The Spatial Determinants of Health Lab at Carleton University, Canada, stands in solidarity with members of Black, Indigenous and other racialized minorities calling for justice against historic and ongoing state-sponsored violence.

This anti-Black violence has again rose into the public view by horrific killings in the United States of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and David McAtee. However, this is not isolated to the United States, as in this same period in Canada we have seen the deaths of Chantel Moore and Regis Korchinski-Paquet while requesting assistance from law enforcement. Thousands of others have been documented in official reports and news media, most recently in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

It is clear that the deaths of these individuals and countless other members of these communities at the hands of the State are not anomalies. These deaths are a product of institutions that have been designed to systematically oppress Black, Indigenous, and other racialized minorities. These recent events only underscore our culpability in the ongoing history of racism and discrimination.

Racism has been at the foundation of the academic enterprise, from statistics to public health. We must recognise that the very foundation of our teaching, research, and institution are built on a legacy of dispossession. As a research group, we work in diverse communities in Canada and internationally and take seriously the subject matter that we study, our positions on stolen Algonquin lands, and the racist colonial history of our scholarly fields.

Our lab is committed to doing the work that makes our learning environments and community more supportive of all oppressed groups. This work includes:

  • Explicitly naming and teaching the roots of systemic racism, colonialism, and other forms of oppression;
  • Using our privilege to bolster voices in our communities;
  • Supporting anti-racist initiatives within the academic community; and
  • Working for systemic change through our practice, teaching, research, and publication.

We are enthusiastic in engaging critically in the work of BIPOC scholars and activists, being uncomfortable as we navigate, challenge, and reflect upon the structures of oppression that many of us admittedly benefit from, making mistakes along the way, and holding each other (and ourselves) accountable.