Equity Matters

Social impact of diversity: Potentials and challenges in Canada

Jeffrey G. Reitz, University of Toronto
Guest Contributor

Multiculturalism has been a cornerstone of Canadian policy for almost 40 years, but internationally, particularly since 9/11 and in light of inter-ethnic conflicts in Europe resulting from immigration, there has been something of a ‘retreat’ from multiculturalism. Should Canada keep multiculturalism despite problems elsewhere?  Or should our multiculturalism policies be changed, or perhaps even abandoned?

Debate over multiculturalism is partly a question of political principle, as discussed by, for example,...

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Niqab: Gender equity or social exclusion?

Christine Overall, Queen’s University
Guest Contributor

Naïma Atef Amed has twice been forced out of government-funded French language classes for new immigrants in Montreal. The reason is that she wears a niqab, a face veil chosen by some Muslim women. As a philosopher, I’m interested in whether the reasons used to defend this action are justified.

Officials first said that wearing the niqab interferes with education. “Pedagogical principles” and...

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The 5 Ls of Mentoring

Minister Faust

Guest Contributor

For this post, we're offering it in audio form - simply click on the link below and listen! Or, if you'd prefer to read, a shortened transcript follows.

Click here to listen to the full podcast.

I’ve worked with children and youth for more than 20 years. In that time I’ve been a child care worker, a youth activist, a junior high and high school teacher, a youth leadership coach, and a director of youth community theatre. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in that time, but I’m also happy to have learned a few...

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Mentoring and equity: Women and geography

Bonnie Kaserman, University of British Columbia
Guest Contributor

Once a month I head out from my apartment in the evening, directions to someone’s home usually scrawled on a piece of scrap paper. Each month, a group of women geographers, composed of graduate students, researchers, postdoctoral fellows and faculty, gather in someone’s living room. I am one of these women. We meet in order to discuss our gendered experiences in the discipline, to learn from one another, and to enhance our understanding of academic culture so that we might make positive changes in the academy.  We also laugh.  A lot.

Almost a decade ago, women from the...

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Much ado about mentoring

Malinda Smith, VP Equity

Let’s be audacious and say it: Some of the most innovative – socially innovative – developments in human history have occurred in the social sciences and humanities. I think mentoring is one of them: Mentoring is a social innovation, whose improbable beginnings can be traced to, of all things, a poem. The modern idea of mentoring often is traced back to the figure Mentor who appeared in Homer’s epic poem, Odyssey, over 3,000 years ago.

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International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2010: Racism, anti-racism and the academy

Frances Henry, York University
Guest Contributor

Anti-racist scholars across the country are raising critical issues about the dynamics of racial inequity in the Canadian academy. An increasing literature written largely by racialized and Indigenous scholars questions the persistence of hegemonic whiteness of the university by asking questions such as: Who is represented in the academy? Whose voice is heard and who is ignored?  Whose knowledge counts and whose knowledge is discounted?

More and more...

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Mentoring, gendered work and an academic career

Sarah Wolfe, University of Waterloo and Ailsa Craig, Memorial University
Guest Contributors

Every day begins with an email: ‘Here’s my pact. What are you doing today?’  The messages fly back and forth, halfway across the country. Hardly the conventional model for academic mentorship, but it works for us.

We started chatting through an online community for students finishing dissertations. We are not in the same field – though our research has overlapping concerns – nor are we at the same institution. We have no shared...

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Equitable leadership: A contradiction in terms?

James Ryan, OISE/University of Toronto 
Guest Contributor

Only recently has leadership been associated with equity and social justice.  Even so, some observers continue to be skeptical about the potential of leadership practice to advance the cause of equity and democracy in schools, colleges and universities and the communities that they serve. A few scholars, such as Kathryn Riley and...

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Differential equity: Rocks and other hard places

Donna Palmateer Pennee, University of Western Ontario
Guest Contributor

As a dean and as a researcher and teacher, I have a personal commitment to equity that is focused on not losing ground for those whose rights have improved significantly, while also working to change the demographic of faculty and students.  That means working for equity for those federally designated groups in addition to women whose rights to access have been shortchanged in the academy, and most recently...

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Equity and women of colour: Things are slow to change in the academy

Audrey Kobayashi, Queen's University
Guest Contributor

Women of colour remain severely underrepresented in Canadian academia. Notwithstanding employment equity policies that have been in place for at least two decades in most universities, they are still hired at levels way below their availability in the PhD pool in most disciplines. And those who make it into the hallowed halls consistently report that they experience consistent, debilitating,...

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