Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Physics

The University of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 territory, a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Metis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others whose histories, languages, and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community. We are grateful to live, learn, work, and play on these lands.

As with all scholarly pursuits, personal and universal advances in Physics are both shaped and skewed by the people who practice it. In the Department of Physics, we recognize the importance of ensuring diverse perspectives and experiences in all aspects of the enterprise of Physics (from outreach and education, to administrative and technical support, to cutting-edge research). We deeply value the creativity, innovation, and new ideas that come through the inclusion of  all voices.  

We acknowledge that historical and continuing biases in society and in the field of Physics have limited and continue to limit participation in the enterprise of Physics for many people, including but not limited to women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2S+ communities. As we work towards an evermore inclusive, equitable, and diverse department, the Department of Physics is committed to reducing existing barriers and creating a culture that ensures equitable and inclusive participation by all.  To this end, we commit to welcoming change while cultivating an open and respectful environment that values all perspectives in dialogue and decision-making; we commit to providing support and services that make Physics accessible to all; we commit to establishing safe spaces, especially for equity-seeking members of our community; and we commit to providing a platform for department members to learn more about equity, diversity, and inclusion.

To act on our commitment, the Department of Physics houses both the Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and the University of Alberta Physicists for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (UAP-JEDI). 


Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The Department of Physics EDI Committee includes representatives from all areas of the department, including undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, researchers, and faculty members. Our mandate is to:

  • Develop departmental policies that promote equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Provide guidance to ensure EDI principles are a central consideration in department research and teaching activities
  • Initiate activities that enhance EDI within the department
  • Collaborate on EDI initiatives with other groups, including UAP-JEDI and Faculty of Science EDI Committee

Questions, concerns, and comments can be directed to the EDI Committee at: physedi@ualberta.ca.


University of Alberta Physicists for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (UAP-JEDI)

The University of Alberta Physicists for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (UAP-JEDI) is a collective of students, staff, researchers, and faculty members committed to the principle that this pursuit of knowledge and understanding should be open to all, efforts must be made to ensure our physics community is equitable, just, inclusive, and diverse.  To address historical and continuing biases, both implicit and explicit, we are engaging with people from equity-seeking groups to transform our department into a place that is embraced and strengthened by the participation of all.

Through the principles of shared leadership, the group is active in organizing events, discussions, and initiatives such as a departmental census and climate survey, and provides an opportunity for developing new activities to further their goals.  For more information and resources:

  • Events
  • Supports (including on- and off-campus support for personal, academic, and financial support)
  • Resources and links (including academic and popular reports and literature, and links to other communities)

In 2020, UAP-JEDI was accepted to the APS-IDEA program.  Team members are active participants in this initiative, with a mission of empowering and supporting physics departments, laboratories, and other organizations to identify and enact strategies for improving equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). It will do so by establishing a community of transformation.