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Dangerous Times

Dear Emily Carr students,

In the wake of the American presidential election, we as faculty have been witnessing higher levels of anxiety, fear, and stress in many of you, who understand the threat that Donald Trump poses to our efforts to build a peaceful society. 

We are devastated and disappointed that a candidate who promulgates xenophobia, racism, and misogyny now leads the United States. We are hearing stories of violence, intimidation and silencing tactics on the rise, as those who espouse hate and inequality feel they have more social license to bully others.

We do live in dangerous times.

We also live in times where it is more urgent than ever to exercise our freedoms to speak and act, both individually and collectively, and cultivate wisdom in our communities. The hard won victories of the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, the labour movement, the LGBT movement, and more, matter deeply; they should not and cannot be destroyed by one authoritarian appealing to people’s fear and anger. Commitment to love and equality continues and persists. We see the leadership of Indigenous peoples at Standing Rock currently, courageously coming together to protect water for everyone’s sake. We stand in solidarity with those who welcome diversity, love each other, the land, the water, and life itself, which depends on the health of the watersheds that we all depend on.

It is unusual for us, as a Faculty Association, to make such a statement. But these are unusual times. This election is a wake up call for many, and as such, a teachable moment as well. Those of us in art schools and universities can exercise our academic and artistic freedoms, which are more important than ever. We can take care of ourselves and each other. Be gentle with one another, but also loving, honest, and rigorous as we enter into dialogues with one another and with those who may have supported Trump, or come from families or communities that do. Respect for difference is critical for a shared, peaceful future. Gathered as we are on unceded Coast Salish territories, we have responsibilities to come together for the sake of peace and reconciliation.

As we process this historical moment together, in bewilderment as well as in courage, please know that we are with you in building a just and loving world for everyone. Historical movements in the past have succeeded despite huge odds and obstacles, and our creative spirit, overcoming challenges, strengthens the power of the people.

In solidarity,

The Emily Carr Faculty Association

17 replies on “Dangerous Times”

Thank you very much, Emily Carr Faculty Association. I hope other educational institutions in Canada follow your lead, as it is indeed the role of those involved in teaching and learning to seize these historical processes and turn them into opportunities for reflection, dialogue and action.

More than ever, courses like Introduction to Cultural Theory are relevant to help students understand and become active against oppressive systems and Donald Trumps. I sure know it helped me. It changed my life, actually. I like this sentiment, but I feel that the choice to remove SOCS 201 from the required curriculum for future students contradicts the message.

I believe that critical thinking and cultural theory is ingrained in everything we do at Emily Carr. Giving our students some room to choose within our curriculum is paramount to their learning experience. Removing courses like SOCS201 does not mean that our faculty think criticality is any less important, in fact, as this letter clearly states we believe it is crucial at this time.

Well said. But this should be addressed to the school as a whole, including faculty and administration. I’ve seen stress and anxiety in faculty as well. We are all vulnerable. We are all students. Let’s get rid of the idea that we can only learn from you, and start making real change by showing that we can all learn from and support each other.

Ha the funny thing is there are a lot of students in the school who are pro-kinder Morgan and find people who are pro-activist/protests are disgusting. As an Emily Carr Alumni it was surprising to see such speech against those who are for the protection of the Aboriginal here.

Well said! A courageous statement from a Faculty Association at the right moment! BRAVO!!
Encouraging dialogue sessions to happen on campus – where people can gather, listen and speak is another way to demonstrate the resolve you speak of. As a former student I strongly encourage it!

Well said! As a member of the BCIT Communication Department Faculty, I wholeheartedly agree with these statements and share the values they represent.

This letter to students is the most important start to helping them and everyone be in this world now. Thank you so much for doing this and here is hoping it reverberates around the world. Understanding, Compassion, Communicating your truth, Love,

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