The BSI plans to build and support a program in Black Studies within the university’s new Interdisciplinary and Critical Studies Academic Administrative Unit, attract external research grant funding in Black Studies and support institutional initiatives to address anti-Black racism.
Clinton Beckford, the university’s vice-president of equity, diversity, and inclusion, says the establishment of a BSI at the university is “ground-breaking and transformative.”
“It positions the University of Windsor as a post-secondary leader in intellectual thought and practice around Blackness and makes real our commitments to Black flourishing and thriving at and beyond the institution.”
Natalie Delia Deckard, the BSI’s founding director, is responsible for steering the strategic direction for the growth of the institute.
“We now have a space to centre the research of those working to lessen health disparities, increase educational opportunities, reduce employment discrimination, and increase the living standards in Black communities throughout Canada and the world,” says Dr. Deckard, an associate professor of criminology.
“Windsor’s position as a hub of global communities and histories demands not only an attention to the mitigation of anti-Black racism, but a mandate to Black excellence, she added.”