Shaping a More Equitable and Accessible University

The U of A is committed to cultivating an institutional culture that values, supports, and promotes equity, human rights, respect and accountability among all members of our university communities. As part of this, we are planning how to make equity integral to our working and learning culture by shifting from EDI as 'in addition to,' to EDI as 'what we do.’ We invite your input to help achieve this.

Action Planning Sessions

We are pleased to announce the start of the EDI Action Planning Sessions, beginning in March 2024. In these working sessions, participants online and in person will collaborate on answers to these and other questions that will shape paths forward to making equity, diversity and inclusion an integrated part of what we do at the U of A. Students, faculty and staff will come together through a common interest, such as the learning environment or research and a shared commitment to imagining better futures. Participants should bring their passion points and a willingness to problem solve collectively through group discussions, breakout rooms and creative brainstorming exercises. To express your interest in participating in one or more of the topics below, please complete the Expression of Interest form. Participation is capped at 20 online and 20 in person.


Responsibilities and Coordinating Capacities – From Community to Leadership

March 19th, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

How do we coordinate efforts, responsibilities and opportunities across roles, units, offices, and orientations to create change together?

Generative Practices for Institutionalizing EDI

March 22nd, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

In an increasingly polarized context in which equity, diversity and inclusion priorities have become sites of tension, how do we build robust and generative structures and infrastructures to ensure we can continue to show up?

Creating Equity-Centered Research and Innovation Cultures

March 22nd, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

How might we create research environments and infrastructures that foster equitable designs for better research outcomes and greater innovation when it comes to understanding impact?

Equitable and Affirming Learning Environments

March 25th, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

How do we teach, learn, create and assess with equity, diversity, inclusion and access in mind?

Thriving at Work

March 25th, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

What would it take for you to do your absolute best job in a manner rooted in equity, compassion, kindness, and love?

Expression of Interest Form

Integrated Action Planning

The Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity was released in 2019 and initiated work across our campuses to advance EDI at the department, faculty and unit levels. Insights gathered over the past four years are now guiding the creation of an integrated action plan, shaping our future work toward a more equitable university.

To ensure that our efforts align with our broader goals, we have established a Steering Committee tasked with developing an integrated EDI action plan that will complement and support SHAPE: The University Strategic Plan and be guided by Braiding Past, Present and Future: University of Alberta Indigenous Strategic Plan. Supported by the EDI Leads Network, the Steering Committee welcomes thoughts and ideas from the university community to imagine a more equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible future.


As we navigate the challenges of the past few years and learn from our work–as captured in Stories from the Field– we look toward the future with critical hope. We aim to make equity an integral part of our working and learning culture, shifting from understanding EDI as something "in addition to" our core mission, but instead as "what we do." The key question we are addressing is: How do we shape equitable ecosystems that enable all U of A members to flourish collectively? This question forms the foundation of our integrated action plan for EDI.

Our action plan will draw from and unite equity, diversity, inclusion and access commitments across institutional and unit plans, ensuring that our strategic priorities are clear and dynamic. Benchmarks and measurable outcomes will be approached with integrity, focusing on meaningful progress rather than mere box-checking or virtue signaling.

Action Planning Principles

Our planning process is rooted in the following principles:

  • Centering Knowledge Holders: We prioritize discussions and objectives that center knowledge holders.
  • Robust Accessibility: We commit to ensuring accessibility throughout the planning process.
  • Shared Accountability: We identify specific responsibilities, communications, timelines, deliverables and entry points for actions across university roles.
  • Courageous Spaces: We create spaces for generative and imaginative conversations.
  • Multiple Options for Engagement: We offer multiple ways to engage, ensuring participation from all community members. Feedback shared will be held confidentially and securely.
  • Recognizing Generative Tensions: We acknowledge with curiosity tensions among elements of the work and decision points.

Collective Development

We look forward to hearing from our university community, including students, researchers, faculty, staff and others. Your thoughts can be shared via voice memo, photo, video or in written form.

Share your Thoughts

If you’re interested in providing feedback in a different way, please connect with the Action Planning Team by emailing

We encourage you to consider the following questions as you offer your thoughts:

  • What excites you about the future of EDI at the U of A?
  • What keeps you up at night regarding EDI?
  • What urgent equity-related issues have you identified, and how might they be addressed?
  • What supports do you need to integrate equity and access principles into your sphere of influence?
  • If you are already implementing EDI-related actions, what challenges have you faced, and have you found solutions?
  • What promising practices have you experienced or seen elsewhere that might guide our considerations?
  • What other questions, interventions, or disruptions do you want to bring to our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and access?
  • What additional considerations should the Steering Committee take into account as we approach the planning process?