EDI Week 2015

Valuing Diversity - Advancing Equity - Achieving Inclusion

EDI Week will take place between March 23 and 27, 2015, to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21st.

Equity at its heart is about removing barriers, biases, and obstacles that impede equal access and opportunity to succeed as students, faculty, and staff in the academy. Diversity is fundamentally about valuing human and institutional differences and recognizing diverse talents to advance institutional excellence with equity. Inclusion is the active engagement of diversity and equity.

The principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion support the University of Alberta's commitment to create working and learning communities that inspire and enable all people to reach their full potential. EDI Week will provide opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to come together to raise awareness, foster passion and commitment, and enhance knowledge and skills to advance diversity and inclusion with equity.

EDI Week 2015 will be centred on three unique streams: Institutional Mandate, Working and Learning Environments, and Critical Conversations.

Do not hesitate to contact catherine.anley@ualberta.ca with any questions you might have about this initiative or any other employment equity-related programming.

Monday, March 23

Keynote Presentation: "Leadership Matters: Diversity with Equity in the Academy and the City"
Presentation: 12:05 to 12:45, Discussion & light lunch: 12:45 to 1:15, ECHA 2-490

Speakers: Councillor Amarjeet Sohi, City of Edmonton and Dr. Malinda Smith, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Alberta

Welcome and Opening Remarks: Dr. Olive Yonge, Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
Equi-tea Multicultural Catering (selection of vegetarian & gluten free items)
ASL Interpretation will be provided

The Speakers
Councillor Amarjeet Sohi was first elected to Edmonton's City Council in 2007 and re-elected in 2010 and 2013. He has a passion for multicultural inclusiveness and works to promote learning and cooperation among cultural communities by representing City Council on Racism Free Edmonton, a city-wide committee that has developed an action plan to reduce racism and discrimination in Edmonton.

Malinda S. Smith is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta and a recognized scholar of equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education. Her teaching, research and engaged scholarship traverse three main areas: poverty and inequality; conflict and political violence; and diversity in higher education. Dr. Smith is passionate about equity and social justice. She has held many diversity leadership positions, including VP (Equity & Diversity) of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Science, where she founded the Equity Matters blog and worked with scholarly associations; Board Chair of the Centre for Race and Culture; Chair of the AASUA Standing Committee on Equity; and as a member of the CAUT Equity & Diversity Council. Currently she serves on the UofA's Employment Equity Advisory Committee. Dr. Smith has won numerous awards, including: CRAC's Anti-Racism Award (2010), AWA's 'Academic Woman of the Year' Award (2011) and the OSDHR's Human Rights Education Recognition Award (2013). Currently she is completing a SSHRC-funded book project on Indigenous people and visible minorities in the Canadian academy.

Tuesday, March 24

What should we be mindful of when having challenging conversations?
9:00 to 10:00, Heritage Lounge (Room 227), Athabasca Hall
Wade King, Safe Disclosure and Human Rights Advisor

This session will be an exploration of what themes should be raised and which preventions and guidelines should be implemented to create safe, supportive, and respectful environments for conversations on race and racism to take place. In the upcoming academic year, the Office of Safe Disclosure and Human Rights is looking to engage with communities across our campuses in dialogue on equity, diversity, and inclusion with a focus on race and racism. As the Human Rights Advisor, Wade King is expecting that participating in these conversations could be challenging. He wants to ensure that he is mindful of what faculty, staff, and students might need to create safety and trust in community conversations.

Introduction to Human Rights and Employment Equity Considerations in Recruitment
1:00 to 3:30, ECHA 1-490
Catherine Anley, Employment Equity Advisor, HRS

The principles of human rights and equity in employment are foundational to the University's value of diversity and inclusion and are highlighted in both Dare to Discover and Dare to Deliver. Participants in this session will be introduced to human rights and employment equity provincial and federal legislation and UofA policy to assist them in meeting the University's legal and ethical responsibility to ensure all applicants are treated fairly. Practical examples and scenarios will be used to facilitate discussion.

Wednesday, March 25

Applying an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Lens to Academic Disciplines
SESSION CANCELLED - please note that this session has been cancelled, apologies for any inconvenience or disappointment this might cause!
9:00 to 11:00, ECHA 2-190

Panel Chair: Dr. Brendan Hokowhitu, Dean and Professor, Faculty of Native Studies
Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour, Professor and Associate Dean (Diversity), Faculty of Science
Dr. Lili Liu, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
Dr. D'Arcy Vermette, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law

The panellists in this session will reflect on the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) they experience within their respective academic disciplines. A variety of perspectives will be shared including the recruitment of diverse students and faculty into Academic Departments, the ongoing challenge of gender parity in STEM disciplines, the experience of teaching EDI concepts in the classroom, and a critical review of existing curriculum and future directions.


The Stain of Poverty - the 'Othered' Diversity Story: Making class visible in the classroom and on the university landscape
12:05 to 12:50, discussion can continue until 1:30,
Heritage Lounge (Room 227), Athabasca Hall
Elaine Laberge, Undergraduate Student, Department of Sociology

The goal of this session is to engage in conversation to foster greater understanding of the need to view social characteristics through multiple lenses, including social class. This session will bring social class to the diversity challenge through the findings of a pilot qualitative research project that explores the experiences and barriers students from poverty face in moving from a low socioeconomic space into higher educational institutes where they do not 'fit.' Participants' narratives of the stigma of poverty, trauma of marginalization, and being 'othered,' both inside the classroom and on the university landscape, will be shared to make visible the barriers these students face in attaining higher education. These lived experiences will highlight the intersection of race, gender, and social class.

Thursday, March 26

The SU, GSA, NASA, and AASUA coming together to advance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)
9:00 to 11:00, ECHA 2-490
Moderator: Natalie Sharpe, Director, Ombudservice

Simarjit S. Bal (Monty), GSA, VP Labour
Nicholas Diaz, SU, VP Student Life
Rodrigo Loyola Salas, NASA, President
Dr. Philomina Okeke-Iherjirika, AASUA, Equity Committee Member

The SU, GSA, NASA, and the AASUA are coming together as colleagues and allies to explore their Associations' priorities, struggles, and individual advancements in EDI. They are also coming together to engage in discussion with participants to gain insight into EDI values and interests from the broader University community

"The survey says...." Engaging in conversation about the results and recommendations from the University of Alberta's Safe Spaces and Aboriginal Student surveys
2:00 to 3:30, ECHA 2-490
Moderator: Theresa (Teddi) Doupe, Associate Director, SSDS, Student Success Centre

Prof. Nathalie Kermoal, Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Faculty of Native Studies
Prof. Kristopher Wells, Director of Programs and Services, iSMSS and Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education

Professors Wells and Kermoal will provide an overview of the Safe Spaces and the Aboriginal Student survey mandates, methodology, response rates, and results. Discussion will focus on the insights gained from their respective surveys, recommendations for next steps, and they will engage session participants in identifying strategies to create a more welcoming, inclusive, and respectful climate on our university campuses.

Honor Diaries: In Search of a Transnational Feminism
4:00 to 6:00, Tory B-87

Dr. Phil Okeke-Ihejirika, Professor, Dept. of Women's and Gender Studies
Dr. Felice Lifshitz, Professor, Dept. of Women's and Gender Studies and Religious Studies Program
Kara Abdolmaleki, PhD Candidate, Dept of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Evelyn Hamdon, PhD Candidate, Dept. of Educational Policy Studies

Honor Diaries is a film which focuses on 'honor violence' against women and girls. It aims to create "a movement to save women and girls from human rights abuses". But what is the framework underpinning this film - is it a critique of patriarchy or does it reinforce stereotypes about women in "Muslim-majority" societies? View clips of this film, hear the views of our expert panelists and join the discussion

Honor Diaries - Official Trailer

Sponsored by the Dept. of Women's and Gender Studies and the Global Education Program

Friday, March 27

Exploring the Relationship between Multiculturalism and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
9:00 to 10:30, Room ECHA L1-140

Stephanie Carvalho, Employment Equity Data Assistant
Wade King, Safe Disclosure and Human Rights Advisor

In 1985 Canada officially adopted multiculturalism as its policy. This session will be an interactive workshop that will explore what Multiculturalism is and what it looks like in our everyday lives. The Facilitators will use an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion lens to consider what it means to work and learn in a multicultural university community and broader society.

Shifting Cultures and Structures to Achieve EDI in the Academy
1:00 to 3:00, ECHA 2-490
Moderator: Wayne Patterson, Executive Director, Human Resource Services

Theresa (Teddi) Doupe, Associate Director, SSDS, Student Success Centre
Dr. Lise Gotell, Vice-Dean, Faculty of Arts and Professor, Women's & Gender Studies
Dr. Mojtaba Mahdavi, Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities Chair in Islamic Studies and Associate Professor, Dept of Political Science
Dr. Lynette Shultz, Associate Dean (International), Faculty of Education and Director, Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Research

The equity, diversity, and inclusion leaders on this panel will reflect on a number of past and present Institutional successes and challenges in creating welcoming, respectful, and inclusive working and learning environments for all. Knowing our past is an important step in planning for the future. The panellists will offer their individual perspectives and vision and look forward to discussing with participants the shifts in culture and structures they identify as essential to achieve EDI in the academy.