To advance the commitment of the University of Toronto to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion, the University established an institutional Advisory 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 2023, the University received formal reports with recommendations from the Anti-Black Racism Task Force, the Antisemitism Working Group, and the Anti-Asian Racism Working Group. These groups were tasked with time-limited mandates to engage in consultations with the University community culminating in entrusting a final report with recommendations to senior leadership.
As we work through implementing the recommendations from these reports, one important development around faith-based racisms is the inaugural hiring of an Assistant Director, Faith and Anti-Racism. The incumbent in this role will work with our communities to foster greater understanding, dialogue, and inclusion for our communities. In response to the needs of the University community, the Assistant Director, Faith and Anti-Racism and Executive Director, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion will support the ongoing efforts of the AIWG to address experiences of Islamophobia with a key focus on anti-Arab racism, anti-Palestinian discrimination, and related forms of racism and faith-based discrimination.