University of Guelph Anti-Racism Action Plan

Purpose

The University of Guelph is committed to fostering a safe educational, working, and living environment, where all University community members experience an authentic sense of inclusion and belonging. To that end, the University commits to taking swift and deliberate steps to address racism, hatred and discrimination, with a particular emphasis on anti-Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) racism, on all U of G campuses and in its policies, procedures and practices. This Action Plan outlines some of those key initiatives.

 

Background/Context

The University of Guelph has a long-standing commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion on our campuses, which is outlined in the 2016 strategic framework, Our Path Forward. A key pillar of this framework is a dedication to Nurture our Distinctive Culture by working together openly, respectfully, and inclusively.

With the increasing visibility of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism in Canada and around the world, the University of Guelph recognizes the importance of continuing to take action against racism and discrimination in our community and identify and address systemic barriers to full and equal participation.

The University of Guelph has an obligation to pay attention to historical and ongoing injustice and racism, to address it, and to play an active part in creating a more just and equitable society. Our approach is multifaceted.

President Charlotte Yates will create a committee to advise her on concrete steps that the University should take to develop an anti-racism policy and build an even more inclusive and diverse campus community that welcomes and supports all of its members, including members of the BIPOC communities.

The Indigenous Initiatives Strategic Task Force, mandated by the President’s Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Initiatives, has developed an Indigenous Initiatives Strategy. Created with the support of students, staff, faculty, and community members, the strategy includes recommendations for further Indigenization and reconciliation activities in the areas of governance, pedagogy and curriculum, research and scholarship, Indigenous student support, and campus environment.

This Action Plan is a living document, developed in consultation with our students, faculty and staff. Activity has already begun on several of these key initiatives. The plan is organized in three areas: education training and engagement; data collection, reporting and employment equity; and U of G community supports.

 

Education, Training and Engagement

  1. The President’s Advisory Committee on Anti-Racism

The President’s Advisory Committee on Anti-Racism will advise the President and senior leadership team on how to address racism and discrimination in the University community. Recognizing that racism occurs as both micro-aggressions and overt and systemic discrimination, the committee will provide suggestions about how to adjust, improve and implement the anti-racism action plan. The committee will also work toward the development of an anti-racism policy for U of G.

  1. Special Advisor to Provost on Academic Equity & Anti-Racism

The Provost and Vice-President (Academic) will recruit and appoint a Special Advisor on Academic Equity and Anti-Racism issues.

  1. Undergraduate Course: Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Oppression (Launched Fall 2020)

The Office of Diversity and Human Rights developed an undergraduate course, Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Oppression. Open to all undergraduate students, it  explores concepts of power, oppression, bias and privilege.

  1. Black Studies Minor

The University will develop a Black Studies minor. This will include the creation of new courses and will incorporate an intersectional and interdisciplinary approach to Black Studies.

  1. Deliver Anti-Racism and Anti-Bias Training For University Leadership Team

In fall 2020, U of G will provide Anti-Racism and Anti-Bias training for the senior University leadership team. Training will highlight anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, anti-bias, anti-oppression, and discrimination against equity-seeking groups and BIPOC communities.

  1. Video Webinar series on Anti-Racism, Inclusion & Allyship (Launched Fall 2020)

The Office of Diversity and Human Rights launched a webinar series that explores how to be an effective anti-racism ally, how to identify and address microaggressions, and how to be an inclusive leader.

  1. Anti-Racism & Anti-Oppression Online Training (Launched Fall 2020)

A new anti-oppression and anti-racism online training module, Principles of Belonging: Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racism, that is mandatory for new incoming students is now available to all students, faculty and staff.

 

Data Collection, Reporting and Employment Equity

  1. Campus-Wide Self-Identification Student Data Survey

U of G will develop a campus-wide self-identification survey for students to provide a richer picture of campus diversity. The data will be presented through a disaggregated and intersectional analysis.

  1. Report on BIPOC Community Representation at the U of G

The Office of Diversity and Human Rights will report on the number of staff and faculty belonging to racialized and equity-seeking groups. The report will enable the University to set goals, update practices and build supports for diversity and inclusion on campus.

  1. Launch Indigenous Initiatives Strategy

Based on a series of reports and recommendations stemming from working groups of the President’s Advisory Committee on Indigenous Iniatitives, U of G will launch an Indigenous Initiatives Strategy. The strategy will provide an overview of the current state of Indigenous actions on campus and a way forward in the areas of governance, Indigenous student support, pedagogy and curriculum, research and scholarship and campus environment.  

  1. Develop a BIPOC Hiring Action Plan and Student Recruitment Initiative

U of G will develop a BIPOC Hiring Action Plan. We will also work with the Registrar’s office to set goals to help with the recruitment of BIPOC students.

 

Supports for the U of G Community

  1. Active Fundraising for Scholarships for BIPOC students (Launched Summer 2020)

Alumni Affairs and Development is activley working to raise funds and create scholarships for BIPOC students.

  1. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Enhancement Fund (Launched Summer 2020)

The Office of Diversity and Human Rights launched an EDI Enhancement Fund ($200,000). This fund is open to students, faculty and staff for initiatives that create equity and inclusion on campus.

  1. Counsellors for Students, Faculty and Staff 

U of G will assess the needs of the BIPOC and other equity-seeking communities when it comes to counsellors who specialize in mental health and racism issues for students, faculty and staff.