Dear GEA Membership,

As your incoming GEA exec, we would like to express our solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and state that we are vehemently opposed to all forms of racism, white supremacy, and settler nationalism. Although none of us on the exec are Black or Indigenous, we support and want to uplift the voices of those that belong to these communities. We apologize for the delay in releasing a statement and will continue to confront how we are complicit in the oppression of BIPOC. On our end, we are working to establish an Equity and Diversity Committee within the GEA that will address concerns about race (and also gender, sexuality, mental health, and disability) and advocate for change at the department level. We will be holding a meeting this summer to begin the process of formalizing this committee in our constitution and hope to collaborate with the wider GEA membership on what work the EDC can do going forward.

To that end, we would also like to call your attention to a motion to defund the Toronto police by 10%. Please read the motion here and also visit this website for instructions on how to support it. Our deadline is June 29th.

Below we are also sharing a list of resources, donation funds, and anti-racist reading material. We will continue to update this list throughout the year.

Sincerely,

Graham, Walter, Jenna, and Connor


Donation funds:

Official George Floyd Memorial Fund 

Justice for Breonna Taylor Fund

Justice for Regis Korchinski-Paquet Fund

List of bail and legal funds organized by city


Groups:

UofT Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office

UTGSU Race & Ethnicity Caucus

Black Lives Matter Canada

See also this list of resources for Black graduate students compiled by UTGSU


Reading list (non-comprehensive):

  • 21 Things You May Not Know about the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality by Bob Joseph

  • How to be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad

  • Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present by Robyn Maynard

  • The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power by Desmond Cole

  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

  • They Said This Would Be Fun: Race, Campus Life, and Growing Up by Eternity Martis

  • When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele

  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum

  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

  • Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis

See also this anti-Black racism reading list compiled by UofT Libraries.


To suggest additional resources, please contact the sitting Equity Representative (walter.villanueva@mail.utoronto.ca) and/or any member of the current GEA Exec (gea.uoft@gmail.com). Alternatively, please feel free to get in touch with us individually. Our contact information may be found here: http://www.english.utoronto.ca/grad/gea.htm.