Conflicting reports surface about race stats at U of T

Conflicting reports have surfaced following a meeting held between members of the Black Liberation Collective and U of T senior administration last December, a meeting that resulted in the university’s decision to start collecting data from employees and students based on racial backgrounds.

According to Yusra Khogali, a U of T student and member of the Black Liberation Collective—a group self-defined as “a collective consisting of Black students who are dedicated to transforming institutions of higher education through unity, coalition building, direct action, and political education”—members of the collective’s U of T chapter were promised that the number of black employees at U of T would be increased when the group met with vice-provost, students Sandy Welsh; VP human resources and equity Angela Hildyard; and U of T’s anti-racism and cultural diversity officer, Sandra Carnegie-Douglas.

“They agreed to increase or try to increase the representation of black staff and administration at U of T reflected by the black population in Toronto, which is 8.5 percent,” said Khogali in an interview with The Medium last month when discussing U of T’s decision to collect statistics based on race. “They’re only going to aim to increase the population by 2.9 percent, which is based on Canada’s black population.”

U of T’s director of media relations, Althea Blackburn-Evans, denied that U of T agreed to reach a specified threshold of black employees.

“Numbers were not discussed in the meeting,” said Blackburn-Evans in an email to The Medium last week. “The university does not set numerical targets”.

When asked by The Medium about the claims, Khogali stood by the original statement.

“Those are exactly the promises that were given to us,” said Khogali.

Welsh and Hildyard did not respond to The Medium’s request for comment when asked about the claims made by Khogali.

  • Saxum

    In Canada, falling down the rabbit hole of quotas is getting easier and easier, and more absurd with every passing attempt. And this at a time when the concept of privileging certain groups is being challenged in the courts of the United States. So, as follows:

    “Beginning in 2017, applicants to the University of Manitoba’s faculty of education will face an entirely new set of entrance requirements: 45 per cent of incoming spots are to be allocated to “self-identified diversity categories.” At nearly half the entire enrollment, the list of who qualifies for special consideration stretches the definition of minority group accommodation to the breaking point.

    Native candidates are to be awarded 15 per cent of all spaces in Manitoba’s largest teachers’ program. Non-whites get a 7.5 per cent share. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, two-spirited or queer receive another 7.5 per cent. Persons with disabilities, 7.5 per cent. Disadvantaged persons another 7.5 per cent. If this last category sounds somewhat vague, the university explains it includes those who have “experienced systemic barriers and/or inequalities on the basis of their religion, creed, language or state of social disadvantage.” That is to say, anyone who’s ever complained about someone else’s privilege.

    A mere 55 per cent of available spaces will be allocated on the basis of merit alone.”