New book studies racialized university faculty members

A book is fanned open
A book is fanned open

A book presenting the first comprehensive, data-based study of racialized and Indigenous university faculty members’ experiences in Canadian universities will be officially launched on Jan. 12 at York University.

The book The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities presents this landmark study on racism, and shows how the goal of achieving equity in higher education has been consistently promised, but never realized for racialized and Indigenous faculty members.

The university is often regarded as a bastion of liberal democracy where equity and diversity are promoted and racism doesn’t exist. In reality, the university still excludes many people and is a site of racialization that is subtle, complex, and sophisticated. While some studies do point to the persistence of systemic barriers to equity and diversity in higher education, in-depth analyses of racism, racialization, and Indigeneity in the academy are more notable for their absence. 

This book further reveals that the policies and diversity initiatives undertaken so far have only served to deflect criticism of a system that is doing little to change itself.

Authors of the book include:

• Frances Henry, a professor emerita of anthropology at York University
• Enakshi Dua, the director of the Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies at York University
• Carl E. James, professor in the Faculty of Education and is the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora at York University
• Audrey Kobayashi, professor of geography at Queen’s University, Kingston
• Peter Li, a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Saskatchewan
• Howard Ramos, associate dean of research in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and a professor of sociology at Dalhousie University
• Malinda S. Smith, professor of political science at the University of Alberta

Discussants at the book launch include:

• Celia Haig-Brown, associate vice-president Research at York University
• Alissa Trotz, professor of Caribbean Studies/Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto

York University’s Centre for Feminist Research presents the event from 2 to 4pm at 519 Kaneff Tower. The event is co-sponsored by the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora and the Tubman Institute.

Copies of the book will be available at the event or online. For further information, email