Funds laid out in the federal government’s spring budget will guarantee long-term support for research and other initiatives at York University that create pathways to education for Black youth and future Black scholars.
Released April 7, Budget 2022 “proposes to provide $1.5 million in 2022-23 to the Department of Canadian Heritage for a federal contribution towards an endowment which would support the ongoing activities of the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora.”
Held by York University Professor Carl E. James, the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora focuses on addressing the systemic barriers and racial inequities in the Canadian education system to improve educational and social outcomes for Black students.
“This federal contribution will ensure the longevity of the Chair and hence the opportunities and pathways that are being created now through the research, educational and community activities for Black youth and future Black scholars,” said James, who is also the senior advisor on equity and representation in the Office of the Vice-President of Equity, People and Culture at York University. “It’s rewarding to know the work of the Chair to support Black youth across the country is being recognized and given this important boost by the Canadian government.”
The Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora was launched in 2008 by Jean Augustine, the first Black Canadian woman to be elected to the House of Commons, and the first Black Canadian to be appointed to the Federal Cabinet. It is one of only two endowed university Chairs in Canada dedicated to research and knowledge mobilization endeavours on Black and African-descended communities.
The Chair seeks to:
- foster an understanding of the diverse cultural and educational needs of students;
- facilitate leadership on matters of access, equity, inclusivity and social justice;
- strengthen university-community partnerships and engagement; and
- build educational and social capacity among students, junior scholars and community members.
“The funding proposed by the federal government will enable the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora to continue to build on and advance the excellent work being undertaken at York University to support Black scholars and address systemic barriers in education,” said Amir Asif, vice-president, research and innovation. “The research being undertaken by Professor James is driving positive change for Black youth in Canada, and I’m pleased that the government has decided to support the work of the Chair.”
Learn more about the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora and the current Chair Carl E. James.