism and white supremacy, including holding the powerful to account, responsibilities we have yet to adequately meet. We call on all our members to take a stand against anti-Black racism and to pledge to continue working on issues of inequalities and injustices through our research, our pedagogy, and our service.

We are committed to: only conducting research with those Black communities who want us to conduct research with them, to utilise research to build trust and understanding, to engage as equals, to understand ownership of the research as belonging to the community, and to engage in joint knowledge mobilization activities in a variety of forums.

We call on our members to: acknowledge and cite, cede speaking and leadership space to, and publish and compensate Black colleagues and grassroots movements, especially as folks integrate issues like abolition and policing into curriculum and scholarship, and interrogate racism in academic spaces.

We ask York University to: ensure Black colleagues are accorded equal pay; to take seriously the equity proposals coming from YUFA's Race Equity Caucus, in particular that York adopt an initiative on Black faculty hirings; that AA plans expand to incorporate Black faculty hirings; and that anti-bias training is provided to all employees.

Signed,

The Executive Committee of the City Institute