On November 2nd, the Honourable Kamal Khera, Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities, announced a commitment of $1.5 million in funding to the endowment that will sustain the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community, and Diaspora at York University.
The Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora is dedicated to tackling the systemic barriers and racial disparities present in the Canadian education system. Its primary goal is to improve educational outcomes for Black students and other racialized community members by addressing the barriers that impede the achievement of their educational and career ambitions.
The Government of Canada is committed to helping, supporting and investing in Black communities across the country to empower Black-led and Black-serving community organizations and to foster an inclusive society where all individuals have equal opportunities to participate fully in economic, cultural, social and political aspects of life.
Through a comprehensive whole-of-government approach, the government is also committed to combatting anti-Black racism while addressing the systemic barriers that Black Canadian communities and other racialized and religious minority populations have faced and continue to face, and which prevent them to realize their full potential.
Established in 2008, the Chair plays a pivotal role in initiating, facilitating, directing and participating in research, educational programs and community partnerships that are culturally responsive and closely aligned with the educational and social needs, interests, expectations and aspirations of Black communities. This dedicated effort is crucial in rectifying disparities and forging a more inclusive and equitable educational environment in Ontario and in Canada.
“Youth are the leaders of today. Having access to equal opportunities and a brighter future should not depend on the color of your skin or your origins. Our government is committed to dismantling systemic barriers wherever they persist in our country. Partnering with organizations like the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community, and Diaspora, we are creating pathways to education for Black youth and future Black scholars, thereby building a stronger, more prosperous Canada.”
—The Honourable Kamal Khera, Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities
“We are incredibly pleased to witness the strong support for our community chair. Since 2008, we have been diligently raising funds to secure this vital community resource. The generous donation we received has allowed us to reach our goal, and our community is deeply grateful for this invaluable contribution.”
—The Honourable Jean Augustine, Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora
“Since its inception over 15 years ago, the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community, and Diaspora has been dedicated to furthering scholarly research, programs, partnerships and new opportunities for Black communities in Toronto and beyond. We are grateful for the generous support of the Government of Canada, which will build on the legacy and vision of the esteemed Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine and enable the Chair to continue in perpetuity—fostering the success of current and future Black scholars and students, and addressing systemic barriers to advance access, equity and inclusivity in education.”
—Rhonda L. Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University
“The Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora endowment fund is devoted to addressing systemic barriers and racial disparities in the Canadian education system. With today’s announcement of $1.5 million in funding, we’re taking a significant step to support and enhance positive educational outcomes for Black students. This promotes educational excellence among Black students, dismantles systemic barriers, and rectifies racial disparities, all contributing to our mission of addressing this pressing challenge.”
—Arielle Kayabaga, Member of Parliament (London West)
- Since 2008, the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community, and Diaspora, housed at York University, has been focused on addressing the systemic barriers and racial inequalities in the Canadian education system to improve educational outcomes for Black students.
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide $1.5 million in 2022–23 to the Department of Canadian Heritage for a federal contribution to an endowment that would support the ongoing activities of the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community, and Diaspora.
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide $50 million over two years, starting in 2022–23, for the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative, to continue empowering Black-led and Black-serving community organizations and the work they do to promote inclusiveness.
SOURCE Government of Canada