TORONTO, Nov. 18, 2015 /CNW/ - Black students at several universities in Ontario are joining a Day of Action called by students at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) to denounce racism on their campuses. Rallies and marches are being hosted at the University of Guelph, McMaster University, the University of Ottawa, Ryerson University and the University of Toronto. Similar to students at Mizzou, students have issued demands to university administrators to combat the anti-Black racism they experience on campus. Students are using the hashtag #blackoncampus to share their experiences on social media. Black students at McMaster held a solidarity rally last week, in solidarity with students at Mizzou and Yale.
"Anti-Black racism is a reality on college and university campuses not only in the United States, but also in Canada," said Rajean Hoilett, the first Black man to be Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario. "Experiences of anti-Black racism are isolating and dehumanizing. Students everywhere should ally with Black students in our struggle for justice."
"Demonstrations of anti-blackness are not isolated events. These insidious events speak systemic nature of anti-Black racism that has claimed the lives of countless Black youth all over the world, including so many across Canada", said Bilan Arte, the first Black National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "All students have the right to feel safe on campus, and for too long anti-Black racism has been a systemic barrier for access to education for Black students."
Those participating in the demonstrations will be joining thousands of Black students in the United States in their struggle for justice. In statements released on Wednesday morning, Ontario students are demanding that their institutions address the underrepresentation of Black students, faculty and staff within their institutions. They are also demanding that their institutions divest from the private prison industry in the United States and from companies that profit off of prison labour.
"Our universities have no business using our tuition dollars to fund racist systems of incarceration that disproportionately target Black people," said Yusra Khogali, an organizer of the rally and march occurring at the University of Toronto. "It's hard enough to face constant racism at this institution. It makes me sick to think that my money is supporting corporations that use modern-day slave labour."
For more Information, contact:
Rajean Hoilett, Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario, 289-923-3524
Information on campus-specific actions:
University of Guelph: Rally at 1:00 p.m. at the University Centre Courtyard
Media contact: Savannah Clarke, 647-229-9167
University of Ottawa: March and Rally at 9:00 a.m. at the Ottawa University Campus Station (in front of the Marion building)
Media contact: Vanessa Dorimain, 613-709-2565
Ryerson University: Rally at 1:00 p.m. at Gould St. and Victoria St.
Media contact: Pascale Diverlus, 647-210-4393
University of Toronto: March and Rally at 11:00 a.m. at 7 Hart House Circle
Media contact: Sandy Hudson, 416-722-8842
Media Contact: Kayonne Christy, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students