Remembrance and Action against Faith-Based Discrimination

Date: January 29, 2020
To: University of Toronto Faculty, Staff, & Librarians
From:  Karima Hashmani, Executive Director, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, HR & Equity
Erin Jackson, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), HR & Equity

This week, the University of Toronto joins communities across Canada to observe the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 and the Day of Remembrance and Action against Islamophobia on January 29.

On the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, we remember the more than six million Jewish men, women and children brutally murdered by the Nazi regime and its collaborators in the Shoah. We also honour the countless Romani, LGBTQ2 individuals, persons with disabilities and political dissidents who were killed as well as those who stood against the horrors of the Nazi atrocities.

On the third anniversary of the 2017 Quebec City Mosque Shooting, we reflect and remember this tragic event in Canada where six Muslims died and nineteen were injured after evening prayers at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City due to violence, Islamophobia, and racism.

Today is an opportunity for our community to reflect and consciously consider how we can continue to address and eliminate the many factors that perpetuate racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and other faith-based discrimination that continues to occur around the world today. We have a shared responsibility to dismantle stereotypes, acknowledge bias and challenge discrimination.

At the University of Toronto, our Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion offices at the University of Toronto Scarborough and University of Toronto Mississauga, Multi-Faith Centre, and Community Safety Office, in partnership with stakeholders across the tri-campuses, are key drivers of ongoing initiatives that address faith-based discrimination and racism, and its intersectional manifestations. These offices all provide support, services and education to our community.

Let us continue to work together to advance positive and safe environments for our diverse community at the University of Toronto. We encourage you to take the time to observe these days of remembrance and be reminded that there are a variety of safety and equity support resources available to all members of the University of Toronto should you require assistance.