The Department of Equity and Inclusive Communities fosters the development of an inclusive and transformational university culture where individual distinctiveness and a sense of belonging for every member drive excellence in research, teaching, learning and working at Carleton. Such a culture facilitates cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration, local and global engagement, as well as an environment of innovative intellectual inquiry where all can fulfil their potential. Our commitment strengthens connections and cohesion within and across university communities and throughout the institution.

Inclusive and transformational culture requires an environment free from discrimination, harassment and sexual violence where Indigenous ways of knowing and learning inform our systems and practices, and where equitable access to services and opportunities guides all university action.

Centres of Focus

We serve all members of the Carleton community including students, non-academic staff and faculty. Structured along three connected Centres of Focus, our department uses collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to portfolio challenges and opportunities:


Five essential services overlay our Centres of Focus:

  • Proactive pan-university consultative initiatives
  • Education, Training and Professional Development
  • Policy development and advice
  • Case intake and resolution
  • Communication and Reporting

Guiding Principles

The work of the Department of Equity and Inclusive Communities is guided by the following principles:

Accessibility. We will strive to ensure that all members of the community have access to services in accordance with the most appropriate accommodations.

Collaboration. To realize aspirational values, the Department shall collaborate with partners across the university to promote structures, practices, and cultures that elevate the abilities of all members to bring their whole selves to research, teaching, learning and service. Attention to collaboration also expands the critical exercise of perspective, knowledge and experience-sharing so essential to innovation. The practice of collaboration is a form of inclusion.

Confidentiality. The Department shall keep confidential all case information given with an expectation of privacy except as required to be disclosed by university policies and procedures or as provided by law.

Independence. Serving Carleton’s entire community of students, faculty, and non-academic staff, the Department’s work is most effective when it is based in its pan-university aspirational values rather than in specific operational interests. This independence and impartiality are critical to the community’s perception of fairness and unbiased integrity with which the Department must conduct itself. The location of Equity and Inclusive Communities within the university’s structure reflects this relative organizational autonomy.

Intersectionality. Equity and Inclusive Communities recognizes that lived experience, particularly experiences of marginalization, may be informed and impacted by the multiple ways in which a person identifies or is identified. Identity may be derived from demographic dimensions that include Indigeneity, gender, race, ability, creed, age, socio-economic background, sexual and gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, and nationality.

Sustainability. To achieve a culture of individual distinctiveness and belonging, approaches to enhance the inclusivity of structures, practices, and values must be shared, embraced and instilled across the university as a strategic priority. As institutional capacity grows, an inclusive culture becomes self-sustaining and ultimately, transformational.

Foundational Concepts

Human Rights. The basic tenet of the Ontario Human Rights system as it applies to the university is to ensure that all members may learn and work with dignity and have equal access to services and opportunities without discrimination or harassment on the grounds of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status, disability. In certain contexts, the prohibited grounds extend to receipt of public assistance, and record of offences. Human Rights in Ontario is a legal and compliance framework.

Equity. The principle of equity refers to fair access to opportunity and services for all, recognizing that members come to the university with relative advantages and disadvantages. Equity considerations extend beyond issues of legal human rights compliance, take up issues of demographic representation and underrepresentation, and examine questions of power and resource allocation.

Diversity. Diversity in an institutional sense, describes the representation of various demographic segments and dimensions of identity within a population.

Inclusion. Inclusion refers to the ongoing process of proactively cultivating difference so that each individual can bring their whole selves and achieve their full potential in service of common objectives.

Inclusive Communities. For members to bring their whole selves in the pursuit of personal and institutional excellence, as much value must be assigned to their attachments to multiple potential identities and distinct lived experiences as to their sense of belonging to a common enterprise. This concept of Inclusive Communities therefore extends our understanding of Carleton University as a community of communities.

Inclusive Communities is also a process and practice of cultivating the inherent distinctiveness of each of our members while nurturing and growing points of connection and cohesion. It is the enabling of exploration and discovery at the borders of ideas, values and experience. Residing at the heart of innovation, interdisciplinarity, collaboration and engagement, supporting Inclusive Communities is critical to our current and future success in a globalized higher education context.