ULFA recently issued an anti-racism statement that expresses our support of our Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) and racialized faculty members, administrators, students, and staff, in response to a growing global awareness of the long road that remains towards justice. On September 9–10, academic staff across Canada are supporting the Scholar Strike (https://scholarstrikecanada.ca).
Many Canadian Faculty Associations, including CAUT (https://scholarstrikecanada34826019.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/caut-letter-of-support.pdf), are disseminating information about ways in which academic staff can participate in addressing social justice as classes get underway: for example, by participating in digital teach-ins (https://scholarstrikecanada.ca/schedule/) and by raising awareness through territorial acknowledgements.
While ULFA is not encouraging staff to engage in work stoppages or neglect the job responsibilities as covered by the Collective Agreement, we are supportive of engagement in larger social issues, and invite your awareness of these events, and your accommodation of students who intend to participate in them actively.
In solidarity with the action on September 9th and 10th, ULFA would like to highlight ways that members can show solidarity with the #ScholarStrike under our Collective Agreement:
- Limit teaching activities to the official calendar times (e.g. 9:00-9:50 a.m.), explaining to students why you have no additional availability during September 9th and 10th;
- Share teach-in resources and the program schedule with students;
- Volunteer and become politically/socially active;
- Give personal capital (time, money, etc.) to worthwhile causes;
- Yield the floor and use your platform to echo and centre essential voices (in this case the voices of BIPOC scholars);
- Write to elected officials, expressing your opinion. Also, consider employment-related officials such as University Presidents, Union Presidents, and Student Union Presidents.