Statement on Anti-Black Racism Student Advisory Committee
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
CESAR is concerned with the lack of communication and planning relating to the implementation of the Anti-Black Racism Campus Climate Review Report. In email communication listed below, CESAR has indicated a number of concerns relating to the timeline of the request to promote an advisory committee, the structure and supervision of the advisory committee, and the protections for Black students in the advisory committee. The University responded with a non-answer to any of the questions.

We encourage Black students and allies on campus to consider these concerns when applying to sit on the advisory committee. If any students would like to get involved in CESAR’s Equity & Campaigns Committee, please contact Maddy Fast at vp.equity@mycesax.ca.
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Email Response from CESAR President to Ryerson Anti-Black Racism Committee
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Hello Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson,

We hope you are doing well during what we know is a busy time!

In response to Anti-Black Racism (ABR) Campus Climate Review released on July 17, 2020, an implementation committee to address recommendations impacting students, staff, and faculty has been created. To move forward this work with students at the forefront, the Anti Black Racism Student Advisory Group is being formed!

We have created a position on the Anti Black Racism Student Advisory Group for a Black Identified student from the Chang School! Would you be able to share this statement of interest form with all Chang students? The form will remain open until 11:59 pm November 17! The form contains more information regarding the structure of the committee and the opportunity.

The successful Chang School rep will be responsible for all committee duties detailed in the form. They will also meet with the CESARteam on a monthly basis to discuss how theChang School can implement the strategies identified by the committee to create the changes highlighted in the Anti-Black Racism (ABR) Campus Climate Review.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email stephan.allen@ryerson.ca

Kind Regard,

ABR Committee

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Email Response from CESAR President to Ryerson Anti-Black Racism Committee
Friday, November 13, 2020

Hello Stephan,

While CESAR is pleased to see the formation of the Anti-Black Racism Student Advisory Group, we are disappointed that since the July announcement of its creation, this Presidential task force is reaching out to CESAR just now.

CESAR is concerned with this process and with putting Black students at further risk of being harmed, tokenized and exploited in this process. For this reason, we will not be sharing this opportunity and validating a committee that has been extensively criticized by the Black community on and off campus.

We received your request on November 12, 2020 for CESAR to put out a request to our members for them to apply for one (1) position at the advisory committee by November 17, 2020. This is not a realistic expectation for engagement with Chang School students and for most processes that request commitment to a committee. Further, this process requires a ‘Statement of Interest’ but does not indicate any criteria or thorough qualifications, expectations and responsibilities for the committee. It says that one student will be selected by Nov 19, but it doesn’t say by whom or on what basis.

We are concerned with the verification process of who gets to be on this advisory committee. There is no indication of the composition of the committee and the criteria for who gets chosen for the committee. How many Black students will there be in total? There is little trust that the students most critical of the university’s handling of anti-Black racism complaints will be invited to the committee, or that the information collected by the committee will be fairly or accurately recorded and disseminated. The university has not been receptive to the Black Liberation Collective and individuals who have brought these issues forward in the past and it is fair to say that we do not anticipate that these voices will be on this advisory committee. So why validate this process?

You are selecting only one (1) Black student from Chang school – out of thousands – and the expectation is for this individual (and the rest of this team) to: “Gather feedback and information from Black identified students, regarding the implementation of [Anti-Black Racism] campus climate review report’s recommendations” among other tasks and do this with 4 or 5 hours of work to be compensated.  Again, is this realistic?

Finally, what are the powers and limitations of the staff resources on this committee? Some of the members have been identified by students, staff and faculty as perpetuating the lack of action to dismantle anti-Black racism and the very name of the committee “Presidential Implementation Committee to Confront anti-Black Racism”, is problematic as your goal is to confront not eliminate the Anti-Black Racism that permeates every level of our university.

Instead, CESAR would recommend the formation of an independent anti-Black racism student advisory committee to work independently but alongside this Presidential committee.

Solidarity,

Janet Rodriguez (she/her)
President
Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR)
Local 105 of the Canadian Federation of Students

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Email Response from Vice-Provost ECI to CESAR Executive 
Monday, November 16, 2020

Good morning Janet,
Thank you for responding to our invitation to participate on the Anti-Black Racism Student Advisory Committee. It’s certainly your choice not to share the request to participate with your membership.  However, we hope that you’d reconsider, as this is an important initiative that would benefit from CESAR student participation.

Regards,
Co-Chairs, Presidential Implementation Committee to Confront Anti-Black Racism
Denise O’Neil Green
Anver Saloojee
Deborah Brown

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Email Response from CESAR President to Staff Administrators of the Anti-Black Racism Student Advisory Committee
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Good morning Denise,
Thank you for your response. I noticed you haven’t replied to any of our concerns.
Can you please respond to some of our concerns so that we have a reason to reconsider posting this opportunity?
Thank you in advance,
Janet