York launches innovative project to spark discussion on inclusion

Vari pond

A new project launched by York University’s Centre for Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion (REI) will spark campus-wide discussion on how the University can ensure its leadership and commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

In support of York’s University Academic Plan, which outlines a campus community that values equity and diversity and holds inclusion as a strategic objective, the Inclusion Video Project involves the facilitated discussions about inclusion on campus. The pilot project, launched in October 2017, is now being rolled out among non-academic staff.

The video is available via REI’s landing page, and facilitated conversations will be held from Nov. 1 until Dec. 15, with a town hall event planned for Nov. 27 from 3 to 4:30pm in 519 Kaneff Tower (Keele campus). A second town hall event will run in early December. Updates and announcements will be circulated to participants via David Coward, assistant vice-president, Human Resources, and chief HR officer.

It is the first pan-university project of its kind to engage experiences, concepts and processes of inclusion.

The inclusion video features a cross section of students, faculty and staff sharing their views on inclusion, and the importance of inclusion to York University. It is an innovative initiative that demonstrates leadership in collaboration across the University on matters of inclusion.

The facilitated conversations invites pilot project participants to share their views on inclusion at York and submit a capture of these conversations through group and individual Mach forms, with the goal of finding ways to operationalize mission critical values within our academic priorities.

“Diverse and inclusive organizations drive excellence,” said Michael F. Charles, executive director, Centre for Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion. “The project aims to surface a clearer sense of what this looks like for teaching, learning, working and governance at York in order to ensure all members of our community can achieve their full potential.”

The project aims to identify issues for further investigation, areas of strength, as well as opportunities for improvement. The data will be analyzed and incorporated into a report from REI for circulation to the community with specific distribution to leaders, union and administration executives in spring 2018.

The information from the discussions will inform York’s efforts to strengthen its human rights, equity and inclusion performance by:

• engaging members of the York community in practical ways to identify strength and challenges;

• expanding federal and provincial equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) priorities and requirements; and

• identifying ways to raise York’s performance in equity, diversity and inclusion.

The project continues York’s journey to infuse and operationalize the values of equity, diversity and inclusion within the University’s academic priorities. With the assistance of the Centre for Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion (REI) and other community partners, the Inclusion Video Project represents a forward step along this path.

For more information or to obtain a hard copy of the Mach forms, contact Heather Shipley, advisor, Education & Communications at hshipley@yorku.ca.