We are a group of physics graduate students at the University of Toronto who want to increase the visibility of people who are traditionally underrepresented in physics while creating a more inclusive space and promoting equity and diversity. We aim to foster accessibility, sustainability, and equity in the physics department.
June 2nd 2021: More Than Hate: National Anti-Asian Racism Panel
Anti-Asian racism is a prevalent issue in Canada that often gets ignored. We would like to encourage members of the Physics Department to attend this panel organized by students at Dalhousie University. The event is on Wednesday, June 2nd at 7:30pm and the MS Teams link is here. Here is a description from the organizers:
"Join us to talk and learn more about the stigmatization of Asian-Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the current momentum in media outlets on surfacing some of the Asian-related hate crimes, it is the prime opportunity for us to delve deeper into the racism that has existed silently and affected many Asian communities to this day.
This will be a virtual event featuring 4 panelists joining us across Canada. There will be a period of introductions and knowledge transfers from our panelists to audience. Following, there will be a moderated Q&A period. Last, anti-Asian racism resources will be distributed to all attendees.
This event is in partnership with the Student Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Global Health Initiative at the Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, CA.
This event is inclusive for all individuals interested in learning more and taking action with the #stopasianhate movement."
November 10th 2020: CAP EDI Survey
We encourage everyone to take a few minutes to fill out the Canadian Association of Physicists Diversity Survey. A note about the survey from the authors:
"Physics is a quantitative science which relies on measurements to understand the natural world and validate hypotheses. Its success is based on that commitment to measurement, and the same is true of our desire to create a more inclusive environment in the Physics community in Canada. There has never been a comprehensive survey of the diversity of the Physics community in Canada, whereas the US has been collecting these statistics for several decades.
The objective of the first annual CAP Diversity survey is to understand how identity, age, first-in-family status, field of study, province of residence, employment and educational outcomes, income, family and child care responsibilities, culture and climate, language, and citizenship influences participation in physics-related industrial workforce, government and academia."
September 9th 2020: Scholar Strike for Black Lives
Physibility supports the labour action of Scholar Strike Canada and encourages those who are able to participate to do so. As described on Scholar Strike Canada's website:
"Scholars across Canadian universities are outraged at the relentless anti-Black police killings of Black people in the U.S. and in Canada. As athletes have done, so, too, must academics. We will be joining thousands of academics in higher education in a labour action known as Scholar Strike to protest anti-Black, racist and colonial police brutality in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere. Scholar Strike for Black Lives in Canada will take place on Sept 9th & 10th, 2020. For these two days, we will pause our teaching and all administrative duties. We will use this time to organize public digital teach-ins on police brutality and violence in our communities from both historical and contemporary perspectives."
We encourage all who are able to read the information available on Scholar Strike Canada's website and participate in digital teach-ins. If you don't have the privilege to stop your regular work for two days, we encourage you to spread the word and watch the teach-ins on Scholar Strike Canada's YouTube channel as they will remain on the channel.
July 28th 2020: Support CUPE 3902 Petition
The unions who represent the workers at University of Toronto are concerned about the safety of their workers with the University's current re-opening plan. The unions have come together to create a petition to the University to pause the re-opening until they can guarantee the safety of all workers and students. You can find the petition here if you would like to sign on or get more information.
June 16th 2020: Support defunding the Toronto Police
Toronto city councillor Josh Matlow has motioned to redirect at least 10% of the police budget to social services. Ten councillors need to be flipped for it to pass. Check here to see if your councillor supports the motion and how to call and voice your support. Calling your representatives is a quick and effective way to fight for change!
June 8th 2020: Let's Talk Allyship and Solidarity
On Tuesday, June 9th at 10am, the University of Toronto Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office is hosting a workshop about how to be an effective ally. Click here for more information.
June 4th 2020: Statement on Anti-Black Racism
Protests regarding the recent murders of Black people by police officers reflect problems that have been ongoing for hundreds of years in the US and Canada. Systemic racism and police brutality are widespread in our country and we are not doing enough to dismantle them. In response to these events, Physibility is committing to contributing more to the conversation and working to educate ourselves about how racism impacts our community and what we can do to help. We strongly encourage members of the physics department to join us.
To start, we have put together a collection of resources for those affected and for those who are committed to learning more. This list includes links to on-campus help, organizations that support Black residents of Toronto and Ontario, petitions, podcasts, and books.
In order to make this an ongoing conversation, we will also start hosting a podcast club (i.e. a book club but with podcasts and short videos) every two weeks where we can discuss and ask questions about a collection of podcasts and/or videos involving equity, diversity, and inclusion. See our Events page for details of our first meeting on Wednesday June 10th.
Black Lives Matter.