Today, many people across the GTA are remembering the tragic events that occurred on Yonge street one year ago. We were reminded then, as we were again this past weekend with the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, that extreme acts of violence can happen anywhere. As the Toronto incident impacted many of us because it happened here at home, several violent events that occurred across the world over the past year continue to affect Humber’s and our city’s diverse communities.
Misinformation, prejudice, fear and hate are often at the heart of these types of acts. As a community and as an institution, Humber values inclusion, equity, and the health and well-being of all of our staff and students. We have embedded these principles into how we operate and they inform our expectation of how we conduct ourselves and interact with one another.
When I have the opportunity to address our graduates this June, I will be speaking about how during their time at Humber we have been focused not just on giving them the skills and knowledge they need to succeed but also on supporting them in being career-ready citizens. I will be encouraging them to take action to make things better, whether here in Canada or abroad. I will be reminding them that as Humber alumni that they have been part of a community that respects different perspectives, beliefs, expressions of self; along with racial, cultural, sexual and gender diversity. And I will be asking them to be ambassadors for these values as they embark on the next step of their journeys.
It’s hard to know how to respond to senseless acts of violence. What we can do is put our values into action, working each day to create a teaching and learning environment where diversity is celebrated and ensuring our staff and students experience a supportive and open community.