I want to make everyone in our college aware of work we have begun with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC). Our college has invited the SHRC to review and analyze the current state of equity in our institution.
The work was prompted by concerns within our own college community and by broader societal issues like the inhumane treatment of the late Joyce Echaquan in Canada and George Floyd in the United States. This proactive and collaborative review will inform initiatives we will undertake in our college to address issues of systemic inequity. We have engaged SHRC to provide an objective, external point-of-view, and will benefit from their experience in this area from a Saskatchewan context, as well. We recognize this work should have started long ago and now hope to harness the momentum that currently exists in our environment.
We know inequity exists, but at this stage we are conducting research to ensure we have as complete an understanding as possible of the particular issues within our college and to ensure broad stakeholder input. A group, including the CoM’s EDI specialist, Dr. Erin Prosser-Loose, and director of the Division of Social Accountability, Dr. Manuela Valle-Castro, have met several times with members of the team at SHRC, who have been conducting some early research, and are now ready to move forward with stakeholder engagement.
The next step will be a series of interviews with a wide range of people across learner, staff and faculty groups at the CoM to get first-hand information on the direct experiences of members of our team with regard to equity within our college. This is a comprehensive review of our entire college, including but going well beyond things like diversity of the college’s leadership team.
Initiatives will be prioritized by both the external research and literature in this area, and what is learned by SHRC as they conduct the interviews. Once the SHRC has completed its review, the college will receive a report on its findings. This report will be shared with all staff, faculty and students of the CoM, and will be reviewed by college leadership as we work with the SHRC on next steps to prioritize initiatives.
Ultimately, we are intent on making the CoM a better, more equitable and diverse working and learning environment for all.