Dear Members,

At its January 15th 2024 meeting, UWFA Council passed the following motion:

“BIRT UWFA joins the global call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza. In calling for a ceasefire, UWFA joins governments, organizations, and labour unions worldwide while reaffirming our commitment to protecting academic freedom, as passed in our motion at the UWFA Council meeting of 23 October 2023.”

As this motion makes clear, UWFA steadfastly supports the strong academic freedom rights of our members; indeed, we have, with respect to the situation in Gaza and Israel, defended them publicly and privately. We will continue to do so. That said, a majority of Council members felt that this motion reflects our members’ interests and allows UWFA to join a large and diverse chorus of voices, in Canada and around the world, calling for peace. This motion does not represent a comprehensive and complete answer to the challenges of war in Gaza, but any truly just, equitable, and sustainable solution for the region must begin with peace; thus, we join many other groups – and the United Nations, the Canadian and Manitoban governments – in calling for an immediate ceasefire.

Council, as the management committee of the Association (per article 6.2 of our Constitution), passed this motion in line with the Association’s goals, i.e., “to promote the welfare and interests of its Members” (per article 3.1 of our Constitution). We do not expect unanimous support for this motion, whether because of the content or because of the type of motion it represents. As in any democratic organization, we expect and welcome disagreement and debate. Nonetheless, it is Council’s responsibility, having been elected into these roles by the membership, to decide on the goals and actions of the Association. As always, I welcome comments and inquiries from members. Please do not hesitate to contact me.


Peter Miller
President, UWFA

Dr. Peter J. Miller (he/him)
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Classics, University of Winnipeg
Graham Hall 4G16 |1-204-789-4197