UNITED FOR EQUITY
The campaign involves several awareness building materials, including stickers, buttons, and information cards. The materials focus on educating people about and challenging six forms of oppression: homophobia, transphobia, ableism, colonialism, sexism, and racism.
To order United for Equity materials, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Islamophobia is the unfounded hostility towards Islam and, therefore, fear or dislike of Muslims. Broadly, Islamophobia presents Islam as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change and characterizes Muslims as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist. Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and the exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society. Xenophobia is the fear or aversion of people and communities who are perceived as being “foreign.” Both Islamophobia and Xenophobia are rooted in racism and are often mutually felt by the victims of either and are often manifested together in public policy or legislation.
Islamophobia and Xenophobia have historic roots in Western imperialism and colonialism. These ideologies and concepts are used to justify colonization and extreme acts of violence by Western colonial forces such as England, France and the United States to name but a few. More recently, the Canadian government has played a unique role in fueling Islamophobia and Xenophobia in order to support an agenda that has targeted Muslim majority countries and defended a rationale for war against these countries.
From governments setting up ‘anti-radicalization’ centers that surveil and investigate the lives of Muslim communities and introducing legislation that limits the civil and human rights of Muslim communities, to post- secondary administrations being complicit in RCMP investigations of Muslim or ‘suspected Muslim’ students and groups on campuses, Islamophobia and Xenophobia are manifested in people’s lives every day in Canada.
The student movement has a responsibility to challenge the narratives that seek to dehumanize and justify the violence and segregations of Muslim communities on campuses and in our communities, and to elevate those who are already doing this work.
High tuition fees impact racialized students disproportionately due to the marginalization of these communities. Access to equal education is already challenging in primary and secondary schools and more di cult within the post-secondary education system.
Racialized students’ academic performance is also impacted by a misrepresentation of racialized people’s history around the world and is compounded by misleading curriculums when concepts like colonialism are not adequately addressed. The experience of racialized students on campus is also negatively impacted by a lack of administrative policies that address their realities and/or identities. In addition, those from marginalized communities, low-income backgrounds and single parents are more likely to be strongly averse to accumulating student debt, creating a barrier to access as the cost of education is both increasing and shifting to individuals.
Racism in our institutions affects individuals through the learning environment and the campus community. This institutional racism generates tensions that distort cultural understanding and narrows the educational experiences of all students. There are very few policies and procedures at the systemic level that challenge racist and colonial behavior. This lack of structure then contributes to systemic racism and often fosters a teaching and learning environment that sustains racist and colonial attitudes.