Media advisory: York University administration implicated in anti-Black racism cover-up

York University administration implicated in anti-Black racism cover-up

Black professor facing termination for speaking out against racism to detail allegations at press conference

TORONTO (April 6, 2021) – A Black professor is facing termination by York University President Rhonda Lenton in response to public criticism he made about anti-Black racism at the institution. Prof. Aimé Avolonto, a tenured Associate Professor in French Studies at York’s Glendon College, will reveal at a press conference on Thursday detailed allegations against university administrators, including President Lenton. Prof. Avolonto’s allegations include acts of race-based harassment, discrimination, and retaliation over a five-year period.

Prof. Avolonto first raised concerns about anti-Black racism in 2016 and has spoken publicly about his experience: for example, during meetings of York’s Senate and in a recent broadcast of The Fifth Estate (click here for video), which exposed systemic anti-Black racism at three Canadian campuses. In a recent letter to Prof. Avolonto, President Lenton cited a Senate speech he gave in 2017 and his recent media engagements (see here and here) among her reasons to initiate termination proceedings against him.

During the press conference, Prof. Avolonto will release a 50-page document that provides an overview of his allegations, a chronology of racist incidents from 2016 to 2021, and a list of supporting evidence.

WHAT: Media conference regarding allegations of anti-Black racism at York University

WHEN: Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 10:00 AM EDT

WHERE: Register here to participate on Zoom:

WHO: Prof. Aimé Avolonto; Ron Franklin, legal counsel to Prof. Avolonto; and a number of representatives of student, labour, and anti-racist organizations