Faith, Hope and Dialogue: U of T community comes together for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Community members from across the tri-campus gathered to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) with a day of dialogue and connection.

Established by the United Nations, IDERD is observed on March 21 to commemorate the day in 1960 when police opened fire on a group of peaceful protesters in Sharpeville, South Africa. U of T recognizes IDERD annually as part of its ongoing commitment to eliminating racial discrimination and racism across the university while promoting more inclusive learning and working environments.

Presented by the Institutional Equity Office and the Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office in collaboration with the Rotman School of Management’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office, this year’s event addressed the theme “Faith, Hope and Dialogue: Strengthening Anti-Racism Tools and Strategies for the Path Ahead.”

A series of panel discussions brought together U of T community members to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of navigating EDI work in 2024; the perspectives of Black women in leadership; and strategies to address anti-Asian racism on campus. Participants also engaged in table discussions about tangible actions our community can take to foster equity and inclusion.
IDERD 2024 panel

Speaking to more than 270 attendees gathered in person and online, Jodie Glean-Mitchell, Executive Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, underscored the profound impact that racism, hate, bigotry, and xenophobia continue to have on community members and the responsibility we all share in advancing change.

“At this University there is no place for hate, no place for racism – there is no one in this community that is un-deserving of care, compassion, and dignity,” she said. “We each have a part to play in curating spaces that allow us to flourish and allow us to be free.”

She encouraged participants to keep engaging in equity work, even when it feels like progress isn’t coming fast enough or the effectiveness of the work is being challenged.

“EDI and anti-racism work is the practice of planting seeds of change for sustainable transformation,” Glean-Mitchell said, adding that the results of this toil will be harvested by the generations to come. “Continue to show up. We need you and we need each other.”

To continue your learning about advancing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion at U of T, register for an ARCDO training session or workshop.