Review of Black student-athletes’ experiences at McMaster to begin July 27th

long shot of football field from 50-yard line

Photo by Kevin Patrick Robbins

In the wake of recent reports about anti-Black racism experienced by former McMaster student-athletes, the university has launched a review of Black student-athletes’ experiences that will also explore the climate within the school’s Marauders Athletics programs.

The review, which will look back as far as 2010, will include interviews with current and former Black student-athletes, other student-athletes, and athletics staff, including coaches and administrators.

“It takes courage for people to talk about their experiences, and we need to provide structured opportunities for them to have a voice,” explains Arig al Shaibah, McMaster’s associate vice-president of equity and inclusion. “We want to better understand those experiences – to listen, hear and act.”

The review will be led by Dr. Ivan Joseph, currently the vice-provost of student affairs at Dalhousie University and the former director of athletics at Ryerson University. Joseph will be assisted by a small task force of four McMaster community members who identify as Black and who have expertise in human rights, anti-racism and supporting Black students and community members within the context of anti-Black racism.

Interviews will begin the week of July 27th.

Those who are interested in participating are invited to fill in the webform on the Student Affairs website.

A final report, which will include observations and recommendations, will be submitted to Sean Van Koughnett, associate vice-president of students and learning, and dean of students, before the end of August.

“We’re taking action now, and we will continue to take action,” says Van Koughnett. “We want Black student-athletes to feel listened to and heard, and we want all student-athletes to see that we are focused on ways we can be better.”

For more details, including the review’s objectives and scope, as well as a biography of Ivan Joseph, please see the review’s Terms of Reference.