Terms of Reference
King’s/Brescia Joint Principals’ Anti-Racism Working Group
Terms of Reference
September 1, 2020
In February 2020 Western University launched an Anti-Racism Working Group (ARWG). This was in direct response to a series of racist online attacks that were directed at a Black Western student when she posted comments on social media to voice concerns about her experience of anti-Black racism on campus, including her witnessing the use of racist language in the classroom.
When the Western Anti-Racism Working Group was formed, neither King’s or Brescia had direct representation, however, our students more broadly were part of the campus-wide discussions and consultations. At the same time, KUCSC launched a campus survey at King’s University College, with the outcome being an Advocacy Paper including a number of recommendations shared with King’s Administration late spring, 2020.
In June 2020, Western’s ARWG released a report to the Western community including 24 recommendations. This work will be the foundation, or starting point, for the King’s/Brescia Joint Principals’ Anti-Racism Working Group. While King’s and Brescia are distinct communities, we are also aware that there are shared experiences across our campuses and the broader Western community. We welcome the reflections brought forward through the work of both of these groups and will use the information and recommendations presented to assess and bring change in our King’s and Brescia communities.
The King’s/Brescia Joint Principals’ Anti-Racism Working Group has been established to better understand our campus climate—particularly from the perspective of ethno- cultural, indigenous people and racialized groups—and to make recommendations that aim to make the King’s and Brescia campuses safer, more respectful and more equitable environments in which to study, research, work and live.
While some of the work of the group can be developed jointly, some activities may be focused on specific campus culture and policy. The group will make use of special interest groups to focus on the gathering of information and formulation of draft recommendations, to be discussed, reviewed and incorporated within the final recommendations presented to senior administration and the King’s/Brescia community.
Specifically, the group will focus its attention on five themes:
- gathering of lived experiences of racism in all its forms (e.g., anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, etc ) from our students, staff and faculty as well as from the broader community;
- identifying opportunities in King’s and Brescia’s policies, programs and practices to address racism;
- reviewing and collecting information on other universities’ efforts to counter racism, with particular attention paid to the KUCSC white paper presented and the Western ARWG report and recommendations;
- reflection of our unique cultures as Catholic universities to inform our context and commitment to social justice;
- recommending initiatives that aim to enact systemic change against racism at King’s and Brescia.
The working group will determine the best approach to address the five themes presented. While membership is identified within the working group, this will not preclude the extension of this work through special interest group activities to include as many diverse and informed voices from our communities.
Working Group Co-Leads
Both King’s and Brescia will appoint a co-lead to guide and facilitate the work of the group. They have been selected to ensure that our commitment to gathering authentic experiences and listening to a broad representation of students, staff and faculty on our campuses is respected within the process.
Working Group Members
Members of the working group include representation from a broad range of constituent groups. Membership should be reflective of the diversity that is a strength of our university and paying particular attention to ensuring there is representation based on lived experiences. Except where noted, expressions of interest will be solicited and submitted to the Principal’s Office on each respective campus. Nominations for the KUCSC and BUCSC will be submitted to the Principal’s Office.
The working group will also draw on the knowledge of campus experts with a depth of experience working in the areas of diversity, racial inclusion, racial equity and human rights.
The Working Group Members include:
- Two representatives nominated by the KUCSC; one of which from the KUCSC Diversity and Inclusion sub-group
- One representative nominated by the BUCSC
- Two students at large (one from each campus)
- One representative from the King’s faculty
- One representative from the Brescia faculty
- Two representatives from the King’s staff; one of which will be from the Professional Officer’s Group
- One representative from the Brescia staff
- One representative from the King’s alumni
- One representative from the Brescia alumnae
- One representative from the King’s Equity Committee
- One representative from the Brescia Equity Committee
These members have been identified as critical resources that the working group can draw on while developing their strategy and formulating their recommendations and include:
- Human Resources; minimum of one representative and maximum of two (one from each campus)
- Campus Ministry; minimum of one representative and maximum of two (one from each campus)
- Faculty or staff with expertise in diversity, racism and inclusion are invited to submit an expression of interest outlining their current/past research or work in these areas. A minimum of two faculty or staff will be asked to join the working group.
As identified, the working group may, at its own discretion, choose to consult with campus or community members on matters relating to its purpose. This may take the form of special interest groups that will engage in activities and report back to the full working group.
Quorum for meetings with the working group will be 50% + 1.
Working group members will be expected to attend a series of meetings as well as participate in focus groups, as often as necessary to meet the set goals and outcomes. Membership is not expected to continue after the identified deliverables.
Any information gathered during meetings or focus groups will be considered confidential. No identifying information about individuals who provide information about their experiences will be shared without the express written consent of the individual(s). This includes information of a personal nature shared by working group members.
Accountability and Reporting
The working group is accountable to, and will report jointly to the Principals of King’s and Brescia University Colleges.
Principal’s Office staff will support the working group - assisting to arrange meetings, create agendas, take meeting notes, facilitate answering questions from the community, and perform other work that is required to keep the group on task and moving forward.
The working group will be expected to deliver a summary report of its findings to the Principals by February 1, 2021. The report will be shared with the both the King’s and Brescia communities and their respective Boards of Trustees.
The working group may propose changes or additions to these Terms of Reference for the Principals’ consideration.
Expressions of Interest accepted online September 4-24