To my fellow Golden Hawks,

The Students’ Union condemns racism of any kind and will not tolerate discrimination within the Laurier Community. We stand in solidarity with Black and racialized students, Laurier’s Centre for Student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, staff, faculty, and community members.

For too long we have witnessed countless acts of racism and violence against Black communities both in and outside of Canadian borders. We acknowledge that what we are seeing in North America right now is not new and we recognize that these events call for a collective response. This issue is larger than one person or event, it is larger than one institution, organization or community, and it is larger than a post on social media. Change remains an immediate imperative. This represents a renewed call to educate ourselves, and a time to engage and participate in organizational, societal and systemic policy changes.

I am trying to take this time to educate myself and examine my own privilege. As I have read the experiences that friends and colleagues have shared over the last week, I have come to recognize not only my own privilege but also the platform I have to encourage all of you to use your voices to support and engage with equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism commitments. In taking this time to reflect on my own privilege and my own experiences, I want to assure students that myself and the Students’ Union are committed to representing, supporting and engaging with Black students as this conversation continues regardless of the current remote environment.

I used to refer to Laurier and the surrounding community as the ‘Laurier Bubble’ because I never found myself going beyond Conestoga Mall or the Walmart on Weber St. I felt safe in this bubble, I felt free and empowered to learn both in and outside of my lectures in this bubble. This bubble did not go away as I ventured to Uptown Waterloo to try a new restaurant, or to St. Jacob’s Market for a weekend adventure. The bubble followed me when I travelled to the Brantford Campus to attend my first Coordinator conference and it surrounded me when I moved home in March of this year to finish my degree online. The Laurier Bubble has never left me because the Laurier Bubble that I have experienced for the last four years is not tied to our physical campuses, but carried within every Laurier student that goes out of their way to hold the door, makes sure you get home safe, cleans up after homecoming or refuses to step on the hawk. Now that our students are all outside of their physical Laurier Bubbles, they are still learning and they are still engaging with and supporting one another from all over the world.

My own personal reflection and examination of my privilege has brought me to recognize that my experiences with the Laurier Bubble are a result of my own privilege and that not every Laurier student has been able to experience the bubble with the same ease as I have. My bubble did not pop when I left campus because my bubble is a feeling of community that is equitably experienced by all students. I want each of you to know that your bubble still surrounds you and we are still here to help you, to support you and to stand with you, wherever you are at this time.

As we move forward, I encourage you all to continue making your voices heard both in and outside of your own Laurier Bubble, to continue educating yourself and to continue engaging with what is going on around you.

The Center for Student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion office can be contacted at diversity@wlu.ca. They will be holding various healing spaces in the days ahead which are open to all students, staff and faculty. Please find more information below:


BLACK HEALING SPACE 

Hosted by Lauren and Shilan

June 11th – July 2nd, Every Thursday, 4 – 5 pm EST 

Register in advance for this space here.

Open to folks who self-identify as Black.

Open Support Space, Grounding Activities, Collective Care and Action Organizing Opportunities.


NON-BLACK PEOPLE OF COLOUR (POC) HEALING SPACE 

Hosted by Humera

June 10, 11 am-12 pm EST

Register in advance for this space here.

June 17th, 3 pm-4 pm EST

Register in advance for this space here.

Open to folks who self-identify as a person of colour.

Open Support Space, Grounding Activities, Collective Care and Action Organizing Opportunities.


WHITE CAUCUS ON RESPONDING TO ANTI-BLACK VIOLENCE 

Hosted by Eden

June 4th, 1 pm-2 pm EST

Register in advance for this space here.

June 9th, 9 am-10 am EST

Register in advance for this space here.

Open to folks who self-identify as white/non-person of colour.

Open Support Space, Anti-Racism Education and Action Organizing Opportunities.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. Let’s continue this conversation and continue to make Laurier a better place.

Stay safe & stay golden,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devyn Kelly
Students’ Union President & CEO

X