The Faculty of Education has been part of this growing shift in consciousness, building on the inclusion of equity and social justice as a key aspect of the Faculty’s strategic plan. Initiatives and actions in the past year include:
- Adoption by the Faculty of Education of the UN Decade for people of African descent.
- Creation of a program to support professor-conceived initiatives to promote equity and social justice in the Faculty. Two project proposals were funded:
- Les minorités visibles dans la profession enseignante : 25 ans après le programme d’accès à l’Université d’Ottawa, led by D. Mujawamariya
- Soutenir la mise en œuvre de pratiques inclusives dans le programme de formation à l’enseignement, led by M. Moldoveanu
- Approval of an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee to provide leadership, coordination and collaboration with students with respect to equity and social justice in the Faculty (in direct response calls for better representation by BIPOC students in teacher education).
- Shift in regular professor hiring culture to more diverse and inclusive policies.
- Creation of scholarships for Indigenous and New Canadian Students
- Growing number of externally funded research projects with an antiracism/equity focus
- RESKN/ Partnerships in Professional Learning with local boards and symposia with an antiracism/equity focus
In addition, many individual members of the Faculty have initiated or contributed opportunities to create learning and change, such as reading groups, discussion groups, and seminars, in addition to work within their teaching. These initiatives demonstrate the strong commitment to equity and racial justice in the Faculty and the strong desire to go beyond these initial steps.
There is a clear desire for change from multiple stakeholders and clear, broad support within the Faculty, prefigured by the Faculty’s strategic plan.
It’s time to seize the moment.