Reducing Racism in the University of Alberta and University of York Essay
The aspect of racism in institutions of higher learning is dealt with in its early stages considering that the universities shape the discourse of the society as a major agent of socialization. Perpetuation of racism in these two institutions discussed has consequences.
Having received appointment from the Alberta provincial government to reduce racism in Alberta there are two institutions, which would receive first priority in this matter. The first institution is the University of Alberta, which is a major institution, and it is one of the areas in Alberta with high concentration of the minorities because either the minority populations come here for further studies or they work within the city of Alberta.
The other institution, which would receive priority, is the University of York, which is an institution accused by certain quarters of having racist environment, and even one of its student’s newspapers had a series of jokes that are termed as racist. These two institutions are of strategic importance in the adoption and implementation of measures and policies against racism (Kobayashi, 2003).
After choosing the institutions, the second step as person appointed to reduce racism would be in ensuring that the environment in those institutions is accommodative to students or any other minority person. The environment in this case regards the people and the surroundings such as the policies and the institutions rules and regulations. Fortunately, currently there are no rules in both institutions described as discriminatory. Therefore, the most important thing would be ensuring that the rules are followed and no one is allowed to discriminate based on race.
In addition, it is a well-known fact that racism develops because of ignorance of other people’s culture and lack of non-biased interaction. To deal with this unawareness of other people’s culture the first step will involve introducing a compulsory and examinable unit called multiculturalism that will involve studying literature from all over the world especially from Africa and Asia. This will be necessary in providing the students with the necessary information about other races.
Interaction is also a major aspect of dealing with racism. Ensuring that there is constancy and in this case, positive contact with people from different races is a major issue in reducing racism. There should be a policy where student’s distribution in hostels is in a manner that promotes integration and interaction between people of different races. This means that for every one black student there will be five white students in that hostel.
This will ensure the white students will interact with the black students. Lecturers will also participate in this program by creating group tasks and assignments, where these groups will incorporate students from all races. This cooperation of working together to handle tasks and assignments will go a long way in reducing racism (Bonita & Dua, 2000).
As a way of reducing racism, the students will also participate in co curricula activities where these activities will be in teams. These will be important in creating an atmosphere of multicultural awareness, which leads to appreciation of diversity. Activities such as music festivals and art festivals where students from different racial background come with their art or their music and present it to others in a non-biased environment will ensure significant reduction of racism.
Racism in the two universities will be rampant and dealing with it calls for positive appreciation of other people irrespective of their color or background. These views need adoption early in life so that it will not be hard to appreciate others later in life.
Racism in University faculties that focus on colored lecturers need containment because they are also entitled to freedom and right of appreciation just like other members of faculty. These essays look into the mechanisms adopted by Grant Mc Ewan in an effort to reduce racism.
This other part will deal the measures, which the staff will adopt to deal with racism and in the university faculties and departments of Grant Mc Ewan University. The first measure for adoption in an attempt to achieve racial equity is to ensure that there is racial representation in the university faculties and departments. This representation is important in ensuring that the voices and opinions of minorities receive attention. Without proper representation, the discriminative actions are likely to continue in the university.
The issue of discriminatory actions taken against the staff or the students who are colored needs evaluation. This is because there is a tendency for the minority to feel that they are being discriminated by the education board especially because there is no one of their color in those boards.
Therefore, to eliminate such feelings, the disciplinary committee of Grant Mc Ewan University needs an overhaul or to include colored person in that committee. This will ensure that there is fairness of judgment and the suspension or any disciplinary action taken against a student is not based on color. This will ensure that the cases of indiscipline from colored students especially from black community reduce significantly (Bonita & Dua, 2000).
The university should also adopt policies to criminalize acts of racism. This is very important in ensuring that the environment is for everyone and there is no one who is endangered or threatened based on race. Issues such as racial graffiti threatening with an intention to demean students or lecturers of any race require little or no tolerance.
Disciplinary measures should be taken against anyone who is perpetrating such activities. This is because such graffiti or racially biased messages and threats affect the learning environment and increase racial tension between students of different races (Bonita & Dua, 2000).
The need to recognize students and lecturers that have contributed in the world of academia is very important in reducing racial discrimination in Mc Ewan University. This is because the colored staff indicates that their papers are not appreciated like those of white lecturers.
They are criticized, which indicate that their papers are political, or racially inclined especially when they are about social issues. The University has to put in place policies that entitle everyone to unbiased critique especially on academic journals (Bonita & Dua, 2000).
Race based statistics or studies with an aim of portraying one race of community as lesser than the others require abolishment. Positive studies that aim at promoting cohesion and interrelationship between people of different races need applause and encouragement. The lack of unbiased studies is one of the major reasons why stereotypes concerning race still exist (Bonita & Dua, 2000).
The leadership policies in the university also require changes. The changes are usually in writing but their implementations take a long time. They involve the need to ensure that leaders of department and faculties are chosen because of merit rather than race.
There have been cases where competent lecturers who would have played such roles did not receive appointment and their juniors in terms of experience and achievements were appointed based on their race. This promotes racial biasness and racial tension within an institution (Bonita & Dua, 2000).
The minorities also need platforms where their opinions and feelings receive attention and expression just like anyone’s feelings, ideas, and thoughts. If it is in a student’s magazine, it should be mandatory for such a magazine to have a writer from the minority community especially the black community. In addition, such platforms need prohibition from use as a basis or a platform of perpetrating racial hatred and bias (Bonita & Dua, 2000).
The institution should also have literature and books, which represent racial equity and the library, should not have only European literature and books. The literature from other parts of the world should be available to provide the necessary environment, which is multicultural and does not discriminate anyone (Bonita & Dua, 2000).
Racism in university faculties shows the gravity of racism in Canada as a whole as one would expect that the university is a place where the intellectuals shape the society. Reports of racism are indeed worrying as they show how racism is prevalent in the gutter. The above recommendations are necessary in creation of an equitable society with no discrimination.
Racism permeates every aspect of Canadian education. One would expect that the education system as a major agent of socialization would be the last in perpetuation of racism. However, there are many instances where the school curriculum promotes racism.
This topic is compelling because Canada just as most of the developed nations all over the world has endowment of people from all over the world. Some are the majority, indigenous people, minorities, as well as immigrants. It is therefore important to address the issue, which affects them all.
Therefore, it is imperative to see how racism permeates Canadian educational institutions. The education systems are very important as the agents of socialization other than family and religion. The concepts, which are acquired in school, have a great influence on perceptions and interactions with others (Kobayashi, 2003).
A number of things evidence the issue of racism in Canadian education. The first evidence of this bias is the literature studies in schools. This literature establishes biased notions which are transmitted to students at a young age and if they are not corrected this is the meaning they will live with. Books such as merchant of Venice have bias against some races such as the Jews through portrait of Shylock and against blacks through the portrait of the prince of Morocco (Kobayashi, 2003).
The curriculum development in Canada is one of the perpetrators of racism in the country. This is because much of the literature provided is racial with an intention to portray some races positively in comparison with others. One cannot therefore explain why there is no literature authored by a black person, which has ever been mandatory for the students’ curricula. This means that the curriculum does not expose the black lifestyle and value to the other cultures. This is not because that there are no aspects of the culture, which are not worth of study, but it is because the formulators of the curriculum are racially biased (Kobayashi, 2003).
There are stereotypes, which students come with from home and are preconceived notions of how an individual will behave based on race. When students and teachers come to school with such notions and the school authorities go ahead and declare such notions as the truth, the reality is that racism will still thrive. Examples of such notions include blacks are criminals, the indigenous people are alcoholics and that the whites are superior.
When the teacher or the school does not provide avenue for students from different races to interact with each other and do away with such notions, they will engrave the notions in the mind of the students (Kobayashi, 2003). In the institutions of higher learning, there is a tendency to provide or to hold surveys based on race. These race-based surveys perpetrate racism especially when they are intended to show that one race is superior or inferior to the other.
The discourse of race is one of the issues in many countries and it requires sobriety in dealing with it in an effective way. This essay has discussed various ways of minimizing racism and promoting multiracial coexistence in the schools. Overhauling the whole school curriculum and adopting a multicultural curriculum will certainly make the young children appreciate people from all races without bias.
The ways of dealing with racism have always existed but putting those policies and recommendations seems easier said than done. Self-will and the ability to accept everyone as equal irrespective of color or background are the most important virtues, which will help the implementation of such policies.
Bonita, L. & Dua, E. (2000). Challenging white hegemony in university classrooms: Whose Canada is it? Ellington: Atlantis.
Kobayashi, A. (2003). GPC ten years on: Is self-reﬂexivity enough? A Journal of Feminist Geography, 10(3), 345–349.
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