President's Statement on Anti-Racism

June 2, 2020
Five students siting in a group outside of a large building

We at Royal Roads denounce racism in all its ugly forms. We say no to the unspeakable violence it wreaks on families, communities, countries. We say no to hatred.

It is long past time to listen to what Black, Asian, Indigenous and other people of colour have been saying for years and years. We at Royal Roads must stand in solidarity and love, be present and show up in ways that go beyond this statement. We need to listen, educate ourselves, learn from our pasts, create change and listen harder still. This issue demands our active attention.

Around the world, peaceful protestors have faced tear gas, bullets, beatings, arrest. All because they chose to stand against deeply ingrained racism and oppression. They chose to say no and look to a better day when how you look, who you love or where you live matters not.

How do we treat each other? What do we teach our students and children about today and all the days that brought us here?

Diversity. Equity. Inclusion. This is the mission of our times. Together, we must challenge racism, discrimination and prejudice head-on. Silence is complicity. Saying you aren’t racist is not enough. How can you be actively anti-racist? That is the question.

Take the time to check-in on your friends, family members, partners and colleagues who suffer at the hands of systemic racism. If you have not experienced this type of oppression, now is not the time to centre the narrative on you. Instead, acknowledge your privilege and its adverse impacts on individuals who identify as Black, Asian, Indigenous or as persons of colour. Be an ally and advocate for those who have been silenced for years on end.

Next week, I will be meeting with a group of students, faculty, and staff who have lived experiences with racism to build on the work we have already done and redouble our efforts. You will see more from our university on social media in the days ahead. Royal Roads is deeply committed to this cause. We know there is more the university can do and I sincerely want to hear from you.

President Philip Steenkamp


Counselling resources

Students can contact Counselling Services to speak to a professional, confidential counsellor.

Faculty and staff can contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program.