Equity Matters

Back to school 2019 - What is the media saying?

Lily Polowin, Communications Coordinator, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Since I started working for the Federation on May 31 (the first day of Congress 2019), I’ve been doing all I can to get up to date on the conversations the media is having about post-secondary education in Canada. With the rhythms of a new semester starting up, here is a summary of what makes back to school 2019 unique. Happy reading!

Equity and representation in academia are top of mind for many this back-to-school season. The Canada Research Chairs program recently updated its equity measures with ...

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Positioning Blackness, Necessarily, Awkwardly, in the Canadian Academy

Guest blog by Handel Kashope Wright, Professor and Director of Centre for Culture, Identity and Education, The University of British Columbia

This blog is based on a paper presented on the panel #Black Professors Matter: Experiences in White Academe at the 2019 Canadian Sociological Association Conference. The paper is an abridged version of “The Awkward Presence of Blackness in the Canadian Academy,” a contribution to The Nuances of Blackness and the Canadian Academy, a forthcoming book co-edited by Awad Ibrahim, Tamari Kittosa, Malinda Smith and Handel Kashope Wright.

The Canadian academy at the present historical juncture, like much of the academy worldwide, has become the neo-liberal academy in a time of extended austerity. Academic work is now highly stressful...

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#BlackProfessorsMatter: Intellectual survival and public love

Guest blog by Wesley Crichlow, Associate Dean of Equity and Diversity, Ontario Tech University, and the Federation’s Board Director of Equity and Diversity

There is a distinct paucity of material, scholarly or otherwise, on the experiences of African Black Canadian scholars within the Canadian academy. This #BlackProfessorsMatter blog post — and others in the Equity Matters series — aims to help fill and contribute to a Black intellectual space to create an international conversation that includes Black professors across the country. It builds on the tradition of past Equity Matters blogs, through which, since 2010, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences has been fostering scholarly debate on diversity...

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The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) Are Creating a Gender Revolution

Guest blog by Ann Travers, Associate Professor of Sociology at Simon Fraser University

My research with and on behalf of trans and gender nonconforming kids brings my personal experience together with my scholarship in a particularly powerful way. I was a gender nonconforming kid and experienced very harsh gender policing. I now identify as trans non-binary and wish there had been more options when I was growing up. My own experience really influenced my efforts as a parent to keep people from imposing gender categories and norms on my own children. This often felt like a losing battle, as people and institutions are relentless when it comes to dividing children into girl and boy categories and attempting to restrict the...

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A Possible Canada for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples

Geraldine Cahill, Manager, Programs and Partnerships, SiG National


Manager of Programs and Partnerships at SiG Geraldine Cahill (second from left) and Executive Director of the 4Rs Youth Movement Jessica Bolduc (centre) at a project design meeting at Hub Ottawa.

I first heard the question “What does 2067 look like?” asked by the leadership team at MaRS’ Studio Y in Toronto in early 2015. It echoed a similar question posed in a Possible Canadas workshop convened by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and...

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Where Are Women Safe? Some Thoughts on International Women’s Day

Naila Keleta-MaeAssistant Professor, Theatre and Performance Program, University of Waterloo

*Below is an excerpt from a talk prepared as the Distinguished Guest Speaker at the University of Waterloo’s 2017 International Women’s Day Dinner.

November 9, 2016:
The morning after Donald J. Trump is elected President of the United States of America. A white male colleague enters my office with tears in his eyes. He asks, “How are you doing?” I reply, “It’s a...

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Research community speaks out on U.S. travel ban

Gauri Sreenivasan, Director of Policy and Programs, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

As news of U.S. President Donald Trump’s early executive orders spread across news channels at the end of January, many Canadians and citizens around the world were alarmed by the swiftness of the move to close borders and target Muslim majority countries. Civil liberties lawyers and groups analyzed and challenged the text; many worried at home; thousands participated in...

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Library and Archives Canada to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples through a new digitization initiative

Benjamin Ellis, Strategic Advisor, Public Services Branch, Library and Archives Canada

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is posting this guest blog in support of the Sharing the Land, Sharing a Future project and in anticipation of this initiative’s launch on November 3, 2016.

Established in 1991, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) travelled across Canada documenting the issues and challenges facing Indigenous Canadians and their communities. Over its six-year mandate, RCAP amassed thousands of hours of recorded testimony and hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, culminating in the publication of the 1996 RCAP final report complete with a series of recommendations for a renewed relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in...

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Continuing the reconciliation journey

Elaine Young, Program Officer, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

I was honoured to represent the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the 2nd annual Building Reconciliation forum held at the University of Alberta on September 28-29, an event focusing on universities’ responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. At the event’s opening, a beautiful walking stick symbolizing the reconciliation journey was passed to David Turpin, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Alberta, and was displayed throughout the conference.

The voices of survivors of the Indian Residential School system were prominent in this gathering, as they bravely shared their stories of neglect, abuse and survival. They also shared their hope of...

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On the Twentieth Anniversary of National Aboriginal Day

Yasmeen Abu-LabanProfessor of Political Science at the University of Alberta, and President of the Canadian Political Science Association

June 21, 2016 marks the twentieth anniversary of National Aboriginal Day.   Canada’s official proclamation of a National Aboriginal Day stemmed from recommendations by Indigenous groups as well as the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

For those concerned with equity in educational institutions and practices, National Aboriginal Day also offers educators (along with all Canadians) opportunities for sharing in Indigenous cultures and traditions, as well as teaching and learning.

 For example, when I served as a “non-Aboriginal” parent volunteer for the National Aboriginal Day celebration in my son’s K-12...

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