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This essay is a case study of the Department of Equity Studies at York University (Canada) based on an autoethnographic account by its founding chair. This first-person account is substantiated with related primary documentary and secondary literature. The study illustrates how recent restructuring of postsecondary programs in a neoliberal capitalist context threatens the fragile gains of earlier decades in establishing social justice–oriented courses and programs in critical ethnicity, indigenous, diaspora, and antiracism studies. It suggests that the development of administrative units such as the Department of Equity Studies can resist fragmentation of earlier progress and can build them to a new level where a stand-alone unit is able to more effectively profile an alternative vision of equity and human rights.

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