USask president on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Today marks the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, with this year’s theme focused on Voices for Action Against Racism.

As a campus community, we are committed to taking the actions necessary to create the change that we want for our university and our society. 
While the University of Saskatchewan has made significant strides in recent years in our efforts to be the most welcoming place we can be for all students, staff, faculty and alumni, there is much more that we can do. 
As an educational pillar of our community and our country, we are leading by example in asking the right questions and engaging in the difficult discussions that universities like ours are ideally suited for. To that end, we are committed to purging policies and procedures, and dismantling ingrained institutional structures, that contribute to racial discrimination and inequalities faced by marginalized groups. 
Since the adoption of our Mission, Vision and Values – our fundamental guiding principles to promote diversity and meaningful change to be the best place we can be for all members of our campus community – the University of Saskatchewan has continued to move forward. In the fall of 2020, USask introduced its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, followed by the gifting of the Indigenous Strategy in the summer of 2021, the first strategy solely created by Indigenous people at a Canadian U15 research institution. 
To better contribute to the conversation and to inspire implementation of the changes necessary, the university’s senior leadership team is also currently engaged in anti-racism/anti-oppression education. Our university is also partnering with the City of Saskatoon on a number of new initiatives to confront racism and to celebrate the dynamic diversity of our community. 
We will soon unveil USask’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy and Action Plan, as we set out the necessary steps to move forward and expand our commitment to creating a more equitable, diverse and inclusive university. Our EDI Strategy and Action Plan will reaffirm our road map to follow, providing the pathway to progress and the blueprint for building a better campus community for all. 
We all share in the responsibility to create a campus environment and community that embraces change and promotes the principles of manācihitowin, equity and inclusion, and human dignity and diversity. 
As we join the world in recognizing the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, let us all re-commit to doing our part to confront racial discrimination at every opportunity and to create a more just society, reflected in our daily decisions and interactions with one another. We have the courage to lead the change that we want to see in our world, with a commitment to dialogue, education and action. 
The University of Saskatchewan is the right place, in the right time, to lead this necessary change Let us all work together to demonstrate our desire and determination to be champions of equity, diversity and inclusion to build a better society and a campus community that is safe and supportive for all students, staff, faculty and alumni. 
Peter Stoicheff 
President and Vice-Chancellor 
University of Saskatchewan
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