May 2022

September 2021

The SEPH Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee is looking to recruit two student representatives, one from the MSc in Epidemiology program and another from the MPH program, to join the committee for 2021-2022 academic year. 

Members do not need past experience on a school committee or organization to join, and we encourage students from Black, Indigenous, and Person of Colour (BIPOC) communities to apply for the position. This opportunity is an excellent addition to your CV or resume, and will help ensure that SEPH becomes and remains an inclusive and diverse space in years to come.

The SEPH EDI Committee’s terms of reference from last year can be found on the SEPH website for further information on the responsibilities and structure of the committee. Participation in the committee would include attending monthly meetings as well as some associated planning (estimated time commitment: 5-10 hours per month). 

If you are interested in participating as an MSc or MPH student representative or if you have any questions regarding involvement, please email ([email protected]) who will redirect your email to your EDI student representative. In your email, please include the following:

  • Name, Program, Year of Study 
  • Why are you interested in joining the SEPH EDI Committee? 
  • What does EDI mean to you? 
  • Any other information or previous experiences you see relevant. 
  • Please do your best to keep your answers between 250-500 words in total.

August 2021

The School of Epidemiology and Public Health launched an inaugural equity, diversity and inclusion committee in July 2020.  The decision to launch this committee was based on the increasing recognition of the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion in research environments, including the University of Ottawa participation in the Tri-Council Dimensions pilot program. EDI is also central to the University of Ottawa Strategic Plan which includes a pillar dedicated to internationalization, social accountability, and global health.

We convened a committee with representation from students, cross-appointed faculty, core faculty and the SEPH director.  We met monthly to agree on the terms of reference for the SEPH EDIC, define goals and expectations for each terms of reference, develop recommendations for SEPH to advance EDI goals and propose a structure for a standing committee on EDI within SEPH.

We recommend that SEPH:

  1. Implement a standing committee on equity, diversity and inclusion
  2. Monitor progress to meeting goals and obligations outlined in the terms of reference annually with outcomes and indicators
  3. Develop a SEPH values statement to engage the broader SEPH community in promoting EDI as a component of its overall values, including promoting a safe and inclusive environment.
  4. Improve transparency and visibility of EDI actions by implementing an EDI section on the SEPH website
  5. Provide resources to support faculty for updates to course content on the basis of review of program learning outcomes, e.g. EDI resource library and collaboration with Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS)
  6. Designate leadership roles within the standing EDI committee to lead activities related to each term of reference
  7. Provide staff support for the standing committee including arrangements for meetings and for implementing changes to the website, online learning, etc.

June 5, 2020

A Statement from Melissa Brouwers, Director of the School of Epidemiology and Public Health

Racism and social injustice are public health crises. The failure to have a fair and just society leads to disproportional negative physical and mental health consequences and safety threats for many of its members – Black people, Indigenous people, members of other racialized groups; women; people from LGBTQQIP2SAA communities; people with disabilities; people of certain faiths; people living in poverty; and other marginalized groups.

The persistent violence against Black people in Canada and around the world at the hands of police has been shocking and deplorable. I would like to personally express my deepest sympathy to, and solidarity with, our Black faculty, staff, students and alumni. SEPH stands with the Faculty of Medicine (2020-06-02 Message from the Dean’s Office) and the University in unequivocally denouncing these heinous acts as well as recognizing their birthplace in pervasive systemic racism. 

I am proud of the SEPH students – and others - who have organized and who have put out a call for action – demanding greater accountability; demanding that the SEPH curriculum more fully integrates issues of race, social injustice, and social and health inequities; and demanding that SEPH ensures it does all it can to build a culture of inclusion.

Collectively, members of the SEPH community will continue to seek solutions to address these public health priorities through education, research and advocacy. The launch of the new MPH program in September is an opportunity to offer more robust learning opportunities related to health equity. In addition, and with the help of the Faculty of Medicine’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Office, a SEPH-specific EDI committee will be established comprised of students, staff and faculty. It will provide recommendations on how SEPH can more fully integrate equity, diversity, and inclusion into its educational and research mandates and how SEPH can ensure it is an accessible, inclusive and safe environment for everyone. I will make public its mandate and terms of reference. I look forward to working collaboratively with this committee, the university, and our community stakeholders on this critical agenda.


Melissa Brouwers, PhD

Professor and Director, School of Epidemiology and Public Health
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa
600 Peter Morand (101F)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada  K1G 5Z3
Tel : 613-562-5800, ext 8159
Email:  [email protected]