Equity and diversity
The humanities and social science have a vital role to play in promoting equity across society, both within academic institutions and in society at large.
The Federation’s vision statement clarifies our commitment to help to build an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. This includes an historic commitment to equity, diversity and inclusivity. 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, First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, people of colour, people with disabilities and people of diverse sexual orientation who work and study in the humanities and social sciences in Canada.
Under the leadership of the Director, Equity and Diversity the Federation creates spaces for dialogue on equity and diversity, including raising awareness about these issues within the academy.
In 2015 the Federation committed to play a more active role to advance reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, with a particular focus on the roles and obligation of the post-secondary sector.
See the Federation’s work on reconciliation here.
Equity Matters blog series
Since 2010, the Equity Matters blog series has received hundreds of contributions from scholars engaging in informed dialogue on the complex challenges faced by Indigenous peoples, people of colour, people living with disabilities, and individuals who represent sexual and gender diversity. The blog series serves as an important platform for teaching and scholarly debate on equity and diversity issues in Canada.
Read the Equity Matters blog series here.
Earlier events and work
The Congress of the Humanities and the Social Sciences provides a prime venue for scholars, students and the public to engage in critical issues of equity and diversity. A sampling of recent events includes:
- Anti-oppressive feminisms and solidarities
- Capital Connections: Disability Studies and Social Work Education
- Decolonizing Theories of Change
Ranging from exploring the legacy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to re-thinking creativity and innovation from a disabilities studies perspective, 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 how mentoring can promote equity and encourage people to embrace diversity.