Members of the CPA might be aware that the Black Canadian Studies Association has decided to withdraw from Congress 2021, and that some others societies have also withdrawn from Congress in support of the BCSA. The BCSA has asked all learned societies to consider the steps they might take, appropriate to their circumstances, to address racism (see their statement).
The CPA honours the decision of the BCSA to withdraw from Congress. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated already existing inequities, increasing the burden on those institutions that have led efforts to combat racism in Canada. The CPA can do its part by exposing philosophy’s role in contributing to colonialism and the social formation of race, by promoting reflection on how the tools of philosophy can be used to deal in an effective way with race thinking (see the CPA Board Statement of June 2020), and by engaging in dialogue with Congress partners about how Congress can better serve its diverse constituencies.
Therefore, the CPA Executive Committee is making its best efforts to organize two special events at the 2021 Annual Meeting, a plenary keynote address and a roundtable on race in philosophy. These events will be scheduled for 2022 if they cannot be held this year, together with panels that were planned for 2020 and which have been postponed until we can meet in person again.
In order to broaden access to the discussion, and to all the benefits of the program, the Executive also announces that the CPA will waive conference registration fees for non-members who are Black, Indigenous, or other people of colour. (There are no fees for members this year.) The Federation is also waiving its some of its conference fees.
The Federation’s Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization is expected to deliver a report in April recommending steps Congress can take to be more accessible and inclusive, and to better serve efforts to confront social injustice. The CPA Executive Committee urges the Federation to act swiftly on the Advisory Committee’s recommendations and commits to working with the BCSA and other learned societies to help address the challenge that racism poses to Canadian society.
The CPA Executive Committee
The CPA Equity Committee