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Statement on Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-racism

June 3, 2020

The recent killing of George Floyd by members of the Minneapolis Police Department has set off a series of protests across the world. It is important to acknowledge that acts of racially motivated violence and oppression occur on an ongoing, frequent basis within Canada. We must reflect and understand that racialized members of our campus and off-campus community face structural oppression due to longstanding systemic racism.

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) of the University of Waterloo stands with the growing chorus of voices calling for change.

During this necessary time of outrage and emotion, the executive team of the GSA wants to ensure all members of our graduate student community that our organization is committed to diversity and inclusion, which means providing a campus free of racial bias and ensuring equitable treatment for all students. We will revamp our efforts to work with members of administration to ensure that all individuals working and/or studying at the University of Waterloo are not marginalized due to conscious/unconscious bias and structural inequalities.

The GSA will be supporting broader community initiatives designed to support black, Indigenous, and racialized members of our campus and off-campus community. We will be donating $1,000 to the Black Lives Matter movement. Further, we will donate an additional $1,000 to community-based organizations focused on promoting racial equity within the Region of Waterloo.

We intend to report on our progress in supporting racial equity on an ongoing basis.

We understand that current events can be mentally and emotionally stressful. If you need support, please contact us at or review the Empower Me program offered to all UWaterloo graduate students via StudentCare.

In solidarity,

Naima Samuel, President

David Billedeau, Vice President

Kevin McKay, Executive Manager

Rebecca Stirling, Chair of the GSA Board

Matthew Robbins, Speaker of the GSA Council

Cam Bartel, Manager, Hospitality

Zabeen Khamisa, Director, Communications

Ashley Ryan, Director, Student Wellness

Sara Drisdelle, Director, Student Engagement

Graduate Student Association - University of Waterloo

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Territorial Acknowledgement

We, the Graduate Student Association – University of Waterloo, acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of ‎ the Attawandaron (Neutral), Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes ten kilometers on each side of the Grand River. 

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