We cannot help but be horrified by current events in the US and elsewhere, including Canada. It serves as a reminder that racism exists. What is more important is that it manifests itself in many different and sometimes subtle ways. It is easy to feel helpless in such situations, but we all have a role to play in addressing racism and discrimination. We need to do more than simply be indifferent to whether a person is of color, is indigenous, or has a particular ethnic background. We need to be more aware of stereotypes or latent biases that creep into our daily interactions with people in and out of the department. These can result in statements or actions that seem innocent or of no consequence, but they can truly hurt and marginalize people.
None of this is easy and it may require us to think and interact in non-familiar ways. Mistakes will be made, but that is not an excuse to disengage from the issues.
Click here to see the Applied Science Dean’s statement on how we must act together against racism and discrimination.