A Welcoming Place for All | Anti-Racism message by Fleming College President Maureen Adamson

In a lifetime, there are only a few moments where we believe things will be different forever.  I believe this is one of those moments. And while it is not possible for me to live the experiences of a Black, Indigenous or other racialized person, it is my sincere hope is that something is different now.

That it took a tragic event like the death of George Floyd to give momentum to a movement that is now creating immediate global action against racism is appalling. However, there are now more signs than ever that some changes are finally coming.

Anti-Black racism has been scourge on our society for far too long. The idea that it is somehow less a problem in Canada than elsewhere is a grossly false comfort that only perpetuates systemic, embedded bias against all racialized people in our country.

If there is any solace at all in recent violent acts against Black and Indigenous peoples in the US and Canada, it is that real action and real solutions are emerging. Legislative efforts to reform law enforcement have begun in several jurisdictions and a broad urgency to question our thinking about systemic racism is more prevalent than ever, with the momentum showing no signs of waning.

As educators, we have a higher burden to listen, to understand, to share that understanding, to question the status quo, and to then take action. At Fleming, we have resources and supports with many exceptional people on our Diversity and Indigenous support teams who are very eager and exceptionally capable to help affect change. They can’t do it until the rest of us take action and step forward and voice our support, ask for help, or offer to serve.  

Some progress has been made in recent years because of the tireless work of some, but I am encouraged now that the some is becoming the majority and that something is different, now and forever. We all have an opportunity and an obligation to leverage this moment and make this moment an era. Let us always hold on to our values that are fundamental to our strategic plan; to be a welcoming place for all.