CSSR Letter in Support of BCSA

Dear Members of the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion (CSSR),

It is with concern and deep sadness we have learned that the Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA) has decided to withdraw from Congress 2021 (link). This is especially troubling due to the concerted efforts from the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences to speak to issues of structural inequity regarding anti-Black racism with a focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization (EDID) at this year’s Congress.

Structural racism is a reality in Canada that requires deep reflection and decisive action from our institutions. There is no space for explicit or implicit anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism in our academic associations. The BCSA has taken decisive action in speaking out against anti-Black racism as well as standing with Indigenous peoples and scholars with regards to structural issues of decolonization and indigenization.

The CSSR stands in full support of the BCSA in their actions in confronting colonialism and anti-Black racism. We look toward their leadership in our efforts to support and develop EDID so that we can also stand with and make space for our Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour colleagues, students, and friends of the CSSR.

Respectfully on behalf of our executive board,

Paul L. Gareau, PhD (President)
Heather Shipley, PhD (Past-President)