To advance the commitment of the University of Toronto to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion, the University established an institutional table in 2017/18 with key partners to discuss issues of Islamophobia impacting the University community. In 2019/20, the institutional table was evolved and renamed the Anti-Islamophobia Working Group (AIWG), with a focus on representing the diverse interests of the Muslim communities within the U of T community, providing advice and key information to institutional leaders, and advancing dialogue and learning for the University community.
In 2020/21, the AIWG was supported by interim Co-Chairs Professor Nouman Ashraf, and students Basmah Ramadan and Zarfishan Qureshi. The University extends great appreciation for their efforts during their time as co-chairs.
Between 2020 and 2022, the landscape of institutional working groups shifted with the launch of the Anti-Black Racism Task Force, Antisemitism Working Group, and Anti-Asian Racism Working Group, which included time-limited mandates for the working groups to engage in consultations with the university community and provide a singular report with recommendations to senior leadership, after which the working groups are disbanded.
Current Context – 2023/24
The Institutional Equity Office and ARCDO will be reflecting on the scope, mandate, and structure of the Anti-Islamophobia Working Group.
As part of its 2023 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) programming, ARCDO hosted a community discussion forum, inviting community to share their experiences of Islamophobia and brainstorm strategies on how to build more inclusive spaces for Muslim community members across the tri-campus.
The report from this community forum will be shared with leadership and the incumbent Assistant Director, Faith and Anti-Racism, to inform future plans for this group.