The Department of Sociology and Anthropology is starting to provide more explicit assistance to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) undergraduate students in Sociology and Anthropology as part of our efforts to more fully support anti-racism and to promote undergraduate excellence. Building on our successful fundraising this past year to endow our first scholarship dedicated to a Black, Indigenous or Person of Colour undergraduate student in Sociology and Anthropology, which will be first offered during the 2022-23 academic year, we are pleased to fundraise for a second such scholarship directed toward a Black, Indigenous or Person of Colour undergraduate. Preference will be given to those who are in the first-generation of their family to attend university, as a way to support a more inclusive and diverse student body.

The Background

For over 50 years, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology has been offering excellent undergraduate and graduate programs, graduating thousands of students outfitted with conceptual approaches and methods to understand social, cultural, political, economic, and other dynamics shaping everyday lives and broader regional, national, and global conditions. A common social justice lens in our courses and our research is exploring and addressing various forms of social inequalities and forms of marginalization arising from racism, sexism, colonialism, ableism, among others.

Spurred on by the growing anti-racism and decolonization efforts and by the recognition that we are working on a campus located on unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe territory, we are starting to systematically apply this social justice lens in a tangible way to our own programs and department. As a result of our analysis, we are launching this fundraiser to recognize academic excellence among BIPOC students who are in either our Sociology or our Anthropology undergraduate programs, with special consideration given to those who are coming from families in which they belong to the first generation attending university. This builds on our successful fundraising efforts to endow our first annual scholarship for a BIPOC undergraduate student in our Department, which commences next academic year.

Our undergraduate students are increasingly diverse and many face financial difficulties. Our BIPOC students additionally face barriers coming from structural racism that is inherent in Canadian society (like elsewhere). Students who come from families in which they are the first generation attending university face another set of disadvantages before and after they enter university.

With your generous support, we hope to establish this award as the second of its kind for our Department and the second award in our Department specifically helping undergraduate students in Sociology and/or Anthropology.

The Rollout

Once we reach our goal, we will be on our way to establish a second award to support an outstanding Black, Indigenous or Person of Colour student who is in our Sociology and/or Anthropology BA program, with preference given to those belonging to the first generation of their family attending university.

The Impact

We have an outstanding group of alumni from our Department who are involved in a range of interesting and important work and non-work activities in the governmental, non-governmental, academic, and private sectors and a diverse range of communities. Although we have always had BIPOC students in our various programs, this campaign helps to financially support some of our current Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour undergraduate students.  While this support will help them individually to financially pay for their degree, we anticipate it also will help increase our alumni.

Other Comments

The photo is of a print entitled “Algonquin Moose” by Simon Brascoupé, a Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg artist who is also a longtime adjunct professor and occasional contract instructor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Our Department purchased this print in 2021 and it proudly hangs near our student lounge on the 7th floor of the Loeb Building.

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