Exodus from Congress

Shelley Rathie (2021-04-13)

The Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is a member-based organization and the national voice for researchers in the humanities and social sciences in Canada. It is a non-profit charitable organization that represents more than 85,000 researchers in 81 scholarly associations, 80 universities and colleges, and 6 affiliates across the country.  Annually, the federation holds a conference, known as Congress, which is the largest annual academic gathering in Canada and its multidisciplinary character marks it as unique in the world.

On the heels of the incident of racial profiling at Congress 2019, and Congress’s delayed response to demands to confront anti-Black and Indigenous racism, the Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA) announced in February 2021, their refusal to participate in Congress 2021. In a show of solidarity, more than 17 other associations also announced their refusal to participate in this year’s Congress.  

In response to BCSA’s withdrawal, the Federation made the decision to center an upcoming Congress on addressing colonialism and anti-Black racism and have now made Congress free for all self-identified Black and Indigenous graduate students and community members.

More information on the events leading up to BCSA’s February 2021 refusal to participate, and to see the other associations following suit, please click here. 

For information on the racial profiling incident at Congress 2019, please click here.

To access the Congress Advisory Committee final report on Equity, Diversity and De-colonization click here.