AVP and CTO Update, June 26, 2020
This week, like so many weeks, went by in the blink of an eye. There is some kind of magic math time thing, and I am just a victim of it, like you. I can’t understand how days are long, weeks are fast, and months are gone in a blink. Regardless, I hope we can all acknowledge that we are making the most of our days and holding true to a sense of accomplishment. Don’t forget to take a moment now and then to look back through your calendar and list those accomplishments and activities so you can see concrete proof that you are ‘getting things done’! I know everyone IS working immensely hard and I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to you.
As we focus on our own work, we may forget that many of our McMaster colleagues continue to be deeply focused on COVID-19, including our Researchers, our colleagues in the Faculty of Health Sciences who work in and support our McMaster Children’s Hospital and other hospitals, and all of our Facilities, Hospitality, Housing and Conference Services and Human Resources staff, amongst others. Not only are they supporting the current environment, but many continue to spend copious hours planning for what the future will look like as we repopulate the campus, and potentially deal with a second wave. Crystal balls are still in short supply, so much effort and research is going into educated planning. I want to extend a thank you to all of our hard working ‘front line’ colleagues and hope you will join me in saying thank you whenever you have an opportunity to do so. We are fortunate to work with such talented, committed and caring people.
Later today, the UTS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee is hosting the first session in their DEI Film Festival – this afternoon at 3 PM. You can check this out via Teams. I want to thank the committee for their continued enthusiasm and dedication to the many important topics related to DEI. This is more timely than ever as we engage in a global conversation around anti-back racism and what that means to us as a society, and as individuals. I am sure this afternoon’s session will be thought provoking and I encourage you to be open to the conversation and to support each other and your various perspectives. We learn from sharing. And it is through empathy and understanding that change can happen.
Following on the spirit of the DEI Film Festival, I want to share resources that I have been curating over the last week to inform myself about what is happening in our spheres to address the challenge of anti-black racism, and racism more broadly. There are amazing conversations and decisive actions taking place and I hope you will find time to stay informed and may find these helpful, too:
Actions and conversations here at McMaster:
- The President’s Message on Anti-Black Racism: https://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/articles/anti-black-racism-and-violence-have-persisted-in-our-society-for-far-too-long/
- The African-Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster University (ACFAM) official statement on the killing of George Floyd and Racial Justice: https://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/articles/statement-on-the-killing-of-george-floyd-and-racial-justice/
- McMaster’s Associate Vice-President Equity and Inclusion, Arig al Shaibah, talks about anti-Black racism: https://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/articles/telling-is-not-enough-people-have-to-see-and-feel-whats-being-done/
- An update report on McMaster’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy: https://equity.mcmaster.ca/strategy/towards-inclusive-excellence/edi-action-plan/equity-diversity-and-inclusion-edi-strategy-a-progress-report/
In Higher Ed, Higher Ed IT and the IT sector more broadly:
- An American report on the Diversity in Higher Education Information Technology sector: https://www.cupahr.org/wp-content/uploads/CUPA-HR-Research-Report-IT-Positions.pdf
- An article that asserts what those of us in Higher Education can do to support our BIPOC colleagues: https://medium.com/the-faculty/white-academia-do-better-fa96cede1fc5
- EDUCAUSE statement on Racial Justice and Recent Events: https://www.educause.edu/june-2020-racial-justice-recent-events
- A story from the LA Times on Diversity in Technology: https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/story/2020-06-24/diversity-in-tech-tech-workers-tell-their-story
I wish you all a safe and happy weekend!gg's blog