Posted on June 9, 2023

Racially Segregated Graduation Ceremonies Taking Place at Top Canadian Universities

Elie Cantin-Nantel, True North, June 8, 2023

Racially segregated graduation ceremonies for black students are taking place at several of Canada’s top universities this year, True North has learned.


University of Toronto 

The University of Toronto (U of T) was the first Canadian institution to have a racially segregated graduation ceremony back in 2017, and the latter has continued to take place on campus every year since. This year’s ceremony was held on June 4.

Organizers described the ceremony to Global News as an event “for black students by black students” and said the latter “helps counter the isolation and tribulations that many Black students feel on campus.”

McMaster University 

Last year, True North reported on Hamilton’s McMaster University holding its first racially segregated graduation ceremonies for “Black-identifiying students.” The event was held again this May.

The ceremony’s program shows it featuring an Indigenous land acknowledgement, traditional drumming and the singing of Lift Every Voice and Sing – dubbed the “Black National Anthem.” The Canadian national anthem however does not appear on the program. The ceremony also featured black awards and a dance performance.


Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson)

A ceremony for “self-identified Black graduating students” is scheduled to take place on June 8 at Toronto Metropolitan University, with the latter being organized by TMU’s “Black Excellence Committee.” The university says the event “aims to create opportunities for Black students, faculty and staff to authentically share space, and to redefine the meaning of community at our university.”


Simon Fraser University 

British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University hosted a “Black Brilliance Graduation” for “black-identifying students” on June 5 that was organized by SFU’s Black Caucus and the SFU Students of Caribbean and African Ancestry student group.


Concordia University 

Montreal’s Concordia University will hold its annual “Black Student Graduation Celebration” on June 17. {snip}


McGill University 

A “celebration of Black student excellence” was organized by the Black Students’ Network. {snip}

“The confidence with which the grads walked that stage, ready to receive their Kente stoles, made it clear that they were fully prepared to become the future faces of Black excellence,” said Black Grad organizing committee member Bryana Jean-Jacques. {snip}


Western University 

Western’s Black Student Association held a “Black Grad Class of 2023” event on April 1st at the University Centre. {snip}


Dalhousie University 

The Black Student Advising Centre at Halifax’s Dalhousie University holds an annual luncheon to celebrate “the achievements Black and African Nova Scotian students who are graduating.”


All of the universities listed in this article are signatories of the Scarborough Charter, a woke BLM-inspired document that supports the implementation of “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion” initiatives and ideology.