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More dates added to review of Black student athletes' experiences at McMaster

McMaster University has added three more days to its review of Black student athletes' experiences following allegations from alumni of racist behaviour inside the school's athletic department.

The extra dates are Aug. 11, 12 and 13

McMaster University is extending its internal review into the Black student athlete experience at the school. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

McMaster University has added three more days to its review of Black student athletes' experiences following allegations from alumni of racist behaviour inside the school's athletic department.

The school says the first round of interviews for the review, which featured group interviews for Black student athletes past and present, other student athletes and staff, and football players, is complete.

Still, Sean Van Koughnett, associate vice-president of students and learning, and dean of students, said adding extra sessions on Aug. 11, 12 and 13 will "make sure that every student-athlete is aware of the review, and that all those who want to come forward have the opportunity to do so."

Those interested in participating can fill in a form on the Student Affairs website to participate in an interview, or can email a written submission to review@mcmaster.ca.

Athletes who attended the school since 2010 can join.

There are currently about 800 student athletes at McMaster, which means including alumni from the past decade could see thousands of participants.

Report to be done before September

The report is supposed to be finished by the end of August.

Van Koughnett previously told CBC News there are not enough Black people who hold positions of leadership in school sports.

The review has five objectives:

  1. To identify and document Black student athletes' experiences within Marauder Athletics, and learn about individual challenges and systemic barriers they may face in school.
  2. To examine the extent of a culture contributing to anti-Black bias and/or systemic racism within school athletics.
  3. To assess whether gaps exist in programs, processes, supports and organizational structures which influence the culture and the student experience for Black student athletes.
  4. To recommend ways those areas can address anti-Black racism and foster a culture of equity and inclusion.
  5. To identify any other issues within the athletics community which intersect with the Black student-athlete experience and that may require particular attention (i.e., intersections of sexism, homophobia, ableism, classism with anti-Black racism, etc.).

The review is led by Ivan Joseph, vice-provost of student affairs at Dalhousie University and formerly the director of athletics at Ryerson University.

He will also have a small task force at his disposal. The group is made of Black community members who will help develop the review.

Here are the members:

  • Bonny Ibhawoh, task force chair. Ibhawoh is a history professor who is the co-founder and co-lead for the African and Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster.
  • Faith Ogunkoya, task force member. Ogunkoya is vice-chair of the President's Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community and the team lead at Student Services in the registrar's office.
  • Marlice Simon, task force member. Simon is an administrative research coordinator at McMaster and part of the school's African Caribbean Faculty Association.
  • Aaron Parry, task force member. Parry is a student and part of the Black Students Association.
  • Aisha Wilks, task force member. Wilks is a PhD student and co-founder of Resist BIPOC Working Group. 

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