Welcome to the activities of the Inter-Institutional Forum of the Scarborough Charter
Announcing the 2024 Scarborough Charter Inter-Institutional Forum
May 9 & 10 2024
On May 9 and 10, 2024, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University will be hosting the Inter-Institutional Forum of the Scarborough National Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education.
For the 2024 Scarborough Charter Inter-Institutional Forum, we have chosen the theme - Bridging Black. Our intention is to bridge the gaps in both learning and action and to build better connections between the different stakeholders at higher education institutions - senior administration, faculty, staff, students, and neighbouring Black communities.
Programming of the forum is built to prioritize, share, and legitimize the experiences and knowledges of Black people participating in the institution as well as the knowledges that have historically contributed to the flourishing of the academy. We hope that by providing the room for intentional idea exchange around the principles of the Scarborough Charter, leaders and participants can leave with more tools and reinvigorated spirits to follow through on redressing anti-Blackness in higher education.
The following four overarching principles should apply to any initiative to redress anti-Black racism and foster Black inclusion in our universities and colleges, and across the sector. The principles should guide the letter and spirit of all university, college, and sector-wide policy making and action:
Universities and colleges are central to enabling the just, fulsome realization of human potential and thriving. They play a pivotal role in redressing anti-Black racism by removing structural barriers to equity, inclusion and social justice, with full recognition of our intersectional identities, while advancing the innovative research, critical thinking and engaged dissemination of knowledge that foster substantive equality, human dignity, and sustainability.
Inclusive excellence embodies the recognition that not only is post-secondary education enriched by equity, diversity and inclusion; equitable inclusion is critical to excellence. Excellence encompasses the ability of universities and colleges to educate and to innovate; to be alive to complexity and proactive in the face of crisis; to foster fundamental questioning through rigorous, respectful engagements across difference; and to enable societal transformation.
Universities and colleges are embedded in communities locally, as well as nationally, regionally and internationally. By recognizing a responsibility to foster mutuality, universities and colleges acknowledge the multiple social relations and modes of societal action upon which universities and colleges depend and for which they are accountable. The positive, interactive relationship with Black communities entailed by mutuality includes the special role universities and colleges can assume in Black community economic development, notably as anchor institutions and local employers.
Accountability involves a commitment both to ongoing education - including self-education - and to courageous action built on deeply consultative processes. Accountability includes acknowledging, respecting, and acting responsively in the face of Black life, in its full complexity and intersectionality. Universities and colleges must move beyond mere representation and take responsibility for supporting fulsome, transformative inclusion across university and college structures, policies and procedures. By signing the Scarborough Charter, universities and colleges commit to a process of continuous improvement through ongoing, sustained implementing of the Scarborough Charter’s principles-based commitments to action, and to be answerable for concrete outcomes, including to their respective Boards, communities and other stakeholders