Equity Matters

Difference Matters: Diversity, Complexity and Innovation

Scott E. Page, University of Michigan
Guest contributor

This entry is part of the CFHSS’s VP Equity Issues series on diversity, creativity and innovation / diversité, innovation et créativité.

Most people believe that innovation requires smarter people, better ideas. That premise, though intuitive, omits what may be the most powerful but least understood force for innovation: Diversity.

Diversity usually calls to mind differences in race, gender, ethnicity, physical capabilities, and sexual orientation – social or political differences that at first glance have little to do with innovation. Yet the key to innovation, in...

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Social power, inequality and the 'tone of voice' argument

Gloria Filax, Athabasca University
Guest Contributor

One of my first realizations that in some situations what I had to say was less important than how I was perceived to have said it occurred in grade two. I had asked my teacher to let us practice our numbers at our desk instead of at the board because, I offered, we could practice without being watched by our friends.  She gave me a withering look and said, “I don’t like your tone of voice, young lady.”

I knew not to say, “But what does my tone of voice have to do with wanting to practice at my desk instead in front of my friends?”

As a young adult when I...

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Combating racism, embracing discomfort: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Darren Lund, University of Calgary
Guest Contributor

“Overcoming racism compels us to address public policies and private attitudes that perpetuate it. On this International Day, I call on Member States, international and non-governmental organizations, the media, civil society and all individuals to engage meaningfully in the promotion of the International Year for People of African descent – and to work together against racism whenever it occurs.” – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, 21 March 2011.

Doing anti-...

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Indigenous knowledge, symbolic literacy and the 1764 Treaty at Niagara

Lynn Gehl, York University
Guest Contributor

This blog post is part of the Federation Equity Issues Portfolio’s ‘Transforming the Academy: Indigenous Education’ series, which will be the focus of the Portfolio’s programming at Congress 2011.

Kwey Kwey; Mnakinag ndoodem.  Pikwàkanagàn n´doonjiba.  Peterborough megwa ndidaa.  Giizhigaate-Mnidoo-kwe ndizhinikaaz. Nda zhaaganaashii noozwin Lynn Gehl.

It was in the year 1764 when the Treaty at Niagara took place.  This event served to ratify the...

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Making schools better for LGBT: Homophobia and transphobia lessons

Rebecca Haskell, BC Society of Transition Houses and Brian Burtch, Simon Fraser University
Guest Contributors

In recent weeks there has been increasing media attention given to the suicides of young lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth in Canada and the United States. What has been framed as a recent rash of suicides is not really recent at all – a decade ago researchers at the McCreary Centre Society in British Columbia found that nearly half of the LGB youth they sampled had attempted to take their own lives and the average age at the time of attempt was only thirteen. As Kris Wells articulately stated in...

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Beyond Homophobia: We Need to Make it Better

Kris Wells, University of Alberta
Guest Contributor

Within the past several weeks, seven young men in the United States and two young women in Canada have tragically committed suicide due to homophobic bullying, harassment, and societal prejudice. Research indicates that suicide is the number one cause of death amongst gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth in North America. However, it is not the number one cause of death for heterosexual youth. What explains this difference?

Important risk factors for adolescent suicide include experiences of substance abuse, feelings of hopelessness, sexual abuse, a history of family dysfunction, and the recent...

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Queering In/Equality: LGBT and Two-Spirited Youth ‘It Gets Better’

Malinda S. Smith, Vice-President, Equity

"The increase in lesbian, gay and bisexual characters on primetime television not only reflects the shift in … culture toward greater awareness and understanding of our community but also a new industry standard that a growing number of creators and networks are adopting.”

This is, at least, the hope of Jarrett Barrios, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Yet there is a disjuncture between visual and virtual equality and the everyday lived experiences of many LGBT and...

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Excellence and Equity: Here we go again

Cressida Heyes, University of Alberta
Guest Contributor

On May 17, Industry Minister Tony Clement announced the appointment of 19 Canada Excellence Research Chairs to Canadian universities. This new program aims to recruit the elite of the international research elite in those areas the federal government thinks are important to our “economic growth” and “future prosperity.” These areas are, predictably, environmental sciences and technologies, natural resources and energy, health and related life sciences and...

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Being Fair: 'We must be the change we want to see in the world'

Valerie Mason-John, Independent Scholar
Guest Contributor

What is fair and just in the world that we live in today? The conflict that flourishes in this world, within each of us, in our families, at work and out there in the world is proof enough that people do not feel they live in a world that treats them impartially.

Who am I to talk on this subject when you could look at my life and count the privileges I have had on more than one hand?  Winner of several awards, including...

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