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Creating an Inclusive Campus: The Role of the Anti-Racism Student Club at The University of Calgary

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

Jeziah Altares: Empowering Voices through the Anti-Racism Movement at U of C

Jeziah Altares: Founder of the Anti-Racism Student Club at U of C. Photo: LinkedIn profile picture.

Jeziah Altares is a Bachelor of Commerce student at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary. She has a Minor in Music and is expected to graduate in May 2023. Altares currently holds a Marketing and Event Coordinator Lead position at The Expert Collective, where she has gained valuable experience in marketing and event coordination.

Aside from her academic and professional pursuits, Jeziah also advocates for social justice and civil rights. In June 2020, she founded the Anti-Racism Movement, a student-led club at the University of Calgary. Her motivation for founding the movement stems from her own experiences of being silenced in the past, and she wanted to create a platform and safe space where others who had similar experiences could have their voices heard. The Anti-Racism Movement aims to create awareness and uplift the voices of marginalized individuals who have experienced discrimination and racism.

Jeziah's passion for social justice and equity is reflected in her dedication to the Anti-Racism Movement. Her efforts have significantly impacted the creation of a more inclusive and equitable environment at the University of Calgary.

Creating a More Inclusive Campus

The University of Calgary is an institution that recognizes the importance of anti-racism and has taken steps to create a community that is inclusive and equitable. One such initiative is the Anti-Racism Student Club, which is open to all students who are interested in advancing the cause of anti-racism.

The club aims to provide a safe and supportive space for students to engage in open and honest conversations about racism and its various forms and to take action toward creating a more inclusive campus. The club's activities include educational events, workshops, and social events that provide opportunities for members to learn about different cultures, engage with diverse perspectives, and build connections with individuals from different backgrounds.

Understanding Racism and the Importance of Anti-Racism in Modern Society: A Call to Action for Individuals and Institutions

Calgary, Alberta. Six Impacts of Anti-Racism slide from the AR Movement Presentation.

Racism is an issue that continues to plague modern society, despite attempts to address its deeply entrenched nature. At its most basic level, racism refers to the mistreatment of individuals based on their skin colour. It is often accompanied by racial prejudice and a sense of superiority based on physical features such as skin colour.

However, racism is not a monolithic phenomenon, taking on different forms in interpersonal and systemic contexts. For example, interpersonal racism is characterized by biased beliefs held by individuals that they act upon. In contrast, systemic racism is embedded within institutions such as schools, hospitals, courts, and governments, which disadvantage racial groups.

Anti-racism is a crucial response to the persistence of racism in society, which involves the active identification and opposition of racism at individual, institutional, and structural levels. While not a new concept, the Black Lives Matter movement has played a significant role in increasing awareness of the importance of anti-racism.

Understanding and Addressing Racism: Exploring Implicit and Explicit Biases, Racial Bias, Confirmation Bias, and Microaggressions.

Calgary, Alberta. Understanding Racism slide from the AR Movement Presentation.

An essential aspect of anti-racism recognizes the various forms of biases that inform our decision-making processes. Implicit bias occurs when our personal beliefs guide our decisions subconsciously, whereas explicit bias is the conscious expression of such ideas. Similarly, racial bias involves using implicit or explicit biases to act or believe a certain way toward specific racial groups. Finally, confirmation bias seeks to confirm our biases by selecting information that authorizes them.

Microaggressions are another manifestation of racism, defined as indirect, subtle, and sometimes unintentional discrimination against individuals influenced by explicit and implicit biases. They take on different forms, such as microassault, which is explicit racially motivated behaviour, and microinvalidation, which involves nullifying or excluding an individual's experiences or reality.

It is imperative that society recognizes the pervasiveness of racism and works toward its elimination. Education is critical, and resources such as the Indigenous Peoples Terminology Guidelines for Usage, Indigenous Foundations Terminology, and A Guide to Using Terms Related to Indigenous Peoples are crucial starting points. At the institutional level, the University of Calgary offers resources such as Indigenous student learning and mental health services, which can aid in combating racism.

Conclusion: Empowering Voices and Combating Racism through Education and Action.

The fight against racism is ongoing and requires the active participation of individuals and institutions to make meaningful progress toward equity and justice. The Anti-Racism Student Club at the University of Calgary is an excellent example of how individuals can create a more inclusive and supportive community. Understanding the various forms of biases and microaggressions perpetuating racism is crucial in developing effective strategies to combat it. Education and access to resources are essential for individuals and institutions to take meaningful action toward creating a more equitable society. We must continue to work together to build a world where everyone can live with dignity and respect, free from the damaging effects of racism.

Full AR Movement Presentation


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1 comentário

Way to go, Jeziah and AR Movement!

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