By: Linda Hartwell
Throughout 2023, Carleton’s Department of Equity and Inclusive Communities hosted an EDI speaker series which was funded by the Canada Research Chairs Program EDI Stipend. The four-part series focused on the topics of inclusive approaches to hiring, equity-driven retention and support practices, equity-driven approaches to demographic data collection, and fostering a sense of belonging in higher education.
The speaker series brought prominent EDI experts to Carleton to initiate conversations among the Carleton community, challenging faculty and staff to think critically about EDI, particularly as these principles relate to recruitment and hiring processes. Each speaker provided important context and background for understanding critical EDI-related issues in higher education, as well as tangible steps for cultivating an equitable and inclusive community at Carleton.
In the first session, entitled “There’s no racism in our department”, Dr. Annette Henry (UBC) explored institutional initiatives focused on equity and antiracism and offered caveats concerning their implementation, especially regarding the success and well-being of Black faculty. In particular, this session highlighted the intersectional dynamics of anti-Black racism in the recruitment, hiring, and retention of faculty members. Dr. Henry concluded her session by considering the importance of representation in academic leadership as well as the need to adjust curricula to more fully reflect students’ experiences and the society we live in.
The second session, entitled "For a Diverse—as in, Different University. Or, Not that kind of Equity", Dr. rosalind hampton (University of Toronto) considered how dramatic spikes in institutional discourse and policy related to equity, diversity, inclusion, decolonization, and anti-Black racism have impacted universities in Canada. Dr. Hampton offered concrete examples that invited participants to think collectively about how we can continue to remain vigilant in studying, teaching, organizing and struggling for a different university.
Dr. Yvonne Simpson led the third session of the EDI Speaker Series, entitled “Education (in) Accessibility: Double Trouble with an Intersectional Gaze on Progress.” Dr. Simpson’s talk brought attention to the significance of an intersectional framework to determine concrete achievements of EDI initiatives. In her reflection on the challenges of achieving accessibile and equitable practices in post-secondary education, Dr. Simpson argued that new accountability mechanisms for measuring progress towards barrier-free experiences can only be effectively advanced by changing the way systems operate in the lives of people who require accessible environments. Drawing on disability discourses and recent examples of discrimination, Dr. Simpson highlighted deeply entrenched exclusionary practices and service-delivery models that shape equity and accessibility in post-secondary institutions.
The final session of the Speaker Series, entitled “EDI Demographic Data Collection: Myths, Challenges & Strategies”, featured Dr. Nicole Kaniki (Senomi Solutions Inc.). Dr. Kaniki discussed EDI demographic data, how it can and should be collected and analyzed, and what administrators can do with this information to support EDI at Canadian post-secondary institutions. She also addressed key issues of governance and privacy as fundamental considerations when designing and implementing EDI data collection initiatives. Dr. Kaniki concluded by suggesting sound practices and strategies regarding the use of EDI demographic data for administrative and research purposes.
Thank you to our esteemed speakers, participants, and all those who supported the EDI Speaker Series. The Carleton community is encouraged to continue to engage with these topics and reflect on how the recommendations provided during the sessions can be implemented in our daily practices.
Full recordings of each session are available on the EDI Speaker Series webpage.
Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
503 Tory Building
1125 Colonel By Drive
firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: 613-520-2600 x 3806Contact page