How Students of Colour Can Feel Safe

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As a shy, booksmart teenager, I wanted to find a university where I could grow into my own person. For me, that was Western University in London, Ont., two hours away from my home in Toronto. But while my peers were excitedly preparing to go off to university, I was stressing over whether I’d fit in as a Black multiracial student at a predominantly white campus. Would I need to change who I was? Would I be treated differently? Would I make friends or be an outcast?

These were questions I was ashamed to ask for fear of sounding like a buzzkill. University was supposed to be a fun, carefree time—an 18-year-old wasn’t supposed to be worried about racial discrimination. Yet as move-in day inched closer, I heard more and more stories about the racism that people of colour experienced while at Western. The consensus was that being a person of colour at university…

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