Laurier has a strong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of academic life – a commitment underlined in the institutional Laurier Strategy: 2019-2024. When a diverse range of researchers are nurtured and their ways of knowing are valued, the fresh perspectives and new knowledge can lead to breakthroughs in all fields. As such, Laurier has in place a number of initiatives to reduce barriers that underrepresented groups may experience in postsecondary research, across levels and disciplines.
The Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program is an important part of the national effort to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Laurier is currently home to 10 Canada Research Chairs. The Canada Research Chair Program Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan outlines how Laurier intends to identify, prevent and remove barriers that may negatively affect the participation of underrepresented groups in the prestigious CRC program. This living document reflects our commitment to these issues and is regularly updated to align with best practices.
The federal Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada program aims to increase equity, diversity and inclusion and help drive deeper cultural change within the research ecosystem. Laurier is proud to be participating in the Dimensions program in multiple ways.
Laurier was one of the first postsecondary institutions in Canada to endorse the Dimensions Charter, which sets out principles to strengthen Canadian research and its research community through equity, diversity and inclusion. By choosing to endorse this charter, Laurier has committed to taking concrete steps to adopt these principles throughout the institution.
Laurier is one of 15 institutions across Canada to participate in a federal pilot grant program aimed at increasing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) among researchers. The EDI Institutional Capacity-Building Grant provides funds for institutions to work toward identifying and eliminating systemic barriers impeding the recruitment, retention and advancement of underrepresented groups within academia.
With the support of the grant, Laurier has put in place a senior advisor in equity, diversity and inclusion, two EDI faculty colleagues and a research associate. The senior advisor: EDI, Barrington Walker, who is also a tenured professor in Laurier’s Department of History, began his five-year appointment on Jan. 1, 2020. The two EDI faculty colleagues are Darryl Dee and Lamine Diallo.
Laurier’s EDI community of practice also includes two women faculty colleagues, currently Michelle Skop and Christine Neill; and faculty and staff from Indigenous Student Services; human resources; Teaching and Learning; and the Centre for Student EDI. This multidisciplinary group has a solid mandate to strengthen Laurier’s commitment to inclusion.
Laurier is one of 17 institutions across Canada participating in a federal pilot program to help institutions take concrete steps to advance equity, diversity and inclusion across disciplines and recognize their progress.
The first phase of the Dimensions pilot awards program focuses on creating a plan for identifying and addressing systemic barriers experienced by members of underrepresented or disadvantaged groups. It includes performing a thorough self-assessment informed by research, followed by developing an action plan with goals based on the barriers and opportunities identified in the self-assessment. After the first phase, institutions can apply for awards recognizing progress in identified areas.
Laurier supports a number of researchers and research groups working on issues of equity, diversity and inclusion. These include the Laurier Centre for Women in Science; the Centre for Indigegogy, which focuses on decolonizing education; and the Laurier Centre for Community Research, Learning and Action and Social Innovation Research Group, which both focus on inclusive, community-engaged research.