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McMaster racism probe will move quickly

McMaster University has launched a review of Black student-athletes’ experiences that will also explore the climate within the school’s Marauders Athletics programs.

The review, which will look back as far as 2010, will include interviews with current and former Black student-athletes, other student-athletes, and athletics staff, including coaches and administrators.

“It takes courage for people to talk about their experiences, and we need to provide structured opportunities for them to have a voice,” explains Arig al Shaibah, McMaster’s associate vice-president of equity and inclusion. “We want to better understand those experiences – to listen, hear and act.”

The review will be led by Dr. Ivan Joseph, currently the vice-provost of student affairs at Dalhousie University and the former director of athletics at Ryerson University. Joseph will be assisted by a small task force of four McMaster community members who identify as Black and who have expertise in human rights, anti-racism and supporting Black students and community members within the context of anti-Black racism. Dr. Joseph was previously Director of Athletics at Ryerson, and he attended Graceland University in Iowa on an athletic scholarship and was among a handful of visible minorities on campus – a situation he would later study through his graduate research. Ivan stayed on at Graceland, working as a residence life leader, soccer coach and assistant professor. In these roles, he built a leadership development program from the ground up and led Graceland’s men’s soccer team to the first national championship in school history. He also completed an MS in higher education administration from Drake University and a PhD in sports psychology from Capella University.

Dr.Ivan Joseph

Interviews will begin the week of July 27th.A final report, which will include observations and recommendations, will be submitted to Sean Van Koughnett, associate vice-president of students and learning, and dean of students, before the end of August.

For more details, including the review’s objectives and scope, as well as a biography of Ivan Joseph, please see the review’s Terms of Reference.

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