Published on June 04, 2020
Dear NAIT Community,
On Tuesday, June 2, we joined people from around the world to take a stand against racism. Our social media accounts were muted to black to stand in solidarity against discrimination as part of Blackout Tuesday, a social movement aimed at creating space for important voices to be heard in the fight against anti-black racism and systemic discrimination. Blackout Tuesday originated with the music industry but soon spread among individuals, businesses, organizations and post-secondaries.
At NAIT, we value diversity and inclusion – not just today, but every day. We work together to create a welcoming space for everyone. We know there is always more work to be done – for people of colour and marginalized communities. We are committed to providing programs and services that ensure inclusion for all. Deepening our culture of diversity and inclusion requires more attention and we have begun this work with the development of our diversity and inclusion strategy.
One of our values is respect – we treat each other with respect including behaviours of honesty, integrity, transparency, trust and an appreciation for diversity. Diversity is part of who we are now and who we will always be. We celebrate our diversity and share it with one another – and most importantly we learn from one another.
I know many of you in our community may find what is happening in the United States right now difficult. NAIT recognizes that Canada also has its issues. This point has been raised by many concerned citizens over the past several days.
As a community, we must do what we can to broaden perspectives and to challenge and eliminate racism as it occurs. We are launching a new series of events called Space to Process. Space to Process is a series of facilitated discussions with no pre-set learning outcomes. These events will strive to centre the perspectives of the impacted communities, foster compassion and growth, and provide a venue for members of the NAIT community to share their perspectives, emotions, and constructive ideas.
Space to Process is open to all NAIT staff and students who are curious or supportive of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I encourage you to learn more.
One individual has been quoted many times over the past week. The words of Martin Luther King Jr. have uplifted and given people hope for decades now. In closing, I want to share a quote of his that I find particularly inspiring “We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”
Dr. Ray Block, President and CEO, NAIT