Home News Film production students demand action against structural racism in Concordia’s Film department

Film production students demand action against structural racism in Concordia’s Film department

by Chloё Lalonde February 24, 2021
Film production students demand action against structural racism in Concordia’s Film department

Faculty commits to changes incited by Film Production Students for Inclusivity and Action organization

In fall 2020, the Film Production Students for Inclusivity and Action (FPSIA) drafted a letter of demands, clearly outlining their recommendations to address structural racism within Concordia University’s Film department. After collecting over 100 student and alumni signatures, their initial demands were met and accomplishments outlined in a recent Instagram post.


FPSIA demands

  1. Transparency and accountability in the department’s recognition of the demands and concerns raised in the letter.
  2. Transparent hiring process for new faculty members from diverse backgrounds.
  3. Increased BIPOC perspectives and subjects within the department’s curriculum.
  4. Increased responsibility for teaching assistants within the department.
  5. Clarity in the admissions process and that the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema work together in collaboration with students towards inclusivity in the film industry.
  6. A redefined jury system for Filmmaking II & III (FMPR 332 & 432), with a redistribution of roles and resources, in favour of “real world experience.”
  7. Refreshed training for faculty, staff and students regarding the Code of Rights and Responsibilities, and that the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema makes a commitment to handling complaints filed underneath the Code.
  8. Future equipment purchases be made with accessible, affordable options, and that money acquired through donations can be distributed as grants or bursaries to students who need it most.

Faculty commitments made thus far 

  1. The Film Department has formed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee to address the FPSIA’s demands listed in the letter. The committee holds seven seats, with two reserved for students. Two seats are currently occupied, one by the co-chair of the department, along with Assistant Professor in Cinema, Marianna Milhorat. Three committee seats are also reserved for a full-time, part-time and technical staff member.
  2. The faculty, who has previously committed to annual artist-in-residence positions, is reserving this position for a person who self-identifies as BIPOC or who is otherwise deserving through rich community engagement experience.
  3. Workshops, training programs, and funding opportunities have been implemented.

In a conversation with Flora Nwakobi, member of Film Production Students for Inclusivity and Action (FPSIA), Video Editor at The Concordian and Film Production student Adam Mbowe framed the need for diversity and inclusion at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. Watch the interview below.

The FPSIA will be hosting a discussion on the topics of Film, Gender, and Education with Dr. Tracy Ying Zhang, Alexia Roc, and Whitney Norceide on Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. For more information or to attend the event, visit their Facebook page.

 

Feature graphic courtesy of Flora Nwakobi.

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