Yorkville University’s Statement of Solidarity

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June 9, 2020

We are deeply saddened and troubled by recent events of systemic injustice aimed at the Black community and Indigenous communities. We unequivocally oppose and disavow racial discrimination in any form. We stand in solidarity with the Black community and Indigenous communities in the fight against systemic racism and injustice.  

We at Yorkville University and Toronto Film School also recognize that this time is one of incredible pain, frustration, and angst for many of our students, staff, and faculty, specifically those within the Black and Indigenous communities.

At Yorkville University and Toronto Film School, we have a long-standing institutional policy of inclusiveness designed to protect and nurture our wonderfully diverse community of students, staff, faculty and alumni. Still, we recognize that real social change takes much more than establishing policies and guidelines, and that if our institution is going to be a leader in areas of inclusivity and diversity, we need to work harder and do more. 

That understanding has inspired the following commitments: 

Yorkville University and Toronto Film School will appoint a diversity officer. This person will be responsible for helping to maintain and advocate for a diverse population within the schools. That individual will be instrumental in the development of a renewed diversity and inclusion policy for Yorkville University and Toronto Film School that includes concrete policies, procedures and interventions aimed at improving the experience of traditionally marginalized persons studying at our institutions. 

We will continue to listen to students and faculty who want to talk to us. We encourage them to reach out to us and tell us more about their experience. We have engaged with several black students and alumni who reached out to us to share details of their school experience with senior administration and offer guidance about ways to improve the experience of students from traditionally marginalized communities.  

Senior leadership is fully engaged in conversations around how we can create more inclusive environments for students and staff. We are also finalizing our existing plans to roll out diversity and cultural sensitivity training in the coming weeks. 

For any of our students, staff and/or faculty who may be struggling during this time, there are support services available to assist. Please feel free to contact the necessary resources below: 

  • Toronto Film School students can visit tfs.janeapp.com to make an appointment. 
  • Yorkville University students can visit https://yorkvilleu-bc.janeapp.com/ to make an appointment.
  • Faculty and staff phone:  877 847 4525 or 416 956 2979 or email: [email protected].

While words are important and necessary, the responsibility for creating a sense of community within Toronto Film School/Yorkville University where everyone feels safe and included falls on all of us. We are committed to broadening the conversation and committed to taking the action necessary to make real and lasting improvements. 

Yours Sincerely,

Rick Davey

President, Yorkville University