At the University of Ottawa, we are actively working to fight racism. Our commitment reflects our shared understanding that racism can take many forms and affect many different communities. Indeed, it affects us all in one way or another.
In my role as special adviser on antiracism and inclusive excellence, I am fully aware of the negative impact of the global pandemic on members of uOttawa’s Asian community, whether they be students, faculty members or staff, from Canada or abroad. Sadly, there can be no denying that lies and misinformation with regard to the origins of COVID-19 have spread across the globe. Alongside the unprecedented violence raging in the United States, we have seen a significant increase in anti-Asian racism in Canada since the start of the pandemic.
We denounce this overt and harmful racism as one. It is wrong and utterly unacceptable and must be condemned wherever it is encountered, on or offline. We encourage our community members to speak out in support of our Asian students and staff, who in no way deserve such demeaning treatment.
At uOttawa we stand in support of our Asian students, faculty and staff with pride, compassion and unwavering commitment. Our university is a diverse community, bringing together many cultures and languages, where everyone should be treated equally.
We encourage members of our community to contact our mental health counsellors should they feel distressed as a result of recent events. Additionally, uOttawa’s Human Rights Office is ready to assist any member of our community who encounters anti-Asian racism.
The University of Ottawa stands with you. Today, and every day.
Boulou Ebanda de B’béri
Special Advisor, Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence