Universities Studying Slavery (USS) welcomes the University of New Brunswick (UNB) as the newest school to join!
Universities Studying Slavery (USS) has reached quite a milestone today. The consortium now represents sixty schools in five countries, all coming to terms with institutional involvement in slavery and racism as part of a commitment to truth-telling, education, and diversity in the twenty-first century. This growing movement has become a collective of sixty schools as the University of New Brunswick (UNB) has signed on. UNB represents the third Canadian school to join.
The University of New Brunswick (UNB) has a rich, long-standing history in Canada. Established in 1785 as the first English-language university in the country, UNB stands on the unsurrendered and unceded traditional Wolastoqey land.
With many of UNB’s buildings and learning spaces named after leaders of their time, conversations surrounding named places have been taking place within their university community.
UNB students, faculty, staff and members of the public have raised concerns regarding the name of Ludlow Hall on the university’s Fredericton campus. Ludlow Hall, which houses the Faculty of Law, was named after George Duncan Ludlow, a Loyalist who became the province’s first chief justice in 1784. Over the next 24 years until his death in 1808, Chief Justice Ludlow made court rulings in favor of slavery and was an early proponent of residential schools in New Brunswick.
In the University of New Brunswick’s commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and Piluwitahasuwawsuwakon, a Wolastoqey term meaning “allowing your thinking to change so that action will follow in a good way toward truth,” Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, president and vice-chancellor of UNB, established the Working Group on the Principles of Naming or Renaming University Places in December 2019.
To ensure the University of New Brunswick is inclusive of all who study, live and visit its campuses, the school has begun an examination of all named spaces on UNB’s two campuses. UNB seeks to disentangle its learned history, grow through truth, and heal through mutual knowledge and understanding, all as part of an engagement in meaningful truth and reconciliation.
We know that participating in this process in consultation with so many other schools worldwide will help the University of New Brunswick succeed in that process. Better yet, we also know that having UNB at the table will enrich institutional projects at dozens of other universities. Please welcome the University of New Brunswick to this growing movement!