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Anti-Black Racism Awards

The events of Summer 2020 continue to haunt us. Not because the killing of an unarmed Black man is new. It is haunting, because we collectively witnessed the murder of George Floyd and the callous way his life was devalued through the actions of a white police officer, once paid to “serve and protect”. Such hauntings are also laid bare by the disproportionate way COVID-19 has killed Black people across the world, from South Africa to the US and Canada and to Brazil. These deaths, like that of George Floyd, are in part the ongoing consequence of systemically racist disparities in professions that are mandated to care for all. The ongoing pandemic and racial injustice reminds us how race and racism, in its variety of formations and intersections (coloniality, white supremacy, Islamophobia, Transphobia, sexism and misogyny, heteronormativity; ableism) are central to the constitution and ongoing formation of our societies. At the same time, such injustices through awareness, political and social will, lay bare the urgency to create more equitable and just pathways forward.

The Department of Human Geography at UTSC would like to invite students to reflect on why it’s important to recognize and reflect on anti-black racism as a pathway to our collective anti-racist futures. Students may submit academic writing pieces (including short research paper, literary essays, commentaries, opinion pieces OR creative works (i.e. poems, short stories—poetry jam/short doc videos). The maximum word count for all written submissions is 1500 words. The value of each award is $250. Students may submit in ONE of the following four categories.

  1. Recognizing and Reflecting on Anti-Black Racism for Anti-Racist Futures I: For this award, we invite students to reflect on how the summer of 2020--the COVID-19 and/or racial injustice-- has shaped their thinking about Anti-Black racism and the way Black Lives Matter. This competition is open to all students. $250

  2. Recognizing and Reflecting on Anti-Black Racism for Anti-Racist Futures II: For this award, we invite students to reflect on what the summer of 2020-- the COVID-19 and/or racial injustice has shaped their thinking about Anti-black racism and the way Black Lives Matter. This award is open to Black Students only. $250

  3. Recognizing and reflecting on Anti-Black Racism and Intersectional power for Anti- Racist Futures. For this award, we invite students to reflect on what the summer of 2020— the crisis of COVID-19 and/or racial injustice--has shaped their thinking about how Anti- black racism works with, and is co-constituted with other kinds of power and categories of injustice (i.e. gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, etc.). This award is open to all students. $250

  4. Recognizing and Reflecting on Anti-Black Racism and Indigenous—Black solidarities for Anti-Racist Futures. For this award, we invite students to submit works that highlight and reflect on how Indigenous and/or Black struggles for nature, freedom and justice are simultaneous anti-colonial struggles. This award is open to students who identify as Black and/or Indigenous. $250

The deadline for submissions is April 1st, 2021 and are open to all current UTSC students who have taken at least one geography course during their undergraduate time at UTSC. All submissions must include the following information: full name, contact email and name the geography course(s) taken (at least one). Submissions must be sent directly to Professor Kepe (with the heading "Anti-Black Racism Awards") by the deadline for full consideration. A committee of faculty will review submissions and recipients will be notified by email.