Paul Lawrie, associate professor of Afro-American history and Black inclusion advisor at York University, hosted the event for Black graduate students in November with the goal of conceptualizing a more diverse University.
Earlier this year, Lawrie began his term as the Black inclusion advisor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS). Lawrie advises the LA&PS Office of the Dean on questions related to race and equity, anti-Black racism and Black inclusion as part of the Faculty’s continuing work to address anti-Black racism.
On Nov. 17, Lawrie hosted a special outreach event for graduate students in the Faculty. Students shared their experiences, as well as suggestions on how to make York and LA&PS for a more inclusive space.
“We were overwhelmed by the response from students across LA&PS and the wider graduate community, which clearly speaks to the deep desire amongst black graduate students for connection, collegiality and community,” said Lawrie. “After a number of years apart it was exhilarating and inspiring to meet as a scholarly community and witness various examples of black excellence and achievement from across a number of departments and faculties.”
“It really was a wonderful evening of fellowship of Black excellence that was educational, enlightening, and empowering,” said Clifton Grant, a student in the Law & Society program. “Truly inspiring to be joined by fellow York University students who are leaders and trailblazers in graduate studies. ‘Resources, Resiliency and Representation’ were themes for the evening. Memorable and meaningful was the end result.”
Lawrie intends to host more events in the coming months. He invites all students to learn more about his mandate and events at: https://www.yorku.ca/laps/addressing-anti-black-racism/.