Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Concordia University is located on unceded lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation, the custodians of the lands and waters of Tiohtià:ke (Montréal). The Department of Education is located on the former property of the Grey Nuns, a Catholic institution that played a key role in the federal government's system of Residential Schools, which was designed to extinguish the cultures and knowledges of the First Peoples and to stop cultural transmission to future generations. The Department of Education inherits this legacy.
The occupation of this land became the starting point for an over 500-year settler colonial system. The Department of Education at Concordia University affirm that these historical and current settler colonial systems and institutions have directly resulted in specific forms of marginalization that play out within our department and our university at large; these include, but are not limited to, marginalization on the basis of indigeneity, race, ethnicity, gender, disability status, language, religion, age, sexual orientation, family structure, migration status, employment status, and/or socioeconomic status. The oppressive effects of historical and current systems include structures, behaviours and attitudes which are inequitable, exclusionary, biased, discriminatory, and self-sustaining.
We pledge to resist these systems, behaviours, and attitudes, and to work towards transforming our department and our university into more equitable and inclusive spaces. This living document is a record of our continuing work to enact this pledge. We recognize that as a community, we must continue to critically self-reflect on our values and on how to uphold them. We will add to the document as our work continues. We remain committed to ongoing work to strengthen equity, diversity, and inclusion in the everyday lives of our department. Below is a list of specific activities, a list that will continue to grow with time:
- One step we have taken is the formation of a departmental committee to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). This committee is made up of students, staff, and faculty, with a mandate:
to address social justice issues centered around equity, diversity, and inclusion at all levels in the department via the development of a concrete action plan. In referring to equity, diversity, and inclusion, we are informed by the principles and definitions outlined by the Report of the Concordia Working Group on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:
- To date, the committee has hosted several guest speakers at Department Council meetings who have spoken about the experiences of Concordia community members who are also members of marginalized groups and how to support equity and inclusion in terms of our teaching, research, and other activities.
- Graduate students from the EDI committee developed, administered, and analyzed the results of a student survey about how specific aspects of equity, diversity, and inclusion have affected students in the Department of Education.
This document will continue to be revised to reflect additional actions, plans, or mandates which have been adopted by the Department of Education in order to transform our department and our university into equitable and inclusive spaces. We recognize that our commitment to resist this settler colonial system is simply a starting point in the path towards becoming a more equitable community, and we recognize there are practices within our system that may need to be reevaluated in the process. Thus, we invite members of our community to hold the department accountable to these commitments and voice their concerns or feedback in the ways in which our community operates.