As one of the largest associations at Congress, the CSA has a responsibility to be self-reflective in this moment. Our program, our values, and our members have a significant influence on what Congress is and how it is experienced by all attendees. It is important for us to reflect on whether the CSA is doing enough to make Congress a warm and welcome place for Black scholars to fully participate, and whether we have done enough to centre the scholarship of Black sociologists or to deal with the problems of anti-Black racism. We do not consider this an isolated incident, but rather part of a pattern produced by systemic and institutionalized forms of anti-Black racism and colonialism that persist in sociology as a discipline and in academia generally.
The Canadian Sociological Association has the following statement in response to the incident, which was supported unanimously by the CSA’s Executive Committee, our organization’s governing body:
The Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) unequivocally condemns racial profiling and anti-Black racism, and racism, discrimination and oppression in all forms. The CSA supports the demands of the Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA) in response to the incident of racial profiling of a Black student at Congress on June 2, 2019 on the UBC campus. We are committed to creating an equitable and inclusive environment at Congress and beyond.
Dialogue around this issue is unfolding, and it centres around this conversation between the Black Canadian Studies Association and the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences:
As CSA President, I commit to ongoing communication with and support for the Black Canadian Studies Association's efforts to advocate for their members’ safety and security as professional academics. In addition, I recognize that these incidents affect the safety and security of our members as well. I will continue to work with the CSA's Equity Committee to develop a vision for next year’s conference that reflects the Canadian Sociological Association's commitment to the values and principles of equity, diversity and inclusion, and to the full safety and security of our Black, Indigenous, and racialized members.
Please contact me if you have questions, concerns, or comments.
With warm regards,
President, Canadian Sociological Association