鶹ֱ

Advisory: As Halifax Water is currently undertaking work at the Fountain campus, we ask our community to not drink the water at the Fountain campus. We will update you as soon as the work has been completed.

鶹ֱ statement against hate and discrimination

As university communities across North America increasingly struggle to find common ground, too often we see those with whom we disagree as unworthy of our respect, our friendship, or even our belief in their good faith. The result is isolation, intolerance, and greater inequality. 

鶹ֱ’s mission as one of North America’s top art universities is to ensure a rigorous and supportive academic community where our creativity and differences are celebrated. We must be deliberate in fostering an inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible learning (IDEAL) environment that is welcoming and represents a broad diversity of experiences and identities.

It is therefore important for us to state clearly that hatred toward any individuals or groups will not be accepted at 鶹ֱ. We unequivocally condemn all forms of hate and discrimination.

鶹ֱ is a community where critical discussion around ideas and practice is essential to artistic and intellectual growth. Everyone must have the confidence and the latitude to safely respond to controversial issues through art and design, and to draw on their own perspectives and life experiences without fear of repercussion.

We must actively foster respectful open dialogue that acknowledges a broad cultural and social context; we are all stronger and better from listening to and learning with and from others.

As a public university, 鶹ֱ has a responsibility to define its commitments and actions to position our university as place where diversity thrives. We must work with the province of Nova Scotia’s , to define concrete actions we will take as part of the province’s Dismantling Hate and Racism Act (2022).This strategy was the direct result of the passing of the , a first for Canada signifying Nova Scotia’s commitment to addressing systemic hate, inequity and racism.

The province has developed specific definitions of types of hate in consultation with a wide cross-section of Nova Scotians. They are listed below. These definitions are an essential starting point to understanding systemic hate, inequity, and racism at our university. 

Any students who have experienced hate or discrimination at 鶹ֱ, can seek support through a variety of channels. 

  • To report an incident of hate or racism, please contact our ombudsperson. 
  • For mental health support, at 鶹ֱ, we have counsellors available as well as services such as Good2Talk 1-833-292-3698 and the NS Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team Phone  (available 24 hours a day): 902-429-8167 
  • If you feel unsafe at any time on campus, you can contact Campus Security (24 hours) at 902-877-0764. 

Above all, we must respect the fundamental humanity of every single person who is part of our 鶹ֱ family. Let us work through our divisions by focusing on what draws us together – the extraordinary power of visual art and design to make sense of our world. 

Definitions of Specific Types of Systemic Hate, Inequity, and Racism  

Source: (July 2023) 

This section includes definitions for several types of racism and discrimination. These definitions will be used within government when doing equity and anti-racism work. These definitions have been created with the communities they serve.  

Ableism is a belief system that throughout history has marginalized, dehumanized, and devalued persons with disabilities (diagnosed or undiagnosed), people perceived to have a disability, or people who are viewed as abnormal, or less than, based on a difference in body or mind. It often rests on the assumption that people with disabilities are inferior and need to be “fixed,” “rehabilitated,” or “adapted to fit in,” and it defines people only by their disability. Ableism is the unfounded valuation of able-bodiedness and able-mindedness over bodies deemed “other” in any way. Ableist attitudes are responsible for the disabling social, economic, political, and/or environmental barriers in society that limit opportunities for persons with disabilities to live and participate fully in society. 

Conscious, unconscious, intentional, unintentional, personal and/or institutional ideas, language, attitudes, practices, and policies that establish, maintain, and perpetuate power imbalances, systemic barriers, and inequitable outcomes that stem from discrimination, stereotyping, hate, and injustice directed at peoples of Asian heritage, based on assumptions about their ethnicity and nationality. 

Anti-Asian racism has a long history in Canada that includes events such as the Japanese internment camps, the Chinese “head tax,” and other anti-Asian sentiments. Stereotypes such as “model minority,” “exotic,” or “mystic” are rooted in Canada’s long history of racist and exclusionary laws, and often mask racism faced by peoples of Asian heritage, while erasing their historical contributions to building Canada. 

The term “Asian” encompasses a wide range of identities originating from the continent of Asia. In Canada, these groups are often classified as East Asian, Southeast Asian, South Asian, and West and Central Asian. 

Conscious, unconscious, intentional, unintentional, personal and/or institutional ideas, language, attitudes, practices, and policies that establish, maintain, unjustly enrich, and perpetuate power imbalances or disempowerment, systemic barriers, and inequitable outcomes that stem from discrimination, bias, stereotypes, hate, and injustice directed at people of African descent or those perceived to be, and is rooted in their unique history and the dehumanizing experience of enslavement caused by the oppressive legacy of colonialism. 

Anti-Black racism is deeply entrenched in Nova Scotian institutions, policies, and practices, to the extent that Anti-Black racism is either functionally normalized or rendered invisible to the larger society. Anti-Black racism is manifested in the current social, economic, and political marginalization of Persons of African Descent, including, but not limited to, racially motivated violence, unequal opportunities, lower socio-economic status, poor health outcomes, higher unemployment, underrepresentation in leadership positions, poor education outcomes, significant poverty rates, and overrepresentation in the criminal justice system. 

Conscious, unconscious, intentional, unintentional, personal and/or institutional ideas, language, attitudes, practices, and policies that establish, maintain, and perpetuate power imbalances, systemic barriers, and inequitable outcomes that stem from colonization, discrimination, stereotyping, hate, and injustice directed at Indigenous people and the legacy of colonial policies and practices in Canada. 

Systemic anti-Indigenous racism continues to persist in the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in provincial criminal justice and child welfare systems; poor outcomes in education, well-being, and health; and higher rates of violence, especially toward women and girls. 

It is also manifested in current and historical discriminatory federal policies, such as the Indian Act, residential day school, and the residential school system. Through settler colonial practices, and documents, such as the Doctrine of Discovery, Indigenous land, language, and culture has been systemically and intentionally taken and continues to be used without authority from or meaningful input from Indigenous peoples. 

Conscious, unconscious, intentional, unintentional, personal and/or institutional ideas, language, attitudes, practices, and policies that can and have led to inequitable outcomes and insecurity that stem from discrimination, stereotyping, hate, and injustice directed at Jewish individuals or those perceived as Jewish. 

Prejudice toward Jewish people has existed in Canada since European colonizers arrived. The Jewish community continues to be the victims of higher rates of violence, verbal and written harassment and vandalism in reported hate-motivated crimes, and rates have been on the rise in the 21st century. Hate-motivated crimes and acts of hate toward the Jewish community escalate in times of economic downturns as the result of negative stereotypes and conspiracy theories about the role the community plays in these events. 

Conscious, unconscious, intentional, unintentional, personal and/or institutional ideas, language, attitudes, practices, and policies that establish, maintain, and perpetuate power imbalances, systemic barriers, and inequitable outcomes that stem from discrimination, negative stereotyping, hate, and injustice directed at people based on the gender they identify as and how they express that gender or how others perceive their gender. 

Gender-based discrimination has existed in Nova Scotia since Europeans landed on its shores. Women were not considered persons under the law, which has led to laws and policies restricting their rights, protected those who commit gender-based violence, created a gender-pay gap, and poor educational and health outcomes based on gender. Due to how embedded the colonial idea of gender has become, much of the discrimination which is currently faced often is unseen, such as society’s reliance on women’s unpaid labour, gendered workplace dress-codes, and a lack of mandatory training on trans-bodies. 

Islamophobia is based on misconceptions and fear that are motivated by ideology, politics, and religion. This fear is directed at symbols and markers of being a Muslim and Muslim institutions. In addition to individual acts of intolerance and racial profiling, Islamophobia can lead to viewing and treating Muslims as a greater security threat on an institutional, systemic, and societal level, with mental health implications for those impacted. Islamophobia can be found online and in virtual spaces and can disproportionately impact women due to the visibility of their Muslim faith when wearing a headscarf/head covering. 

Conscious, unconscious, intentional, unintentional, personal and/or institutional ideas, language, attitudes, practices, and policies that establish, maintain, and perpetuate power imbalances, systemic barriers, and inequitable outcomes that stem from discrimination, negative stereotyping, hate, and injustice directed at people based on the sexuality they identify as and how they express their sexuality. This also includes those who are perceived to be part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. 

Discrimination against people based on their sexuality has a long history in Nova Scotia and throughout Canada. How 2SLGBTQIA+ communities express their love and sexuality was criminalized, leading to violent and harmful interactions with police, systematic expulsion of gay men and women from the public service, and the denial of the right to marry until 2005. The legacy of these laws are disproportionate rates of poverty and homelessness, violence, and higher rates of suicide. 

Conscious, unconscious, intentional, unintentional, personal and/or institutional ideas, language, attitudes, practices, and policies that establish, maintain, and perpetuate power imbalances, systemic barriers, and inequitable outcomes that stem from attitudes, prejudices and behaviour that reject, exclude, and often vilify persons based on the perception that they are outsiders or foreigners to the community, society, or national identity. 

Xenophobia has a history of being rooted in Canadian policy. Amendments and exclusionary acts to the Immigration Act pushed anti-immigration sentiments throughout the early 20th century.2 In the post-war era, toward the end of the 20th century, two causes are thought to have driven the resurgence of xenophobia: new migration and globalization. The fear of newcomers—those perceived to be outsiders or foreigners, often migrants, refugees, asylum- seekers, displaced persons, and non-nationals—as competitors for jobs and public services such as social welfare, education, and health care, made them targets of hate and violence.