Over the last few days, citizens across Canada and the United States have united to protest the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery only weeks before, and the systemic racism that has taken the lives of many others. The Faculty of Arts stands in solidarity with our Black students, faculty and staff, and with them, denounces anti-Black racism in all its forms.
Our University, as President Fremont noted in his May 31 statement, is committed “to fighting racism on our campus and within our community. Everyone has a right to an environment that is free from harassment and discrimination, and where very person is valued and treated with dignity and respect.”
In my Convocation address to students, recorded several weeks ago, I quoted the scholar Alan Liu, who noted that “the question of humanities education [and he means Arts writ large, including the languages and literatures, and fine and performing arts] overlaps with the question of ‘humanity’ itself. What is humanity today, and what can humanities do for it?” At the Faculty of Arts, we reaffirm our commitment to principles and practices of equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging, and to listening, learning and acting. Together, we must do better.
Kevin Kee, Dean
Faculty of Arts