Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) held a webinar series during the Winter 2022 semester called “Generous Futures: Power and Politics in Charitable Giving”, featuring discussions about combating Islamophobia, anti-Asian racism, ageism, and working to advance disability rights, LGBTQ+ rights, black voices, etc. It did not, however, list combating antisemitism in its programming and magazine, as one of its planned talks, despite a recent Toronto Police report showing that Toronto saw a 63% rise in antisemitic incidents.
At the time, HRC and its subscribers brought this issue to the attention of the University’s administration, who immediately took action by apologizing, with the promise of creating a new program in the near future. The University sent the following email to HRC Executive Director, Mike Fegelman:
We saw your article (and tweets) today about an ad that appears in Ryerson University’s winter 2022 alumni magazine and wanted to provide some background.
As you noted, the advertisement pertained to the university’s Generous Futures webinar program. This special series began a year ago and looks at the intersection of charitable giving and inclusion. The magazine ad features the topics covered thus far, with the participant panelists pictured on the facing page (I have attached the full layout as it appears in the magazine here). The university had planned to include antisemitism as a topic in the fall of 2021 and had invited both moderator and panelists. Unfortunately, these plans fell through. We are currently in the process of developing an alternative opportunity to address this topic.
Ryerson University recognizes the importance of addressing antisemitism, particularly in the context of rising rates of antisemitic hate crimes. And we sincerely apologize for the implication of the ad, and the upset and disappointment it has caused. We remain committed to covering this important topic.
We are pleased to report that Toronto Metropolitan University has indeed followed through with its promise by creating a new Generous Futures program, entitled ‘Antisemitism Online’ that will take place online on May 31, 2022, at 1 PM.
Generous Futures: Antisemitism Online Program information below:
Digital platforms have enabled disturbing and harmful antisemitic rhetoric to flourish online, leading to a devastating uprise of antisemitism in Canada and globally. Why have social media platforms failed to act on 84% of antisemitic posts? How can we ensure our digital platforms are safe and free from antisemitic hate speech and conspiracy theories? How can digital platforms be used to confront and create awareness around antisemitism? Join us for a crucial conversation that will unpack these questions and shed light on how Jewish leaders are stepping up to confront antisemitism in our digital world.
This excellent program will be moderated by Elyse Kumer Wieskopf, Director of Hillel TMU, and will feature 4 panelists including The Honourable Irwin Cotler, Founder, and International Chair, Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, Noah Shack, Vice President GTA, The Centre for Israel & Jewish Affairs, Emily Thompson, Associate Director, Research Department, Simon Wiesenthal Center — Museum of Tolerance, and Daniel Panneton, Manager, Online Hate Research & Education Project, Sarah And Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
We thank Toronto Metropolitan University for delivering on its promise of creating this important program and look forward to attending this upcoming webinar.
If you would like to attend this online event, registration is free. Please visit this page to let them know you are planning to attend!