Equity Matters

The language of equity and diversity in the academy

Malinda S. Smith, Vice-President, Equity Issues

“The term diversity is ubiquitous in university mission statements, strategic plans, recruitment brochures, and university websites.” This observation led two scholars to analyse more closely how the language of diversity is used in various university texts and contexts. Their findings recently were published in an international journal on diversity. The article compares the language of diversity used by elite universities in the United States and the United Kingdom, and offers insights for Canadian universities and colleges.

What are universities or...

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Indigenizing the academy: Insurgent education and the roles of Indigenous intellectuals

Jeff Corntassel, University of Victoria
Guest Contributor

This blog post is part of the Federation Equity Issues Portfolio’s ‘Transforming the Academy: Indigenous Education’ series, which will be the focus of the Portfolio’s programming at Congress 2011.

When I’m not on my home Cherokee territory, I always start my talks by acknowledging that I’m a visitor on a particular Indigenous nation’s (or nations’) homeland.  Folks have asked me over the years why I do this and my answer is always simple: It is to honor the ongoing relationships that Indigenous peoples have with their homelands –...

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Leading on equity and diversity matters: Yes we can, and yes we will!

Malinda S. Smith, Vice-President, Equity Issues

Canada’s rapidly changing demographic reality is shaped by globalization, migration and diversity. Our population growth is driven by racialised (visible) minorities and Aboriginal people. Currently constituting 4.1 percent of the overall population, census data show Aboriginal people, particularly Inuit and First Nations, are growing at twice the rate of the general population. When Canada marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation...

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A call for dialogue: Race, representation and media

Patrick Case, Director, Human Rights and Equity Office, University of Guelph
Guest Contributor

A recent magazine article on Asian students has stirred a heated debate about balancing freedom of expression with protecting Canadians from discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin. The article sparked a debate about possible limits to speech in a country which prides itself on its ability to integrate peoples and beliefs from every corner of the world. That this debate is taking place should be no surprise; balancing freedom of expression with media representations of race, ethnicity and religion is at the forefront of everyday...

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Teaching Equity Matters – Race, space and the law, Part II

Angela P. Harris, Berkeley Law School
Guest Contributor

In Part I of this reflection on teaching race matters I examined a successful story of co-teaching race and the law in Brazil with Denise da Silva. In Part II I draw on an unsuccessful story teaching race and the law in order to think through how we talk about teaching about race. I discuss three types of issues that tend to emerge – intellectual, interpersonal, and institutional issues. While the specific example I draw on...

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Teaching Equity Matters – Race, space and the law, Part I

Angela P. Harris, Berkeley Law School
Guest Contributor

These reflections are based on a workshop I conducted on “teaching race and the law” at the University of Alberta this past October.  I hope these reflections will be useful to those teachers who are thinking through course goals, learning objectives, and expectations in different geographical and cultural spaces. Teaching happens in a lot of places and a lot of ways. I have been a classroom law teacher for...

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Multiculturalism, Multicultiphobia and Pluralism

Phil Ryan, Carleton University
Guest Contributor

Politics is in part a battle over the meaning of words. Imagine, for example, a parallel universe where United States fundamentalist Pat Robertson’s definition of feminism had become dominant: “Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” If you don’t remember that vivid definition, it’s because feminists have at least been successful enough to prevent the most outrageous characterizations of their dreams from becoming “accepted wisdom.”

Consider, on...

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Making it Work: Disabled women shaping spaces in education and employment

Nancy E. Hansen, University of Manitoba
Guest Contributor

As a human geographer studying disability I am always aware of surroundings, how spaces and places are organized – and as a disabled female academic, even more so. As disabled people we are often perceived as aliens on the scene. That is, we are not expected to be “here” (wherever that is).

Until very recently, disabled people have be trapped in a parallel universe built on lack of expectation of ability and limitation of opportunity. Hence, our arrival within the academy is often unexpected. Social policy and...

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The right to be safe: Bullying is a human rights issue

Wendy Craig (Queen’s University), Joanne Cummings (York University), and Debra Pepler (York University)
Guest Contributors

Recent highly profiled cases in the media of bullying leading to suicide have highlighted a significant public health problem, one with tragic consequences. Our research shows that at its core, bullying is a relationship problem where the rights of children are violated.

Bullying is a problem that arises from complex interpersonal dynamics.  Within the relationship...

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