“Blackface” incident: HEC Montréal has designed a customized program

November 11, 2011

Following the events in September of this year, when a small group of students dressed up and behaved inappropriately during a sports event, HEC Montréal announced a series of awareness-building measures around intercultural issues.

The School apologized to the members of the cultural communities concerned, including in interviews by the School’s administration. It was also decided to turn the incident into a learning opportunity. To do so, HEC Montréal joined forces with Ms. Vivian Barbot, a well-known figure in Quebec society.

Ms. Barbot holds a Master’s in Intercultural Education from the Université de Sherbrooke. She is acting President of the Bloc québécois, and has considerable experience as a teacher and as the head of various professional and community associations and organizations. As such, she brings tremendous knowledge and know-how to this initiative.

For Jacques Nantel, Secretary General of HEC Montréal, she has already made a major contribution. “Ms. Barbot has organized a training program for the students who took part in the activity. The program will not only draw on her knowledge, but will also invite those individuals who were offended by the students’ behaviour to contribute.” Three training sessions will be given in November, and the program will then be offered more widely. “We will be requiring that the student associations take this training,” continues the Secretary General, “and launching an internal awareness-building campaign for the entire HEC Montréal community in the next several months. As we said, HEC Montréal views these matters seriously and I am confident that the measures we are taking will bear fruit.”  

Note that in addition to the usual administrative services, HEC Montréal students who feel that they have been treated unfairly or have suffered discrimination have access to the services of an ombudsman, who may be contacted at ombudsman@hec.ca.


HEC Montréal

HEC Montréal, the management school affiliated with the Université de Montréal, is proud to have students from one hundred or so different countries in its programs, covering all three cycles, some of them offered in several languages. It is also very proud of its openness to the world, which has earned it an enviable reputation and standing among the world’s leading business schools.

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