Editors' Note: Our commitment to BIPOC students

Credit: 
Journal File Photo

The Journal stands in solidarity with the protests against anti-Black racism and police brutality. We are committed to amplifying the voices of Queen’s students. If you would like a platform to speak on these issues, please contact journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

The Journal has been operating since 1873 and is not without blame in perpetuating Canadian colonialism. The Journal has also, at points throughout its history, acted as a platform for racist and discriminatory views. In that, we acknowledge it hasn’t always been a welcoming place for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) students.

We also understand we would not be able to improve without the continuous hard work of BIPOC students who educate and hold us accountable, while also acknowledging they should not be responsible for educating The Journal or the Queen’s community. We thank the BIPOC students who have written for The Journal, especially about subjects of race and discrimination at Queen’s. We understand in doing so, you open yourselves up to hostility. The Journal understands that not all students have the privilege of safely contributing to our platform.

We would also like to acknowledge that, following the death of George Floyd and continent-wide anti-racism protests, we did not begin reposting articles about and written by BIPOC students until after a call from a member of the BIPOC community. We thank that individual for holding us accountable.

It is not enough to simply say we will strive to better our coverage of BIPOC issues and amplify the voices of BIPOC students. Below is a list of seven action items The Journal will take, as a starting point, to accomplish these goals:

  1. The Journal has matched a $100 donation to the Black Visions Collective in response to a call from the Queen’s Black Academic Society (QBAS).
  2. The Journal will produce a Black History Month issue in February, similar to our Climate Crisis issue in September. This issue will feature content about and, as much as possible, created by BIPOC students. This does not mean The Journal will not strive to regularly include this content across every issue, it simply means The Journal will also dedicate this specific space to BIPOC students.
  3. The Journal will introduce a new “column” in its Lifestyle section in which BIPOC students may publish personal essays, opinions, artwork, poetry, and any other appropriate content. We will also actively create additional avenues for other marginalized voices, who have also been underrepresented, to contribute, including reaching out to marginalized groups with opportunities to contribute rather than waiting for them to come to us. However, the responsibility to create anti-racism content, which aims to educate and inform the Queen’s community, will not solely rest with BIPOC students and other marginalized voices. White folks will also be accountable for creating this content.
  4. In addition to its annual training from the Social Issues Commission, The Journal will also have mandatory cultural safety training for its staff through Four Directions. (https://www.queensu.ca/fourdirections/resources-queens-community/cultural-safety-training)
  5. ‘Call it out: racism, racial discrimination and human rights’ is a 30-minute interactive eCourse produced by the Ontario Human Rights Commission and is listed as one of the Canadian Anti-racism resources shared by QBAS on its Facebook page. The Journal will incorporate this eCourse into its summer training. 
  6. At the end of every volume, The Journal will distribute a performance review survey to its readers and the Social Issues Commission in the AMS asking for feedback on whether The Journal upheld its commitment to these action items and how it can continue to perform better in the future in areas of diversity and amplifying the voices of BIPOC students.
  7. Every year on May 25, The Journal editors will publicly recommit to these action items.

Again, these seven action items are starting points. We welcome any input from the BIPOC community about how we can continue to improve.

To contact The Journal’s editors, email journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

—Raechel Huizinga and Matt Scace

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