A message from York’s president on Black History Month 2020

Vari Hall in the winter
Vari Hall in the winter

The following is a message to the University community from York President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton:

This February, during Black History Month, York University joins communities around the world celebrating Black heritage, culture, and the essential contributions Black community members have made and continue to make at the University.

We are proud to support scholarship and offer academic programs that reflect the diverse lived experiences of Black community members. Through an interdisciplinary humanities lens, the Black Canadian Studies Certificate incorporates a practicum for students interested in leveraging their understanding of Black cultures in Canada into careers in the public or not-for-profit sectors. York is also home to researchers like Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora Professor Carl James, whose work addresses anti-Black racism in Ontario’s school system and supports the success of Black students.

Beyond learning about Black histories, this month is also an opportunity to reflect on current challenges faced by Black communities, and to think critically about how we can stop anti-Black discrimination and create a more inclusive and equitable city, country and world. York is a leader in creating space for progressive dialogue on these issues while protecting and enhancing the rights and dignity of our community members.

As we celebrate Black History Month, York affirms our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusivity through higher education. Learn more about Black History Month celebrations and events taking place at York here.