PCAAN was formed in the midst of two disparate trends. First, Palestinian Canadians are increasingly represented within the Canadian academic and artistic landscape. Palestinian-Canadian academics and artists have made significant contributions to Canadian society in various fields of knowledge, including in the social sciences, humanities, law, science, medicine, art, theatre, music, and other areas. At the same time, we are witnessing rising anti-Palestinian racism in Canadian academic and artistic circles. As a result, the skills, knowledge and contributions of Palestinian-Canadians have been frequently rendered inaudible or invisible, especially when they stand for Palestinian individual and collective rights.
The silencing of Palestinian-Canadian voices in turn denies Canadians critical knowledge about the rich culture and history of Palestinians, and about the ongoing trauma and saga of Palestinian dispossession and displacement. This knowledge is needed to help ensure informed public debates and policy development that supports the equal dignity and worth of all people.
The scholars and artists in this network believe it is a responsibility to share their knowledge, ideas, and scholarly research with a broad Canadian audience, in order to counter falsehoods perpetrated by a matrix of discrimination that seeps through every level of Canadian society, politics, and culture. Moreover, as Palestinian-Canadians committed to the common good, we believe it is our obligation to raise awareness of the realities of Palestine and the Palestinian people whose national struggle for justice and decolonization remains unfulfilled.
- Serve as a source of expertise on Palestine and Palestinians for academic, artistic, media, and political institutions across Canada.
- Create a space to support, celebrate, share, collaborate, mentor and network among Palestinian-Canadian scholars and artists.
- Workshop research and creative works in progress.
- Communicate to Canadians the stories of Palestine, Palestinian-Canadians, and the Palestinian struggle for freedom and liberation.
- Identify cases of anti-Palestinian racism with a special focus on academic and artistic institutions.
- Work with national and international allies to develop strategies to name and combat anti-Palestinian racism.