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When academics get it wrong

Ottawa’s Carleton University want to end student internships with police, citing racial bias. Phil Gurski explains why this is very wrong.

Carleton criminology profs want to end student internships with police, citing racial bias. Security studies are not surprisingly very popular with academics in part because they are sexy. But sometimes academics get it very wrong and make some very stupid decisions based on some kind of ‘principle’. Borealis weighs in on a move by Carleton University’s Institute of Criminology to end cooperation with law enforcement in Canada.

Read The Ottawa Citizen article: Carleton criminology profs want to end student internships with police, citing racial bias

ICCJ Statement: Actions to Address Issues Related to Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and Systemic Racism

Widespread protests in response to police violence aimed at Black, Indigenous, and racialized people in Canada have placed a renewed focus on the need for organizations to take concrete actions to address issues related to white supremacy, systemic racism, and settler colonialism. Faculty at the ICCJ take these calls to action seriously. As researchers we recognize that anti-Black and anti-Indigenous sentiments, practices, and policies are rooted in histories of slavery and colonization and pervasive logics of white supremacy within settler society.

Addressing these deeply entrenched social forces and colonial apparatuses requires robust and principled engagement. Institutions in Canada have a tradition of producing comprehensive studies and detailed lists of recommendations to address issues of racial and colonial injustice, yet these recommendations often fail to be translated into actions. The contemporary public dialogue sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement and Indigenous organizers in Canada provides an opportunity to move beyond episodic discussions of structural racism and enact tangible actions, particularly in regards to criminal justice systems in Canada.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Programme Director for the Security, Economics and Technology (SET) hub at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI). Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of five books on terrorism.

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