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Students, staff and faculty to strike against systemic racism

by Kayla Empey

All Out September 30th looks to enact “actual, tangible change”

(All Out September 30th / Facebook)

Colleges and universities across Ontario are set to strike on Sept. 30 against anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism in post-secondary educational systems. 

All Out September 30th is an event being organized following the growing global movement to hold systematically racist institutions accountable.

“Educational institutions love to claim they are diverse without acknowledging that diversity is not represented at their highest decision-making levels,” says the organizing committee. “It is time for a reckoning that will shake the foundations of the institutions that exclude the most marginalized and vulnerable members of our communities.”

The strike is being organized by Black, Indigenous, racialized and allied leaders from various associations and unions across the Greater Toronto Area. Organizations associated with schools across Ontario are also taking part by providing support in numerous ways, including organizing similar actions in their respective cities. The Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR) is one of the associations taking part in this initiative. The Ryerson Students’ Union also motioned on Sept. 16 to publicly support the strike as a way to get more Ryerson students involved.

All Out September 30th posted on their Facebook several demands they would like to see as a result of the strike, including the immediate removal of the Egerton Ryerson statue on Gould Street. This comes after Ryerson University recently announced that they are appointing a task force to address Ryerson’s history as a key player in designing the residential school system, which removed thousands of Indigenous children from their families and stripped them of their culture.

Other demands made by All Out September 30th include free and accessible education for all, prioritization of specialized programs, implementation of race-based data province-wide, defunding of the police, more Black and Indigenous staff at post-secondary institutions and providing decent pay on campuses and within communities.

“To strike is not to ask kindly for permission, but to demand change by inconveniencing, interfering with, and impeding the functioning of everyday life,” says the organization.

All Out September 30th will take place on Orange Shirt Day, which honours the healing process of residential school survivors and their families and commits to reconciliation. The date was chosen because it was the time of year when Indigenous children were taken from their homes. Anyone participating in the strike is encouraged to wear orange. 

If students, staff or faculty wish to organize a strike in their area, they can email alloutseptember30@gmail.com to coordinate organizing efforts. For anyone wishing to participate, All Out September 30th will be posting an itinerary and instructions on how to RSVP on their Facebook page in the coming days. 

This article may have been created with the use of AI software such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and/or Otter.ai for transcription.

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