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AUSU Acknowledges Black History Month

On November 18, 2021, Athabasca University (AU), along with 40 other Canadian post-secondary institutions, signed the Scarborough Charter following “promises made by universities and colleges in the summer of 2020 and by partner institutions at the October 2020 National Dialogues and Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities, to move from rhetoric to meaningful concrete action to address anti-Black racism and to promote Black inclusion.” The Charter is a “collective recognition of the realities of anti-Black racism,” and provides a concrete framework for addressing its commitments.

AUSU will work to ensure that the commitments of the Charter are implemented throughout our institution by promoting the Charter’s goals of Black intersectional flourishing, inclusive excellence, mutuality, and accountability, in governance, research, teaching and learning, and community engagement.

We are also aware that the past two years have been increasingly difficult for Black students, as acknowledged in AUSU’s 2020 statement in support of #BlackLivesMatter. We will continue to work in consultation with Black students to make the post-secondary sphere safer, more equitable, and inclusive.  (Students are encouraged to email ausu@ausu.org with any suggestions, questions, or concerns!)

Internally, some of our recent initiatives have included additional ways for students to get involved. One example is the creation of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee, the largest AUSU Committee to-date, with several seats open to Members-at-Large. The Committee has been instrumental in this year’s plans for February’s Black History Month. (Committee seats will be opening up again for the new term in several months. Stay tuned for more information on how to get involved!)

As an organization, we also acknowledge that we have a great deal more work to do, and will continue looking inwards at our own structure to improve at creating an equitable and inclusive space for AU students. Having recently begun collecting data on underrepresentation within student leadership opportunities, we hope that our efforts will make a difference during our upcoming 2022 General Election. (We hope to see all your names on those ballots!)

February 1, 2022, marks the beginning of Black History Month. We ask that you join us in celebrating Black History Month. Follow our social media channels, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Also check out our 2021 Black History Month Exec Blog by former VP Finance and Administration, Almigdad Eldoma.

Wishing you all a safe and happy month,

Stacey Hutchings, President (she/her) 
Karen Fletcher, Vice President External (she/her) 
Natalia Iwanek, Vice President Community and Wellness (she/they)
Leah Cambpell, Vice President Finance and Administration (she/her)