The York University community is invited to join Taking Action, Making Impact: A Fireside Chat on York’s DEDI Strategy on Wednesday, May 17 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Hosted by York President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton and York Interim Vice-President Equity, People and Culture (EP&C) Alice Pitt, the kick-off event will feature four York community members exploring how they can take up the Decolonizing, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEDI) Strategy in their work and discussing ways the community can apply the work in their areas.
“Now that the DEDI strategy has been launched, we must start to infuse it into the fabric of our community where it will continue to take shape on our campuses,” said Pitt. “The fireside chat is one way that we will continue to foster the University values of equity, diversity and inclusion and the ongoing commitment to advancing decolonization and Indigenous teaching, research and scholarship.”
The panellists for the fireside chat include:
Susan D. Dion, PhD, associate vice-president, Indigenous Initiatives and professor, Faculty of Education; Gin Marshall, PhD student in the Social Work Program; Lisa Cole, MEd, director of programming, K2i Academy, Lassonde School of Engineering; and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, PhD, instructor and special advisor to the Office of the Dean, Schulich School of Business.
The discussion will touch on the creation of the strategy and the significance of incorporating decolonization into the strategy.
The process of adding decolonizing was a collaborative effort, said Dion. “Working with a team of committed people who asked good questions that provided opportunities to understand the relationship between equity, diversity, inclusion and colonialism. Together we pushed each other to hear differing perspectives and think deeply about colonialism
, and decolonization.”
Marion MacGregor, executive director, Center for Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion (CHREI), who was involved from the start of the DEDI Strategy, recalls that once the strategy was presented as a draft, some of the first comments were about decolonization.
“It was obvious that it would benefit from ensuring that decolonization become central to the development of the document,” MacGregor said. “What resonates for me the most was the involvement of so many community members to make this happen. The strategy reflects the York community because it comes from the community. It is ambitious but I think transformational.”