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No whites allowed: University to host racially segregated workshop to discuss racism in ‘colonial spaces’

York University in Canada is slated to host a workshop to discuss systemic racism that is explicitly advertised as only for graduate students of color.

On the top of the workshop’s flier it states: “This event is restricted to BIPOC-identified students only.”

The point is reiterated at the bottom of the flier, noting: “This online event provides space for Black, Indigenous, East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Arab, West Asian, and other racialized students to share experiences in large and small groups, and voice concerns related to racism on campus.”

The event is hosted by the school’s Resource Centre for Public Sociology as well as its Black Indigenous Non-Binary Women of Color Graduate Student Collective, or BINBIWOC, and its Harriet Tubman Institute.

The workshop is billed as a chance for participants at the Toronto-based institution to discuss a number of racial equality topics, such as the history of systemic racism in Canada and how higher education institutions perpetuate racism.

“During the first hour of the workshop, we will learn about the history and legacy of systemic racism in Canada and the role of academia and its institutions in perpetuating anti-blackness and other forms of racism within these colonial spaces,” the university’s website states.

“The latter part of the workshop will provide a safe space to discuss experiences and barriers along with various strategies and potential ways of addressing issues and to develop recommendations,” it adds.

According to the website, one of the keynote speakers will be Andrea Davis, an associate professor with the school’s Department of Humanities. Davis also serves as a Special Advisor on the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies’ Anti-Black Racism Strategy team. The flier does not mention what her address will cover.

Along with Davis, Associate Dean Aryn Martin, a feminist scholar, will speak at the event as a “special guest” on “pathways for complaint and accountability.”

Martin, unlike her fellow keynote speaker, appears to be white, according to a photo on the school’s website. She did not respond to a request for comment from The College Fix on Monday as to how her identity qualified her for participation at the BIPOC event.

Quillette editor Jonathan Kay recently posted about the event on Twitter, noting “I am old enough to remember when this was considered a bad thing.”

The College Fix did not receive a response from the university’s media affairs division about the event.

MORE: No whites welcome at this university’s ‘Racial Trauma Yoga’ session

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Jackson Walker is a student at the University of Wisconsin majoring in journalism reporting and English creative writing. He writes and edits for the Arts section of the Badger Herald. He is also a member of the UW Marching band, which has taken him to two NFL stadiums and the Rose Bowl.