U of T to mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Photo of flower on campus
(photo by Polina Teif)

Adina Bresge

The University of Toronto is bringing together perspectives from across the tri-campus community to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD).

Established by the United Nations, IDERD is observed on March 21, the day that in 1960, police opened fire on a group of peaceful protesters in Sharpeville, South Africa, killing 69 people.

U of T recognizes IDERD annually as part of its ongoing commitment to eliminating racial discrimination and racism across the university while promoting a more inclusive learning and working environment. 

Presented by the Institutional Equity Office and the Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office in collaboration with the Rotman School of Management’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office, this year’s event – Faith, Hope and Dialogue: Strengthening Anti-Racism Tools and Strategies for the Path Ahead – will be held in Rotman’s Desautels Hall and broadcast via livestream.

Nythalah Baker, director of U of T Mississauga’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office, and Natasha Prashad, adviser in the Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office, will emcee the proceedings, which are set to open with remarks from Jodie Glean-Mitchell, executive director, equity, diversity and inclusion in U of T’s Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

Glean-Mitchell is also scheduled to speak on a panel about the challenges and opportunities of navigating EDI work alongside Allison Burgess, director of U of T’s Sexual & Gender Diversity OfficeBharat Saini, director, equity, diversity and inclusion in the Faculty of Arts & Science, and Angela Treglia, executive director, sexual violence strategy, prevention and support at the Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre. The discussion will be moderated by Alexie Tcheuyap, associate vice-president and vice-provost, international student experience.

Later, Cherilyn Scobie Edwards, senior director of U of T Scarborough’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office, will moderate a discussion featuring the perspectives and reflections of Black women in leadership. Panellists include Catherine Chandler-Crichlow, dean of the School of Continuing Studies, Sharon Grandison, director of human resources in the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, Janelle Joseph, assistant professor of critical studies of race and Indigeneity at KPE, and Lesa Williams-George, director of equity, inclusion and transformative practices at Victoria College.

There will also be a panel on enhancing community strategies to address anti-Asian racism on campus moderated by Loretta Ho, program and faculty development consultant in the Division of the Vice-President and Vice-Provost. The panellists include Vikram Chadalawada, director, IT strategy, innovations and digital transformation at Student Life, Joyce Hahn, chief administrative officer in the Division of the Vice-President & Provost, David Kim, warden at Hart House, and Afsana Miah, vice-president, academics and student affairs in the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union at U of T Scarborough.

Art therapist and psychotherapist Phuong Nguyen will close out the proceedings with art-centred activities that centre hope, restoration and care.