Equity Matters

Women in science: challenges and opportunities

Mélanie Béchard, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Curious. Bold. Resilient. Lucky.

These were all adjectives used by the panelists at a recent roundtable discussion at McGill University entitled Women in Science: Challenges and Opportunities.

The esteemed panelists – whose titles, accomplishments and accolades are too numerous to mention here – included Brenda Milner, Victoria Kaspi and Rima Rozen from McGill, and Jane Stewart from Concordia.

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ president-elect Antonia Maioni chaired the discussion, which was hosted by the Royal Society of Canada and the Royal Society of the UK.

Interestingly, most members of the panel felt they had never personally experienced gender-related bias during their careers as leading scientists.

...

Read more »

A Personal Account of Integrating the Federation Blog while Teaching Diverse University Students

Dolana Mogadime, Brock University, Member of the Federation’s Equity and Diversity Steering Committee

One cannot help but notice when walking through the corridor of a university setting that the student body attending Canadian institutions is becoming increasing diverse. As such, university professors have an ethical responsibility to respond in relation to both curriculum resources and teaching approaches in ways that engage learners where they are. The concept of intersectionality (Shields, 2008) provides theoretical insights into how social categories (e.g. race, class, gender, sexuality) operate in everyday life experiences along the axes of both oppression and domination. For the past ten years I’ve been teaching graduate level courses in both Curriculum Studies and the Social and Cultural...

Read more »

Disability in the Canadian Academy

James Deaville, Carleton University, Member of the Federation’s Equity and Diversity Steering Committee

According to the revised version of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act from 2005 (originally drafted in 2001),

“disability” means,

(a) any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial...

Read more »

What we talk about when we talk about reconciliation

Ashok Mathur, Thompson Rivers University, Member of the Federation’s Equity and Diversity Steering Committee

As the momentum grows around the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools, with upcoming national events in 2013 in both Montreal and Vancouver, there is a concurrent, critical, and necessarily contemplative tone rising from various quarters. There was a time, not that long ago in the leadup to the striking of the current TRC, when Aboriginal advocates and their allies were clear in their demand for reconciliation now. But now that we have had the opportunity to see what the act of reconciliation looks like (and perhaps more importantly, what it does not resemble) there is a chorus of voices questioning, first, is that all there is? and second, is this the...

Read more »

Equity Matters: Ideas can… build a more equitable Canada

Dr. Lynn Wells VP Equity and Diversity, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Vice-President Academic, First Nations University of Canada

It’s been some months since I’ve been elected to the position of Vice-President, Equity and Diversity, for the CFHSS, and I’ve been taking that time to learn about the excellent work of the Federation and of Malinda Smith, who held this position before me.  I’ve learned a great deal from her blogs and reports, and hope that I can follow, however stumblingly, in her footsteps.

My interests in equity and diversity issues relate to various elements of my background.  As a...

Read more »

Crossroads: Race and Gender in the Canadian Academy – Searching for Equity

Caitlin Stone Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

During the afternoon of May 31, Frances HenryCarol TatorCarl James, and Ena Dua gathered to present their research and findings on the marginalization of racialized faculty in Canadian universities. Research was conducted using personal interviews, surveys, and site visits and the results were not surprising. As Tator explained, universities have been very slow to make positive changes to make their universities a more equitable environment for racialized faculty members. What often occurs is that administrations will pay lip service to equity issues for faculty but no real changes will take place.

The majority of faculty surveyed who identified as a visible minority were...

Read more »

Crossroads: The Status of Gender, Women and Sexuality in the Academy

Caitlin Stone Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Many scholars in the social sciences and humanities have spent years critically examining the social constructions of gender and sexuality in society and how women are expected to behave in social settings. While academic settings seem to be environments that welcome difference, many professors who identify as gender-queer are met with social resistance in their own workplace. In addition, female professors are expected to perform according to traditional gender roles. As one panel audience member recalled: “my teaching evaluations have been the highest they’ve ever been when I am kind, caring, and soft spoken towards my students.”

Together, Janice RistockMargaret Ann Armour, and André P. Grace ...

Read more »

Dignity, Equality, Freedom: The Charter 30 Years On

Caitlin Stone Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

On May 28, I attended the first equity panel in the series sponsored by the Equity and Diversity Portfolio at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Later, as I re-read the pages of notes I took during the panel, I realized how many questions I had which had been left unanswered. To say that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a complex piece of legislation is a gross understatement. Thankfully, I’ve completed some of my undergraduate course work on the Charter and I was familiar with the relevant case law that was referenced by the panelists – don’t worry, I have no intention of delving into that sort of detail here. Instead I’ll discuss my particular interest in Carissima Mathen’s analysis of equality and...

Read more »

Privilege vs. Complicity: People of Colour and Settler Colonialism

Beenash Jafri, York University
Guest Contributor

This entry is part of the Equity Issues Portfolio’s series on Indigenizing the academy and Indigenous education.

March 21st marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It is a day to commemorate lives lost during the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, and to reflect on our contemporary efforts to challenge racism and colonialism. In the spirit of this day, I would like to contribute to the ongoing Equity...

Read more »

Pages