Equity & Diversity

The Federation has been committed to equity, diversity and inclusivity since its founding, with equity and diversity concretely ingrained in the Federation’s vision. Consecutive Boards have broadened the aims of the Equity and Diversity Portfolio from ‘women’s issues,’ to ‘women and equity issues’ to a more holistic and inclusive approach as ‘equity and diversity issues’. This ‘big tent’ thinking includes advancing equity issues for women, Aboriginal people, people of colour, people with disabilities and people of diverse sexual orientation who work and study in the humanities and social sciences in Canada.

As such, the Federation's Equity and Diversity Portfolio is committed to raising awareness about equity issues within the academy. Under the leadership of the Vice-President, Equity and Diversity the Federation creates spaces for dialogue around equity and diversity. The Vice-President chairs, and is supported by, an advisory committee comprised of representatives from member associations and/or universities, professors who are from a designated equity group and/or have expertise in the following areas: women's issues, Aboriginal issues, anti-racism, disability issues, and sexual diversity.

Equity Matters blog series

Since 2010, the Equity Matters blog series has received hundreds of contributions from scholars and practitioners engaging in fervent dialogue around the complexities faced by Aboriginal peoples, people of colour, people living with disabilities, and individuals who represent sexual and gender diversity. Created by past Vice-President, Equity Dr. Malinda Smith, the series has generated thousands of hits from around the world, serving as an important platform for teaching and scholarly debate on equity and diversity issues in Canada.    

Read the Equity Matters blog series here


Equity and diversity sessions at our annual conference

Each year during the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Federation's Equity and Diversity Portfolio arranges panel discussions and scholars exploring a wide range of equity issues. The full video of each of these exciting sessions from the last few years can be found below. Look for more equity and diversity programming this year at Congress!

2012 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Ranging from exploring the legacy of the Charter to re-thinking creativity and innovation from a disabilities studies perspective, the five Equity and Diversity panels explored challenging and thoughtful issues.

Dignity, Equality, Freedom: The Charter 30 Years On
This panel of distinguished lawyers, including Doug Elliot, Carissima Mathen, and Ryder Gilliland, chaired by Nathalie Des Rosiers, reflected upon the experiences of Canadian minorities since the creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. Discussion focused on the Charter’s impact on rights and freedoms, social inclusion and democratic participation. Co-sponsored by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Watch the video now!

Crossroads: The Status of Gender, Women and Sexuality in the Academy
In a conversation chaired by Narda Razack, panelists Janice Ristock, Margaret Ann Armour, and André P. Grace explored how academic culture can complicate the career opportunities available to women and sexual minorities in Canada. Co-sponsored by the University of Alberta, the University of Manitoba and York University,  and organized in partnership with the QSEC (Queer Studies in Education and Culture) -Canadian Association for the Study of Women and Education and the Canadian Society for the for the Study of Education (CSSE)Watch the video now!

Differently Abled: The Brave New World of Techno/Cyborg Sports and Culture
Technological innovations are radically transforming how we think about the body, abilities and performance. This panel, chaired by Tanya Titchkosky, discussed the link between access and inclusion, technological innovations, ability expectations and ethical and social change. Panelists included: Roxanne Mykitiuk, Eliza Chandler, Jennifer Roswell, and Gregor Wolbring. Co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost/VP Academic, University of Calgary and organized in partnership with the Canadian Disability Studies Association (CDSA) and the Canadian Philosophical Association (CPA). 

Rethinking Creativity and Innovation from a Disability Studies Perspective
How does Disability Studies reflect a need to rethink the “essentials of being human”? How does taking a Disability Studies approach offer innovative and creative ways to re-think ordinary knowledge production? Chaired by Jay Dolmage, this panel discussion featured Tanya Titchkosky, Michael Prince, and Rod Michalko who each reflected on their work and experiences. Co-sponsored by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto and the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies and organized in partnership with the Canadian Disability Studies Association and the Canadian Philosophical Association. Watch the video now!

Crossroads: Race and Gender in the Canadian Academy: Searching for Equity
Based on a 3-year SSHRC-funded research project that uses a multifaceted methodology including personal interviews, surveys and site visits to selected universities, this panel explored issues of race and racialization within the Canadian academy. Chaired by Malinda Smith, panelists included Ena Dua, Frances Henry, Carol Tator, and Carl James. Co-sponsored by Canadian Sociological Association Equity Subcommittee. Watch the video now!


At the 2010 Federation Annual General Assembly in Ottawa, then-Vice President, Equity Dr. Malinda Smith, chaired a plenary session on mentoring with four prominent scholars in the area. Much Ado About Mentoring included talks from Adelle Blackett (McGill), Larry Chartrand (Ottawa), James Deaville (Carleton), and Donna Pennee (Western).  Discussion focused on the successes and challenges of mentoring and how mentoring can promote equity and encourage people to embrace diversity. Click here to read more and download the full podcast.