NSCAD University signs Scarborough Charter to support Black flourishing

K’jipuktuk/Halifax (November 24, 2021) NSCAD University is pleased to have signed the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education: Principles, Actions, and Accountabilities (Scarborough Charter), joining more than 50 universities and colleges across Canada who have signed to fight anti-Black racism in post-secondary institutions.

“Committing to the Scarborough Charter’s principles will help NSCAD’s efforts to eliminate systemic anti-Black racism, and promote inclusion within our structures, policies and procedures,” said NSCAD Interim President Dr. Sarah McKinnon. “I wholeheartedly applaud the Charter’s advisory committee – their work and vision highlight the pivotal role post-secondary schools play in redressing anti-Black racism and educating society on the humanity of embracing our differences.”

NSCAD Interim President Dr. Sarah McKinnon signs the Scarborough Charter on behalf of the university

The Charter’s principles, actions and accountability measures are aligned with NSCAD’s initiatives to build and strengthen a culture of opportunity and belonging for everyone in the community. Within the last year, NSCAD has come together as a community to develop its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Targeted Action Plan.  The President’s Advisory Council on Anti-Racist Initiatives is dedicated to tracking the university’s progress on its commitments to employment equity, curricular reform, and reciprocal engagement in community.

To demonstrate its commitment to eliminating anti-Black racism, the university also established the Office of Opportunity and Belonging and hired its director, Charisma Grace Walker, to influence a culture of engagement across NSCAD.  As well, NSCAD launched the Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery led by director Dr. Charmaine A. Nelson as part of her Tier I Canada Research Chair in Transatlantic Black Diasporic Art and Community Engagement.  In January 2022, NSCAD will launch a cohort hire for six Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized new faculty members.

“NSCAD aspires to become an art, craft, media and design institution where everyone can benefit and engage fully,” said NSCAD’s Vice-President (Academic & Research) and Provost Dr. Ann-Barbara Graff, who is also co-chair of the university’s EDI Working Group. “As we enter a period of urgent sectoral reform, supporting the Charter is a public declaration of our commitment to the success of Black students, staff, and faculty within our academic community and beyond.”

Click here for more information on NSCAD’s EDI efforts and to access the new EDI Targeted Action Plan.