The Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa is committed to the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion (henceforth, EDI), and antiracism for all members of our community including administrative and support staff, students, part-time and full-time professors, and community partners. The Faculty recognizes that many EDI and antiracism policies across universities remain unfulfilled as a result of endorsing the principles of EDI and antiracism but fall short in documenting how to specifically take responsibility actioning EDI and antiracist principles. Thus, the purpose of this policy is to be transparent and accountable to the principles of EDI and antiracism and to guide to Faculty of Education’s strategic plan on EDI and antiracism. This policy delineates the principles and conditions that will ensure the inclusion of all members of the Faculty including members who experience historical and ongoing racism and discrimination in programs, policies, procedures, decision-making processes and the development of action, implementation plans, and programs within the Faculty. The Faculty will apply this policy transparently in compliance with relevant legislation (Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Human rights Code).
2. Conceptual Framework
This conceptual framework is adapted from McGill university’s strategic plan on EDI and the Carleton University’s definition of antiracism. We also recognize that there are other ways of conceptualizing these concepts.
Equity, unlike the notion of equality, is not about sameness of treatment. It denotes fairness and justice in process and in results. Equitable outcomes often require differential treatment and resource redistribution to achieve a level playing field among all individuals and communities. This requires recognizing power dynamic and addressing barriers that prevent opportunities for all to thrive in our Faculty environment.
Diversity describes the presence of difference within any collection of people. In discussions of social equity, diversity addresses differences in social group membership related, for example, to race, Indigenous identity, class, age, gender identity or expression, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, language, and religion, and any combination of these variables. Discussions about diversity linked to access and equity require knowledge and understanding of historical and contemporary experiences of oppression and exclusion. Diversity should be understood as uniting rather than dividing. The term calls upon us to appreciate both differences and interconnectedness, and to recognize and respond to systemic and institutionalized discrimination.
Inclusion refers to the notion of belonging, feeling welcome and valued, and having a sense of citizenship. It also speaks to engaging and succeeding in a given institution, program, or setting. Inclusion calls for recognizing, reducing, and removing barriers to participation created by social disadvantage or oppression, and can result in the reimagination of an institution, program, or setting.
Antiracism encompasses the perceptions, attitudes, policies, discourses, procedures, and practices of opposing and ending anti-Indigenous, anti-Black and other people of colour racisms as well as promoting racial equity, which requires incessantly recognizing power dynamic and addressing systemic and individual barriers that prevent opportunities for racialized members of our community to succeed in our Faculty environment.
In order to create a responsive EDI and antiracist policy, the Faculty of Education:
- Confirms that human diversity is a source of knowledge and strength; in addition to being treated with dignity and respect, all people have the right to equitable access and participation in campus life.
- Recognizes the importance of naming the factors that continue to cause exclusion, to create lasting and meaningful changes.
- Will continue to envision an inclusive culture that is capable of change and relevancy to diverse populations through program development and staff, student, and Faculty support services.
- Acknowledges that white supremacy is built within settler colonial institutions resulting in ongoing harm, exclusions, and marginalization for all identities that do not conform to the settler colonial normative body, abilities, cultures, or languages.
- Understands the deep responsibility it has in upholding the relationship with the Anishinaabeg-Algonquin peoples, as it thrives on their unceded territory.
- Commits to take responsibility for EDI regarding the following groups and peoples within the Faculty community: Indigenous peoples (including First Nations, Inuit, *Métis peoples), racialized peoples including Black communities; Francophone communities; 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities, and people with disabilities, as well as the intersectionalities of these identities.
4. EDI Policy
This section has been adapted from the University of Glasgow’s Equality and Diversity Policy.
The Faculty’s professors, staff and students will ensure that all members of its community are treated with fairness, dignity, and respect.
The Faculty will not discriminate negatively on grounds, including, but not limited to, race, Indigenous ancestry, ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual gender identity or expression, age, marital or family status, language, or visible and invisible disability in any decision concerning student admissions, progression, or support provision.
The Faculty will not discriminate negatively against any person on grounds of race, Indigenous ancestry, ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual gender identity or expression, age, marital or family status, language, or visible and invisible disability, in the provision of facilities or services, or in the exercise of public functions.
The Faculty will not discriminate negatively on grounds of race, Indigenous ancestry, ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual gender identity or expression, age, marital or family status, language, or visible and invisible disability in decisions concerning staff recruitment and selection, career development, promotion, staff development opportunities, pay and remuneration, or reward and recognition. Therefore,
- Under-represented groups are encouraged to apply to work, volunteer, and study at the Faculty.
- The Faculty will carry out consistent, transparent, and timely monitoring, where practicable, to ensure that all job applicants, applicants for tenure and/or promotion and applicants for study are being fairly and equitably treated.
The Faculty will consider the impact of its policies and practices to identify and mitigate any disadvantages to the aforementioned groups.
5. Antiracism Policy
This policy is adapted from Carleton University’s policy on antiracism.
Every member of the Faculty of Education community has the right to study, work and live in a safe environment free of racial discrimination and harassment.
The Faculty abhors racism or any manifestations of racial intolerance or discrimination and does not tolerate or condone racism or negative racial stereotyping between racialized and non-racialized groups or between racialized groups. The Faculty is committed to preventing such behaviours and practices and promoting an anti-racist culture by ensuring that racial diversity, equity, inclusion is considered in decision making; addressing policies and practices that, while not intentionally discriminatory, have a discriminatory effect; and educating and informing all members of the Faculty community on issues associated with race and ethnocultural relations, racism and racial harassment.
The Faculty prohibits discrimination and harassment, including conduct on the basis of race, creed, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin and citizenship that:
- Is abusive, demeaning or threatening, including behaviour such as name calling; derogatory remarks, gestures and physical attacks; or display of derogatory or belittling pictures and graffiti; or
- Biases administrative and appointment decisions, employment and workplace practices, tenure, promotion, appointment, leave, and salary determinations; or
- Biases academic decisions such as admission, grading, the application of regulations and requirements and scheduling of academic activities; or
- Misuses power, authority or influence; or
- Discriminates in the provision of goods and services or access to premises, accommodation and other facilities.