The Department of Sociology and Anthropology is recognizing that over its fifty plus years that we should have been doing more to be supporting students who identify as being Black, Indigenous or a Person of Colour (BIPOC) as part of our efforts to more fully support anti-racism and to promote undergraduate excellence. We are very pleased to combine these important aims with our first undergraduate scholarship dedicated to incoming first year Sociology and/or Anthropology undergraduate students who are racialized as Black, Indigenous or a Person of Colour, with preference 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.
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 scale conditions. A common social justice lens in our courses and in our faculty and students’ 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 entering either our Sociology or our Anthropology undergraduate programs who are coming from families in which they belong to the first generation attending university.
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 first of its kind for our Department and the first ever award in our Department specifically helping undergraduate students in Sociology and/or Anthropology.
Once we reach our goal, we will be able to establish an award to support an outstanding Black, Indigenous or other Person of Colour student who is entering into our Sociology and/or Anthropology BA program, with preference given to those belonging to the first generation of their family attending university.