The Office of the Vice-President Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at the University of Windsor is reaching out to Black alumni in an effort to help the University establish — and in many cases rebuild — its relationships with them.
“As part of the University’s ongoing and rigorous strategic planning effort toward dismantling Anti-Black Racism, voices of alumni are essential,” says Marium Tolson-Murtty (BA 1996, B.Ed 2003, M.Ed 2008), anti-Black racism strategic planning officer.
“Since June 2020, the University has undertaken several initiatives, as part of a broader strategy, to address anti-Black racism.”
She says the University is extending an invitation to all Black alumni to participate in roundtable discussions to share stories and perspectives with each other. This initial meeting is intended as a first step in helping to inform and shape future, more extensive engagement initiatives.
“Not all of the experiences of our Black alumni have been negative. However, one negative experience is too many,” Tolson-Murtty says. “Good or bad, we need to acknowledge that there has been a disconnect once students leave campus, and the University of Windsor needs to remedy that.”
Alumna Yvette Blackburn (BA 1993, 2004, B.Ed 2005) says the consultation process is a step in the right direction in gathering Black student body voices of the past and galvanizing them into a collective.
“Bringing our experiences, insight, knowledge, and progressive mindsets, we collectively can impact and affect change that makes the future truly inclusive and allows our voices to be heard and taken seriously,” she says. “I encourage every Black alumnus to participate and add to the conversation. No matter how minuscule you deem your time on campus, you play an integral role.”