Arts & Humanities Anti-Racism Committee

The Anti-Racism Committee of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities responds to concerns about equity, inclusion, diversity and decolonization. Taking an intersectional approach, the committee organizes workshops, panels, and consultations with students, staff, faculty members, and invited speakers. Informed by the recommendations of the Dean's Task-Force on Anti-Racism, it remains committed to supporting the increased representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour, and promoting diversity in the curriculum.

2023-2024 Committee

Erica Lawson -Chair (Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies) 
Julia Emberley (English & Writing)
Late Lawson-Hellu (French Studies)
David Heap (Linguistics)
Victoria Wolff (Languages & Cultures)

To contact the committee members, please e-mail:

Anti-Racism Committee Activities


Dr. Chinelo Ezenwa - "African Literature and the Question of Decolonization: Achebe, Ngugi, and Others" - February 2, 2022

Discussion: Dr. Chinelo Ezenwa

Moderator: Henri Boyi

Teaching with Humanity: Anti-racist, Decolonizing, and Indigenizing Pedagogical Practices in Arts & Humanities - June 15-16, 2021

A two-day virtual retreat on Zoom for the Faculty community to advance the work of building anti-racist and decolonized pedagogies in courses and programs.

Arts & Humanities Faculty Panel - February 4, 2021

Discussion: “How do we incorporate decolonial practices in the curriculum? How do we create an anti-racist learning environment in which every student is truly welcome?”

Moderator: Aisha Haque, Director, CTL


  • Sara Mai Chitty, Western, Indigenous Initiatives, CTL
  • Henri Boyi, Western, French Studies
  • Erica Lawson, Western, GSWS

Arts & Humanities Student Panel - January 28, 2021

Discussion: “What do faculty need to do to provide students with an anti-racist learning environment in which everybody is truly welcome?”

Moderator: Naveera Ahmed, English, graduate student


  • Matthew Dawkins, SASAH undergraduate student
  • Chinelo Ezenwa, English graduate student
  • Jaipreet Mattu, Philosophy graduate student


News stories:

June 10, 2021: Thousands Mourning the Souls of London Attack Victims

External Activities

Black Canadian Leadership Panel - February 25, 2021

As part of Black History Month and the ongoing implementation of the recommendations of Western's Anti-Racism Working Group, we welcomed an international panel of prominent scholars whose research brings a range of perspectives on the topic, including analysis of leadership styles within organizations, study of practices of African Canadian leadership in the academy, and historical accounts of the role of women in bringing together different communities of African ancestry in Canada.

A key contribution of research on Black Canadian Leadership is its incisive critique of prevailing myths and misconceptions in our society that have deep roots in anti-Blackness and that we must confront as part of our anti-racism work.

David Simmonds (moderator)- Senior Communications and Corporate Affairs Executive, Visiting Professor, Western's School of Advanced Studies; Senior Advisor, Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation.

Carl James - Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora, and Senior Advisor on Equity and Representation in the Office of the Vice President of Equity, York University

Amoaba Gooden - Interim Vice President for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Chairperson of the Department of Pan-African Studies, Kent State University

Annette Henry - David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education in the Faculty of Education, Professor in Department of Language and Literacy Education, and Institute for Race, Gender, Sexuality and Social Justice, University of British Columbia.

Report and Recommendations: Dean's Task Force on Anti-Racism

Dean's Task Force on Anti-Racism

View as PDF

Members: Carolyn McLeod, Thy Phu, Nandi Bhatia

Goals: This report establishes a framework for addressing the issue of racism in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and expanding this framework to broader forms of discrimination.

Context: On March 3, 2020, we had our first meeting to explore strategies and best practices for dealing with racial discrimination. We discussed questions raised by Dean Michael Milde and came up with ideas that might offer guidelines for fostering a robust environment of inclusion, equality, acceptance and acknowledgement of racial diversity through dialogue, consultation, critical engagement in the classroom, training, and curriculum reviews. Our recommendations, based on several subsequent discussions, are summarized as follows:

1. Creation of a permanent Anti-Racism Committee
The Anti-Racism Committee of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities will respond to concerns about equity and inclusion for racialized groups while taking an intersectional approach to race and racism. To this end, it would serve as the “go to committee” for students, staff and faculty members who wish to share their concerns and pointing them towards appropriate resources available at the university level. The specific guidelines of this committee can be drawn up in consultation with appropriate stakeholders.
Broadly, the committee could assume the responsibility of:
i) organizing anti-racism workshops.
ii) conducting periodic diversity reviews (once in 4 years, for example).
iii) supporting reviews of undergraduate and graduate curricula across departments in consultation with undergraduate and graduate chairs.
iv) conducting periodic consultations across the Faculty, including graduate and undergraduate students, staff, and faculty members.
v) supporting the increased representation of racialized groups and the promotion of racial diversity.

Current membership of the Anti-Racism Committee:

Nandi Bhatia (Chair), Yasaman Rafat, Henri Boyi, Carolyn McLeod, Jeff Tennant To contact the committee members, please e-mail:

2. The implementation of mandatory anti-racism training for all faculty
i) The Faculty may get in touch with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF), which is “Canada’s leading agency dedicated to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society.” The link to the Foundation is The Foundation provides free Education and Training workshops for which information can be found at: https://www.crrf-
The Faculty may connect with the Foundation and explore the possibility of arranging workshops for leaders, faculty members and staff. At the university level, these workshops could be facilitated through the Leadership Forums organized through the Office of the Provost.
ii) The Faculty may identify non-governmental organizations or consultants outside the university that offer anti-racism workshops. In this regard, the London Cross-Cultural Centre could be consulted. These workshops may require a dedicated budget.
iii) The Faculty may identify a trained group of faculty and staff members at the university who could provide workshops at the Faculty level. To this end, the Office of Equity and Human Rights Services at Western can be consulted:

3. A review of curriculum by each department and program informed by anti-racism and diversity considerations
i) The Centre for Teaching and Learning ( at Western may be consulted to provide a template for mapping the curriculum in each department. The point persons for this exercise are Aisha Haque and Beth Hundey.
ii) The Faculty may introduce diverse teaching practices, syllabi, and evaluation methods. More active and interactive classroom spaces may also be introduced.
iii) Individual departments may connect with the SGPS sponsored program “Own Your Future” for delivering workshops on “Decolonizing the Curriculum.” This workshop is listed as part of their offerings.
iv) Every syllabus may include a clause regarding the unacceptability of racial and other forms of discrimination and a list of resources for students to consult.

4. Other recommendations
i) Short Term: review of departmental and Faculty level webpages to ensure that communication aligns with the commitment to inclusion and diversity within the Faculty and with the university more broadly.
ii) Long-Term: Targeted opportunity hires at the Faculty and Staff level; allocation of resources for ongoing training and workshops.