Sept. 9, 2020

Scholar Strike message from the EDI committee

Psychology EDI committee

Dear Department members, 

As you are aware from Friday’s message from the Office of the President, Scholar Strike is planned across Canada for September 9 and September 10. We wanted to send an email around with some more information on the movement.    

Scholar strike is a labour action to protest anti-Black, racist, and colonial police brutality in Canada, the U.S., and elsewhere. After seeing after the WNBA, NBA, and other professional sports leagues strike following Jacob Blake’s shooting by police, Anthea Butler, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, was inspired to call for similar action from academics.  

Recognizing that not all academics will be able to participate fully, organizers are encouraging academics to participate as fully as they can, whether that means participating for one day or both days, and cancelling all activities or some activities. The pandemic presents challenges to in person collective activities but on those days there will be virtual teach-ins around the topics of anti-racism and police brutality as well as social media blitzes on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to share information about racial injustice.  

Indeed, this will disrupt our plans and the plans of those who depend on us. But that is just the point. The following quotes exemplify this well: 

 “A strike interrupts business as usual…we can’t normalize killings of Black people by police with impunity. We can’t normalize new killings of Indigenous people with impunity in Canada.” 

Professor Min Lee Sook (OCAD) 

“It is time for the academic community to do more than teach classes and offer reading lists on racism, policing, violence, and racial injustice. It is time for us to pause the endless meetings on diversity and inclusion, disrupt our institutions’ routines, look outward to the American public, and share our dismay, disgust, and resolve” 

Professors Anthea Butler and Kevin Gannon (Grand View University) 

We, faculty members of the EDI will be taking action. Although this varies with individual capacities, these steps will include cancelling our lectures for those days, cancelling meetings, and turning on auto-reply for e-mail communications (see below for a sample auto-reply from the Scholar Strike website). We encourage you to take action as fully as you are able to. 


Faculty members of the Psychology EDI committee

To learn more, including a list of actions and events being organized in Canada, please visit: