Mission Statement on Education Equity
The School of Social Work has an expressed commitment to the principles of education equity for persons from groups who historically have been disadvantaged by systems, structures and ideologies that have privileged some groups over others resulting in differential access to education. Particular emphasis is placed on reconciliation to redress the historic and contemporary burdens of colonialism borne by Indigenous peoples. We are also concerned about educational equity for those groups impacted by relations of racism, ageism, sexism, anti-Black racism, ableism, classism, heterosexism, cisnormativity, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and/or xenophobia.
In response to these structural impediments, the School affirms the principle that individuals from all groups should have the opportunity to learn and to contribute in an environment that supports, encourages and incorporates their knowledge, insights, and perspectives into our curriculum.
Some of the ways that the School of Social Work operationalizes its commitment to educational equity:
- Developing scholarships for Indigenous, Black and racialized students;
- Collecting and sharing resources on Indigenization, decolonization and reconciliation for instructors to build into their courses;
- Bringing in racialized artists to create murals in the hallways to reflect the diversity of our students, faculty and the community that we serve;
- Ensuring that our recruitment and admissions processes are designed to support educational equity for Indigenous, Black and racialized students;
- Offering specific courses on racialization and social work, Indigenous approaches to social work and Afrocentric social work;
- An annual Black History Month event at the Dominion Chalmers Centre;
- Indigenous Feasts;
- Rheal Brant Hall memorial lecture.
From the School’s perspective, education equity is a structural issue requiring an ongoing rigorous review of established norms and practices and the assumptions and values that underlay them. Education equity is consistent with, and necessary for, achieving principles of academic excellence and practice competence. The School of Social Work recognizes that is an ongoing process of development to which we are committed.