Dear Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education members,

We hope that this finds you and those in your care all keeping well. On March 23, 2021, the CSSHE Board of Directors and CSSHE 2021 Conference Committee held a joint meeting to discuss the Black Canadian Studies Association’s (BCSA) decision to withdraw from Congress 2020 and 2021 (

We understand, respect, and support the decision of the BCSA to withdraw from Congress again this year. (Last year, the BCSA withdrew from Congress in protest against the structural racism of the response to the 2019 incident and the inequities that a virtual conference would present.) We also respectfully acknowledge and are grateful for the work of those individuals and societies who have decided to withdraw in solidarity.

In light of these developments and discussions, the CSSHE Board of Directors has chosen to continue engaging with Congress in order to contribute to change and hold our profession and societies accountable as an expression of our shared commitments and values. CSSHE will continue to critically reflect, and to action our values, to create a more just society. We respect the views shared and wish to highlight just a couple of our Society’s most recent commitments as follows:

We recognize that the intersection of structural racism and the pandemic, both in the effects on health as well as economic security, has disproportionately affected communities with large proportions of racialized people, as well as those who are economically disadvantaged. This year, the CSSHE Board of Directors, working through its committees:

We hope to continue this work and invite you to join us at our AGM and Awards Ceremony (Tuesday June 1, 2021, 10.45am-12.00pm Mountain Daylight Time), where we will take some time to reflect on the role that higher education has played in reinforcing systemic racism and how we can continue to address this in our profession and scholarship. In advance of that discussion, we invite you to read the Congress Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization (AC-EDID) Report and Recommendations, Igniting Change and to sign the Charter on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization in the Social  Sciences and Humanities.

For those who are unable to attend or would prefer to share their ideas, questions, or critiques through other means, we invite you to email, video chat, or set up a time to talk by phone.

With gratitude,

CSSHE Board of Directors

View the CSSHE2021 Conference Committee’s response to the Federation for the Humanities and Social Science Igniting Change Report