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.
The Emily Carr Faculty Association