Community Message - Embracing the responsibility to enact change

Dear uLethbridge community,

The events of the last couple of weeks are a reminder that many members of our campus community, and the communities with which we are connected, have long suffered from racial discrimination. This discrimination is deep rooted in our systems and our institutions.

The University of Lethbridge condemns and denounces all incidents of racism whether they occur within our university community or beyond. Beyond condemnation, it is clear the University of Lethbridge can be instrumental in breaking this cycle.

As an institution of thought leaders, researchers, students and educators, we embrace the responsibility to use our platform, and our privilege, to advance our local and global communities. This means fostering learning and research in an environment free of racism, prejudice, discrimination and inequality. We must use our knowledge in ways that help to dismantle systemic barriers for marginalized populations.

We are a university that attracts students, faculty and staff from around the world, creating a campus community diverse in backgrounds and lived experiences. This diversity is what makes our institution special and benefits the quality of all our activities whether they be connected to learning, research or community outreach. In committing to providing a welcoming environment to all, we strengthen our institution.

I am committed to having open and honest conversations on how to confront our own biases and continue to build a community that encourages greater inclusivity and is actively anti-racist. Further, we must recommit to action in this regard. Our human resources team is currently working toward hiring an equity, diversity and inclusion officer and is continuing to develop resources to ensure staff are appropriately trained to provide the best service possible to our students and community members. The continued support of all faculty, staff and students of colour will not waver as we work to remove barriers to diverse learning opportunities. This includes an institutional commitment to supporting reconciliation efforts of Indigenous communities.

Dismantling racism is a priority for the entire institution. We all have a role to play in this important issue, whether it be to spend time learning how to become better allies or to unlearn the ways by which systemic oppression has impacted our society. The University of Lethbridge will support our community of diverse learners and continue to advocate for equality – working towards ensuring hatred, violence and injustice have no place at the University of Lethbridge.

  • For individuals struggling because of these events, or for any other reason, supports are available to our community. For students, Counselling & Career Services (counselling.services@uleth.ca; https://www.uleth.ca/counselling) is offering tele-counselling services as an alternative to in-person sessions in the form of Zoom and phone sessions; For staff and faculty, the University of Lethbridge Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is a confidential resource provided to help employees and their families enhance their personal and workplace functioning. Supports can be accessed by calling Homewood Health at 1-888-713-8623 (24 hours).

Mike Mahon, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor


Contact:

Mike Mahon | president@uleth.ca