To the Canadian graduate education community,

The ongoing killings of Black and Indigenous people in the United States and Canada has forced us to think and talk more deeply about the issues of systemic racism, injustice, and inequality.

The Board of Directors of the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies is unequivocal in its advocacy for and commitment to dialogue, planning, and action to create a better, more equal, and just society. We believe that graduate education has a profound role to play in the realization of equity, inter-racial understanding, and inclusion in our universities and world. In our institutions’ programming, scholarship, and policies, and in all our interactions we have the opportunity to embed a dynamic ethos that recognizes and seeks to address past and present injustice and privilege.

We call on all of us in Canada’s graduate community to affirm or reaffirm our mission to foster such goals.

As an organization, CAGS is committed to promoting and advocating for inclusive and transformative education, and to supporting the formation of diverse individuals who, through scholarship, research, innovation and practice, contribute to the flourishing of societies in Canada and the world. Facilitating engagement, collaboration, and understanding between disparate communities is at the heart of CAGS’s work, and it will be a primary focus as we move forward during these uncertain times.

In making this call to action, we acknowledge that there is much work to do. In the coming months, the Board of Directors commits to facilitating engagement between deans, faculty members, administrators, researchers, and graduate students on these issues, and to seeking ways to advance racial equality and understanding in Canadian graduate education.

The Board of Directors commits to devoting time and space at our 2020 annual conference for listening, sharing, and learning about issues related to anti-black racism and inequality in graduate education. We will continue to support the important work of the CAGS Task Force on Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and Graduate Education, and to foster the growing community of Canadian Indigenous students. We confirm our commitment to situating equity at the centre of all our decision making and strategic planning moving forward.

The Board of Directors of the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies

Marty Leonard (President)

Patti Weir (Vice-President)

Susan Porter (Past-President)

Aimee Surprenant (Secretary-Treasurer)

Josée Bastien

Michèle Brochu

Jeff Derksen

Jennifer Drennan

Doug Welch