McGill University is making new commitments to improve its diversity and inclusion and to fight against anti-Black racism, including by assessing the future of the James McGill statue.
The university's Action Plan to Address Anti-Black Racism has pledged an investment of $15 million over five years to address racism and develop better representation in both the faculty and student community.
The "Action Plan commitments address four main areas: student experience, research and knowledge; outreach, workforce and space," said McGill.
We are urged to self-reflect and take action with a view to building campuses wherein Black students, faculty, and staff feel welcomed, respected, and capable of thriving.
Some of the university's plans include hiring more "Black tenure-track and tenured professors," increasing "scholarships and student-aid opportunities to enhance supports for students – at all levels," and conducting surveys on student demographics.
The university also has plans to improve and enlarge its African Studies program.
The university will also address the troubled legacy of its namesake, James McGill, with an "investigation" into his history.
A plaque will be installed near the statue of McGill, explaining "James McGill’s connections to and involvement with the transatlantic slave trade and his ownership of enslaved people."
The university will also "assess and determine the statue’s most suitable setting — including its location and necessary contextualizing information."