Faculty of Humanities Deans' Statement on Racial Injustices and State Violence

Over the last week, our news and social media feeds have documented the very legitimate expressions of rage, frustration, and grief in response to ongoing structural racism and systemic police/state violence against members of Black communities in the United States and Canada. These latest iterations of racism and violence are not new – they are integral of the logics of centuries-long anti-Black racism in both contexts. In addition, we know that Indigenous, Black, Asian, people of colour, and poor communities have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in a myriad of ways, including the escalation of anti-Asian racism. These effects are also not new – they are fundamental to the centuries-long logics of settler colonialism and racist violence against Indigenous peoples and Asian and people of colour communities. 

The Faculty of Humanities and the University of Victoria are by no means immune. For us, this must be a time of reflection and renewed action.

We want to recognize the profound effects that these and other forms of racism and violence have on faculty, staff, and students in the Humanities, at UVic, and in broader communities. Even though we are working in virtual environments now and into the future, with our dialogue mediated through technologies, we are committed to centring your needs in this critical time and to the important work of decolonial, anti-racist, and social justice education and pedagogies in the Humanities and beyond.

For those of us who are not targeted, saying that we stand in solidarity with Indigenous, Black, Asian, and people of colour communities in this moment in history is not enough. There is an urgent need to be accountable and embed decolonial and anti-racist thinking, practice, and action into our everyday lives. There is an urgent need to stand up and speak out against racial injustices in all their often-interconnected forms.

And not just today.


Annalee Lepp, Acting Dean, Humanities

Lisa Surridge, Associate Dean, Academic

Alex D’Arcy, Associate Dean, Research