Head of Ryerson School of Journalism steps down amid calls to address racism


TORONTO — The head of a prestigious journalism program at a Toronto university has stepped down amid calls for sweeping changes at the school to address systemic racism and discrimination.

Janice Neil, the chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism, said in a tweet on Sunday that she is stepping down, but provided no reasons for her decision.

On Monday morning, Ryerson journalism students issued a public letter accusing the school of failing to represent and support Black, Indigenous, people of colour and LGBTQ students in the program.

The letter says the school has contributed to an unsafe learning environment rife with discrimination that has left students traumatized.

Neil did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but a  school spokeswoman said Ryerson “continues to acknowledge the work that needs to be done to address systemic racism.”

She says the school will continue to take concrete steps to address the students’ concerns.