UWindsor Launching Black Studies Institute This Year
The new centre will highlight Black scholars and research, and it's recruiting right now!
The University of Windsor is launching a brand new research centre this year: the Black Studies Institute (BSI) is recruiting a dozen teaching and librarian positions to highlight Black research, community, and scholarship. The BSI will be seen as "the institutional home for Blackness at the University," according to the UWindsor VP of equity, diversity, and inclusion, Clinton Beckford.
Establishing the BSI is part of a broader cultural movement to embrace diversity in academia. Black contributions to the arts and sciences will be front-and-centre at UWindsor. The BSI "makes real our commitments to Black flourishing and thriving at and beyond the institution," Beckford says.
Building the Black community at UWindsor
The BSI will partner with UWindsor's Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences — more specifically, the Interdisciplinary and Critical Studies Department, which already offers degrees in disability studies, women's and gender studies, and family and social relations. New programs will join them soon, in an effort to widen the university's research net. The BSI will also host speakers' series and other special events, offer mentorship to students, and more.
Natalie Delia Deckard is founding director of the institute, overseeing the BSI's growth in its formative years. She describes the BSI as a "space to centre the research of those working to lessen health disparities, increase educational opportunities, reduce employment discrimination, and increase the living standards in Black communities throughout Canada and the world."
She and her growing team of scholars will focus on five key areas of UWindsor's mission:
- Student experience
- Innovation in teaching and learning excellence
- Research excellence and impact
- Innovation, economic development, and community engagement
- Viable, healthy, and safe communities
Why the Black Studies Institute?
In late 2020, the University of Windsor established the Anti-Black Racism Task Force, which listened to the experiences of Black students, staff, and faculty in order to identify areas for change. A year later, the task force produced a report (PDF), which included a number of recommendations. Among these was the promotion of Black studies, education, and training, which helped lead to the BSI.
The BSI is also in line with the university's commitment to the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education, a national effort to promote Black inclusion at Canada's colleges and universities.
What's next for the BSI?
With the Black Studies Institute set to open its doors in autumn 2023, applications for faculty positions have closed. Dr. Deckard and her new colleagues will work hard over the next year to develop programs, courses, and events that contribute to the institute's mission. You can look forward to new study options in the fall at the University of Windsor, thanks to the BSI team!
Explore Black studies at UWindsor