Brandon University condemns hatred and divisiveness with reaffirmed support for inclusiveness and universal human rights

December 7, 2017

Brandon University offers its full-throated and unambiguous support for universal human rights, as the world prepares to mark Human Rights Day this weekend, and as challenges to human rights continue both around the globe and here at home.

We condemn acts or statements of hatred and divisiveness, which deserve only our disdain. We are committed to diversity, inclusivity and safety on our campus and we work to promote universal human rights and the principles enshrined within.

Human Rights Day falls on Sunday this year, the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration, signed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, sets a standard of rights and goals for people and nations around the world.

This year will kick off of a year-long celebration, leading up to the 70th anniversary of the signing in 2018.

At BU, a display of books on human rights has been set up in the John E. Robbins Library. Additionally, ballot boxes are stationed at the library and in Mingling Area of the Knowles-Douglas Students’ Union Centre, with a free draw to be held for tickets to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. Entries, which require a statement on what human rights mean to you may also be sent by email to Lisa Park, BU’s Diversity and Human Rights Advisor, at ParkL@BrandonU.ca.

Brandon University is also promoting individual articles from the Universal Declaration through social media posts and on campus television screens. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in particular states that education shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups. That is an ideal that Brandon University cherishes and strives for.

Brandon University is committed to being a campus and a community that is welcoming and supportive of all. We are extremely troubled by any action or statement that singles out or targets someone on the basis of race, religion or country of origin. Any hate speech or discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation or mental or physical disability is fundamentally unacceptable. Hate speech and discrimination violate Brandon University policy and codes of conduct, provincial and federal human rights legislation, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the law.

Brandon University strives to foster a community of teaching and learning, research and creative activities that is free of discrimination and respects and recognizes the benefits we all derive as Canadians and as global citizens from an inclusive, culturally diverse society.

Brandon University is proud to welcome staff, faculty and students from around the world, through immigration, exchange and refugee programs. Diversity strengthens our community and our post-secondary institutions. We are committed to always providing an environment that welcomes all, where everyone can feel safe, supported and respected for who they are as individuals and members of humanity.

In recent days, the Brandon University community has faced challenges to that ideal. No place is immune to objectionable and distasteful sentiments. We cannot be fooled by vague language that hides divisiveness and hatred. We are proud of the committed students, faculty and staff who stand together to support universal human rights.

We recognize that the hurtful or hateful actions of a small number of individuals can have an outsize effect on marginalized groups and we reiterate that white supremacy, racism, xenophobia, misogyny, hate speech and discrimination of all kinds have no place at Brandon University. We condemn it and it will not be tolerated.

We know that disturbing expressions can have emotional impacts that require care and attention. We remind our entire BU community that we have services here to support you.

Students:

Faculty & Staff:

All:

  • Our Diversity and Human Rights Advisor, Lisa Park, is available as a resource at 204-727-9785 or ParkL@BrandonU.ca
  • Inappropriate postings on campus should be reported to Physical Plant at 204-727-9620
  • Inappropriate postings or comments on BU social media accounts should be reported to BU Communications at Communications@BrandonU.ca
  • In an unsafe situation, call our 24-hour security line at 204-727-9700, use an Emergency Blue Light Phone, or call 911.
  • Please download our BSAFE safety app from the BrandonU.ca/Safety webpage

Learn more about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by visiting standup4humanrights.org.

For more information, please contact:

To receive any BU publication in an alternate format: Communications@BrandonU.ca