Statement from President Meric Gertler in solidarity with
U of T’s Black community members

June 1, 2020

The University of Toronto shares the profound concerns that have arisen in response to recent events in the United States and here in Toronto. On behalf of the U of T community, let me repeat in the strongest terms possible our condemnation of anti-Black racism and discrimination.

We stand in solidarity with our Black community members at this extremely difficult time. We recognize that the events of recent weeks have imposed an enormous burden of pain, fear, and anger, in addition to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 that racialized communities are already experiencing. We also acknowledge that these events are unfolding in a context in which Black people in Canada and around the world continue to be subjected to systemic injustices. We join in demanding justice and working toward lasting change in our society.

I share the intense frustration felt by members of our Black community, along with so many others across the University and well beyond. It is especially important in such times that we reaffirm our institutional commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion; that we support each other and continue working together to confront and eradicate anti-Black racism and all forms of discrimination, both on our campuses and in the world around us.

I would like to thank the many U of T community members who are already engaged in addressing these most urgent and important issues. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the Black Students’ Association, the Black Faculty and Staff Working Group, and the Connections and Conversations Affinity Group for their outstanding courage in speaking up and calling on all of us to work for change. Let me also acknowledge the important work of our institutional equity offices in supporting these efforts.

The Office of the Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity, and the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office will soon be announcing important tri-campus initiatives in which all members of the University will be invited to take part.

In the meantime, to any members of our community who may be struggling in the wake of recent events, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are committed to supporting you, as we continue to build a caring community across our three campuses. I invite you to access the resources available to you through the University, listed below.

For all students, staff and faculty:

For students:

For staff and faculty: