Equity Matters

Humanities and social science research is crucial to our understanding of the changing workplace

Jean-Marc Mangin, Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

In her recent op-ed for The Globe and Mail, Federation President and McGill Professor Antonia Maioni rightly asks why women, who have outnumbered men at universities for years, remain underrepresented in leadership positions in the workplace. Behind these numbers, suggests Maioni, is a larger picture of evolving notions of work-life balance spearheaded by women who are successfully negotiating a happier (and healthier) model of work. This allows them to fulfill...

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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 literary scholar specializing in recent British fiction,...

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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...

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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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