York’s Well-being Week to focus on mental, emotional health

Two hands holding each other for comfort

York University presents Fall Well-being Week, “Caring for Your Mental and Emotional Health,” taking place Oct. 2 to 6.

A series of free events was designed to help the York community reflect on and practice mental and emotional well-being.

Well-being Week offers a diverse range of workshops, sessions and webinars, with a mix of virtual and in-person activities. There will be opportunities to explore and reflect on personal well-being journeys, including speed painting, managing conflict, art-oriented self care and understanding the impact of food on mental health. Participants are invited to share their experience on social media by using the hashtag #YUWellbeing.

“The aim of these well-being focused events at York is to reduce stigma surrounding mental health, share valuable resources for personal and communal growth, provide opportunities for social connection and ensure everyone knows where to locate support resources,“ said Mary Catherine Masciangelo, assistant vice-president, human resources and chief human resources officer.

York’s Well-being Strategy

York is developing a comprehensive five-year Well-being Strategy as part of its ongoing efforts to systemically embed well-being across its campuses. This strategy, which is a collaborative effort between the Division of Students and the Division of Equity, People & Culture, acknowledges the institution’s mutual responsibility to follow a systemic approach to create an inclusive and supportive environment where all community members have opportunities to flourish and be heard.

“York University is committed to prioritizing well-being among all community members,” added Masciangelo. “This ongoing and intentional effort of dedication to the community is part of the University Academic Plan (UAP 2020-25) priority of Living Well Together. By mobilizing well-being resources, York University strives to provide an inclusive and supportive environment that promotes well-being in a way that is meaningful to its members.”

Over the coming months, all community members are encouraged to provide feedback on the draft Well-being Strategy document. Additional information on the strategy will follow.

To learn more about Fall Well-being Week, its events and to register for sessions, visit the Well-being Week website. For additional resources and support related to well-being and mental health, explore the Well-being website.

Standing with our community

La version française suit la version anglaise. 

Dear community,

Today (Sept. 20) a series of anti-trans and anti-2SLGBTQIA+ demonstrations is taking place across the country. York University is a champion of equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice, and these actions demonstrate clear opposition to these values. I want to extend my support to the many people in our community who will be negatively affected by these activities. 

York University stands with the country’s queer community during these hateful protests. The University’s Decolonizing, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy is a key signal of how the University is working to continue creating safe and welcoming spaces for all members of our community and the importance of advancing these priorities.

Many of you may need additional support today. There are supports available; information can be found at yorku.ca/well-being/resources.

Take care and stay well,

Alice Pitt
Interim Vice-President Equity, People and Culture

Aux côtés de notre communauté

Chers membres de la communauté,

Une série de manifestations contre les personnes trans et 2ELGBTQIA+ a lieu aujourd’hui dans le pays tout entier. L’Université York se fait la championne de l’équité, de la diversité, de l’inclusion et de la justice sociale, et ces activités s’opposent clairement à ces valeurs.  Je souhaite apporter mon soutien aux nombreuses personnes de notre communauté qui seront affectées par ces manifestations. 

L’Université York soutient la communauté queer canadienne lors de ces manifestations haineuses. La Stratégie de décolonisation, d’équité, de diversité et d’inclusion illustre la volonté de l’Université de continuer à créer des espaces sécuritaires et accueillants pour tous les membres de sa communauté, et souligne l’importance de faire progresser ces priorités.

Plusieurs d’entre vous auront peut-être besoin de plus de soutien aujourd’hui. Des ressources et des informations sont disponibles sur le site yorku.ca/well-being/resources.

Prenez soin de vous et restez en bonne santé,

Alice Pitt
Vice-présidente intérimaire de l’équité, des personnes et de la culture

York community supports Black inclusion through action

Black female students women alumni

York University’s second Annual Report on Black Inclusion is now available to the community. The annual report provides highlights and updates to the community on work and progress relating to York’s Framework on Black Inclusion and Action Plan on Black Inclusion.

Annual Report on Black Inclusion

The report outlines the progress made on the 81 calls to action under the nine thematic areas in the framework. In addition to renewing York’s commitment to addressing anti-Black racism, the report highlights that many partners across the York community encountered challenges in implementation and calls on the community to be supportive, collaborative and creative in finding solutions to overcome these challenges.

The community has continued to advance the work and supported more than 100 activities that took place across the University in the second year of implementation. Continued support from community members and efforts toward combating anti-Black racism on York’s campuses will be significant in working toward systemic change based on the guiding values in the framework.

“The actions reported in the Annual Report on Black Inclusion are aimed at breaking down the systematic barriers that for too long have affected the Black community on our campuses,” said Interim Vice-President Equity, People and Culture, Alice Pitt. “York continues to be committed to social justice and addressing the impact of anti-Black racism and white supremacy that pervades academia. Transformation of systems and colonial institutions takes time, and the York community is taking up the work to enable such transformation.”

York University remains a signatory to the Scarborough Charter and is committed to promoting intersectional Black flourishing, fostering inclusive excellence, enabling mutuality and ensuring accountability. In addition, the recently launched Decolonizing, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy connects to plans across the University, including the Framework on Black Inclusion.

For a detailed review of the actions undertaken across the University community, visit: Annual Report on Black Inclusion.

York University recognizes Emancipation Day

Students walking outside Vari Hall

La version française suit la version anglaise. 

On this Emancipation Day, York University recognizes and honours the unwavering resistance and strength of Black communities. Emancipation Day recognizes the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, which took effect on Aug. 1, 1834, making the purchase or ownership of slaves illegal within most parts of the British Empire, including Canada. The symbolism behind this historical date represents a resounding reclamation and call for change. This call is never far removed from the daily experiences of people of African descent as they continue to grapple with anti-Black racism, one of many lasting legacies of the transatlantic slave trade.

As we commemorate Emancipation Day, we must also recognize Canada’s long historical role in the enslavement of people of African descent and Indigenous Peoples, as well as the ways these legacies remain active in our everyday interactions. Slavery in Canada was practised for two centuries, and Canada’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade can be linked to our history of international trade. It is important that we understand how these occurrences are inextricable and that our lack of awareness and silences are in service of attempts to erase or dismiss the realities of Black and Indigenous communities and individual experiences in Canada.

Black liberation is deeply connected to the liberation of all other groups, and this calls for a collective response to anti-Black racism and other forms of racial inequities. Black scholarship, research, innovation and social activism have made significant contributions to Canadian society, culture and economy. York University recognizes the obligation to counter anti-Black racism with numerous initiatives, including the creation of funding research mechanisms that affirm Black identities and offer counternarrative tools that disrupt harmful approaches to help create a more just and equitable world.

One of the primary ways York University recognizes the work of reclamation across the community is through the documents Addressing Anti-Black Racism: A Framework on Black Inclusion and the accompanying Action Plan on Black Inclusion: A Living Document for Action (2021), which put forward a road map for the ways that York should respond and situate itself in the various contexts and processes in which anti-Black racism, colonialism and other forms of oppression operate. Many new and ongoing initiatives have been documented in the 2022-23 Annual Report on Black Inclusion, and all community members are encouraged to read this annual report. Members of the community are also encouraged to engage in the important work of the Harriet Tubman Institute through watching the Tubman Talks series on the Tubman Talks YouTube channel.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech,

Alice Pitt
Interim Vice-President Equity, People and Culture

Déclaration à l’occasion du Jour de l’émancipation 2023

À l’occasion du Jour de l’émancipation, l’Université York reconnaît et honore la résistance et la force inébranlables des communautés noires. Le Jour de l’émancipation commémore la Loi de 1833 sur l’abolition de l’esclavage qui a été promulguée le 1er août 1834; cette loi rendait l’achat ou la possession d’esclaves illicites dans la plupart des territoires de l’Empire britannique, y compris le Canada. Cette date historique symbolise une revendication sans équivoque et un appel au changement. Cet appel n’est jamais très éloigné des expériences quotidiennes des personnes d’ascendance africaine qui continuent à lutter contre le racisme anti-Noirs, l’un des nombreux vestiges de la traite transatlantique des esclaves.

Dans le cadre de la commémoration du Jour de l’émancipation, nous devons également reconnaître le rôle que le Canada a joué pendant longtemps dans l’asservissement des personnes d’ascendance africaine et des peuples autochtones, ainsi que les traces de ce passé qui subsistent dans nos interactions quotidiennes. L’esclavage a sévi au Canada pendant deux siècles, et la participation du pays à la traite transatlantique des esclaves peut être imputée à son historique de commerce international. Il est important de comprendre que ces faits sont inextricablement liés et que notre manque de sensibilisation et nos silences favorisent les tentatives d’effacer ou de balayer les réalités des communautés noires et autochtones et les expériences individuelles au Canada.

La libération des Noirs est étroitement liée à la libération de tous les autres groupes, ce qui nécessite une réponse collective au racisme anti-Noirs et à d’autres formes d’inégalités raciales. L’érudition, la recherche, l’innovation et l’activisme social des Noirs ont largement contribué à la société, à la culture et à l’économie canadiennes. L’Université York est consciente de son obligation de lutter contre le racisme anti-Noirs grâce à de nombreuses initiatives, notamment la création de mécanismes de recherche de financement qui renforcent les identités noires et offrent des récits à contre-courant qui perturbent les approches dommageables afin de contribuer à la création d’un monde plus juste et plus équitable.

L’une des principales façons de valoriser le travail de revendication réalisé dans la communauté se traduit par la publication par York des documents suivants : Lutte contre le racisme anti-Noirs : Un cadre d’inclusion des personnes noires et son compagnon, le Plan d’action pour l’inclusion des personnes noires : Un document évolutif pour passer à l’action (2021); ces deux publications présentent le plan d’action de l’Université pour réagir et se situer dans les divers contextes et processus où le racisme anti-Noirs, le colonialisme et d’autres formes d’oppression sont présents. De nombreuses initiatives récentes et en cours sont décrites dans le Rapport annuel 2022-2023 sur l’inclusion des personnes noires et nous encourageons tous les membres de la communauté à le lire. Nous invitons aussi les membres de la communauté à suivre les travaux importants de l’Institut Harriet Tubman, en regardant la série Tubman Talks sur la chaîne YouTube Tubman Talks.

Merci, thank you, Miigwech.

Alice Pitt
Vice-présidente intérimaire de l’équité, des personnes et de la culture

York University’s new Employee Sexual Misconduct Policy

Vari hall

La version française suit la version anglaise.

Dear colleagues,

York is committed to a healthy, safe and respectful learning environment for all members of the University Community. York University’s new Employee Sexual Misconduct Policy will come into effect on July 1, 2023. The new policy will further strengthen the University’s response to sexual misconduct between an employee and a student.

This policy is in response to Bill 26, Strengthening Post-secondary Institutions and Students Act, 2022. Bill 26 requires every institution to have an employee sexual misconduct policy that includes rules with respect to sexual behaviour that involves employees and students of the institution as well as examples of disciplinary measures that may be imposed on employees who contravene the policy.

York University’s Employee Sexual Misconduct Policy clarifies what constitutes sexual misconduct, the process for responding to complaints of sexual misconduct and potential discipline if an employee is found to have engaged in sexual misconduct.

The policy works in conjunction with related university policies:

Please take the time to review the new policy. Visit yu link for more information.

Division of Equity, People & Culture

Nouvelle politique en matière d’inconduite sexuelle des membres

Chers collègues, chères collègues,

York s’engage à créer un environnement d’apprentissage sain, sécuritaire et respectueux pour tous les membres de la communauté universitaire. La nouvelle politique de l’Université York en matière d’inconduite sexuelle entrera en vigueur le 1er juillet 2023. Elle renforcera la position de l’Université en cas d’inconduite sexuelle entre un membre du personnel et un membre de la communauté étudiante.

Cette politique répond au projet de loi 26, Loi de 2022 sur le renforcement des établissements postsecondaires et les étudiants. Le projet de loi exige que chaque établissement dispose d’une politique en matière d’inconduite sexuelle des membres du personnel qui comprend des règles relatives aux comportements sexuels impliquant des membres du personnel et de la communauté étudiante de l’établissement, ainsi que des exemples de mesures disciplinaires pouvant être imposées aux personnes qui contreviennent à la politique.

La politique de l’Université York en matière d’inconduite sexuelle des membres du personnel précise ce qui constitue une inconduite sexuelle, le processus de réponse aux plaintes pour inconduite sexuelle et les mesures disciplinaires potentielles si une personne est reconnue coupable de tels actes.

Cette politique s’inscrit dans le cadre des politiques universitaires connexes:

Veuillez prendre le temps de lire la nouvelle politique. Visitez yu link pour plus d’informations.

Division de l’équité, des personnes et de la cuture

Pride Month a time to celebrate, reflect, learn

Pride Month banner 2023

Dear York community,

June marks Pride Month, a time to celebrate and reflect on the lived experiences of 2SLGBTQIA+ community, and to learn about the history, culture and contributions they have made to our campuses and to Canadian society. 

Members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community have been historically, structurally and systematically excluded. These barriers very much exist today in Canada and around the world. For example, more than 70 countries today still criminalize same-sex conduct, and members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community still experience disproportionately high rates of gender-based violence and harassment.

York continues to fight for the equal rights and safety of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community standing against all forms of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, discrimination and racism. These actions are central to York’s core values of equity, diversity, inclusivity and social justice.

York is focussing on ways to remove systematic barriers to ensure that our campuses are experienced as safe spaces where everyone feels that they belong. This focus can be seen through York University initiatives such as the Decolonizing, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEDI) Strategy, the Provostial Fellows Program: 2023-24, and the newly announced President’s award for Excellence in Decolonization, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEDI) which recognizes sustainable and measurable change on campus, with an intersectional social justice lens, especially for equity-deserving groups such as women, visible/racialized minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities and 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

We invite you to visit the Pride website to learn more about the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, and their ongoing work and accomplishments. We also encourage you to attend the events that are happening during Pride Month through the Central Events Calendar and Student Event Calendar. Join us for the Pride 2023 Opening Ceremony on June 7 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Vari Hall. The Ceremony is hosted by The Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion in collaboration with Student Community & Leadership Development.


Rhonda Lenton
President and Vice-Chancellor

Alice Pitt
Interim Vice-President Equity, People & Culture

Déclaration à l’occasion du Mois de la Fierté

Chers membres de la communauté de York,

Le mois de juin est le mois de la Fierté, une période de célébration et de réflexion sur les expériences vécues par les membres de la communauté 2ELGBTQIA+, et de découverte de leur histoire, de leur culture et de leurs contributions à nos campus et à la société canadienne. 

Ces personnes ont été historiquement, structurellement et systématiquement exclues. De telles barrières existent encore aujourd’hui au Canada et dans le monde. Par exemple, plus de 70 pays criminalisent encore aujourd’hui les comportements homosexuels, et les membres de la communauté 2ELGBTQIA+ subissent encore des taux disproportionnés de harcèlement et de violence basée sur le genre.

York continue de lutter pour l’égalité des droits et la sécurité de la communauté 2ELGBTQIA+ en s’opposant à toutes les formes d’homophobie, de biphobie, de transphobie, de discrimination et de racisme. Ces actions sont au cœur des valeurs fondamentales de York, à savoir l’équité, la diversité, l’inclusion et la justice sociale.

York se concentre sur les moyens d’éliminer les barrières systématiques afin de garantir que ses campus soient des espaces sécuritaires où tout le monde se sent à sa place. Cette orientation se traduit par des initiatives de l’Université York comme la Stratégie de décolonisation, d’équité, de diversité et d’inclusion (DEDI) et le programme de bourses de la rectrice  2023-2024, ainsi que le nouveau prix de la Présidente pour l’excellence en matière de décolonisation, d’équité, de diversité et d’inclusion (DEDI), qui récompense les changements durables et mesurables sur les campus, dans une optique de justice sociale intersectionnelle, en particulier pour les groupes en quête d’équité (les femmes, les minorités visibles/racialisées, les peuples autochtones, les personnes en situation de handicap et les personnes 2ELGBTQIA+).

Nous vous invitons à visiter le site Web de la Fierté pour en savoir plus sur la communauté 2ELGBTQIA+, ainsi que sur son travail et ses réalisations. Nous vous encourageons également à participer aux événements du Mois de la Fierté en consultant le calendrier central des événements et le calendrier des événements pour les étudiantes et étudiants. Joignez-vous à nous pour la cérémonie d’ouverture du Mois de la Fierté 2023 le 7 juin de 12h30 à 14 h au pavillon Vari. La cérémonie est organisée par le Centre des droits de la personne, de l’équité et de l’inclusion, en collaboration avec Développement de la communauté étudiante et du leadership (SCLD).

Sincères salutations,

Rhonda Lenton
Présidente et vice-chancelière

Alice Pitt
Vice-présidente intérimaire de l’équité, des personnes et de la culture

National Indigenous History Month honours histories, cultures, contributions

La version française suit la version anglaise. 

Dear York community,

June is National Indigenous History Month. It is a time to honour Indigenous histories, cultures and contributions to society.

York University is taking important steps to integrate Indigenous knowledges and perspectives as part of our well-being strategy and commitment to decolonization.

In early May, the University launched the Decolonizing, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEDI) Strategy. York University is among the first post-secondary institutions in Canada to include decolonization in a meaningful and thoughtful way within an equity strategy. Doing so acknowledges that decolonization is essential to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion.

We have continued to make progress on the recommendations in the Indigenous Framework and the Decolonizing Research Administration Report. In July, the first wholly autonomous Indigenous Research Ethics Board (IREB) will launch at York University – a first for a post-secondary institution in Canada. York also completed the pilot round of Indigenous Research Seed Grants and secured an additional three years of funding at $250,000 per year. A full-time traditional counsellor position was also created for the Centre for Indigenous Student Services. These actions will support decolonization in research and administration while enhancing the experiences of Indigenous students.

While progress is being made, the journey towards decolonization and reconciliation is ongoing and requires consistent action and a conscious commitment to meet our goals.

We invite you to visit the Indigenous History Month website to learn about and participate in the events around campus, including a lecture titled “Writing Home: How to begin a conversation with the Land, a personal journey of walking, listening, looking and making” featuring keynote speaker Bonnie Devine, an Anishinaabe artist, painter and curator. The lecture will take place on June 12, 4 to 6 p.m. at the Helliwell Centre, Room 1014, Osgoode Hall Law School.

We are grateful for the opportunities to continue dialogue, raise awareness and take meaningful action.  

Thank you. Merci. Miigwech, Anushiik.

Rhonda Lenton
President and Vice-Chancellor

Alice Pitt
Interim Vice-President Equity, People and Culture

Susan D. Dion
Associate Vice-President Indigenous Initiatives

Déclaration à l’occasion du Mois national de l’histoire autochtone

Chers membres de la communauté de York,

Juin est le Mois national de l’histoire autochtone à York. C’est l’occasion de rendre hommage à l’histoire, à la culture et aux contributions des Autochtones à la société.

L’Université York prend des mesures importantes pour intégrer les savoirs et les perspectives autochtones dans le cadre de sa stratégie de bien-être et de son engagement en faveur de la décolonisation.

Au début du mois de mai, l’Université a lancé la Stratégie de décolonisation, d’équité, de diversité et d’inclusion (DEDI). L’Université York est l’un des premiers établissements postsecondaires au Canada à inclure la décolonisation de manière réfléchie dans une stratégie de DEDI. Ce faisant, elle reconnaît que la décolonisation fait partie intégrante des principes d’équité, de diversité et d’inclusion.

Nous ne cessons de mettre en œuvre les recommandations du Cadre stratégique autochtone et du Rapport pour la décolonisation de l’administration de la recherche. En juillet, un comité inaugural d’éthique de la recherche autochtone (IREB) entièrement autonome verra le jour à l’Université York, une première pour un établissement d’enseignement supérieur au Canada. York a également conclu le projet pilote du Fonds de stimulation de la recherche autochtone et a obtenu un financement supplémentaire annuel de 250 000 $ pour trois ans. Un poste de conseiller traditionnel à temps plein a également été créé pour le Centre de services aux étudiants autochtones. Ces actions soutiendront la décolonisation dans la recherche et l’administration tout en améliorant l’expérience des étudiantes et étudiants autochtones.

Bien que des progrès aient été accomplis, le parcours vers la décolonisation et la réconciliation se poursuit et nécessite une action cohérente et un engagement conscient pour atteindre nos objectifs.

Nous vous invitons à consulter le site Web du Mois de l’histoire autochtone pour en savoir plus sur les événements organisés sur le campus et y participer, notamment une conférence intitulée Writing Home:  How to begin a conversation with the Land, a personal journey of walking, listening, looking and making” avec l’oratrice principale Bonnie Devine, artiste, peintre et conservatrice anishinaabe. La conférence (en anglais) aura lieu le 12 juin, de 16 h à 18 h, au Centre Helliwell, salle 1014, École de droit Osgoode Hall.

Nous nous réjouissons des possibilités qui nous sont offertes de poursuivre le dialogue, d’encourager la sensibilisation et de prendre des mesures significatives. 

Thank you. Merci. Miigwech, Anushiik.

Rhonda Lenton
Présidente et vice-chancelière

Alice Pitt
Vice-présidente intérimaire de l’équité, des personnes et de la culture

Susan D. Dion
Vice-présidente associée aux initiatives autochtones

Join the May 17 Fireside Chat to learn about York’s DEDI Strategy 

diverse group of people talking

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. 

DEDI flower graphic from centre outward represents the York campus Community, the five strategic directions (red), the four University strategies and plans that are connected to the DEDI strategy (blue) and the 12 principles (grey)
DEDI flower graphic from centre outward represents the York campus Community, the five strategic directions (red), the four University strategies and plans that are connected to the DEDI strategy (blue) and the 12 principles (grey)

“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.” 

Visit this website to learn more about the panellists. Register to attend this event in person or virtually.

York launches new Decolonizing, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

DEDI three diverse adults in conversations

La version française suit la version anglaise. 

Dear York community,

We are excited to share York University’s first Decolonizing, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEDI) Strategy. York is among the first Canadian universities to incorporate decolonization in a meaningful and substantial way throughout a document of this kind, and this strategy will formalize and coordinate DEDI efforts across the institution.

The DEDI Strategy acknowledges York University’s colonial structures and recognizes that many forms of discrimination and oppression exist both in society and in higher education. It provides a lens on the University’s past, present and future, allowing it to focus clearly on the efforts and resources needed to drive positive change. The strategy includes five strategic directions – teaching and learning, research and innovation, representation and success, campus climate and environment, and leadership and capacity building.

The strategy is rooted in the University’s Academic Plan 2020-2025, which outlines York’s commitment to championing diversity and inclusivity, embracing differing perspectives, peoples, and ways of knowing, and fostering global fluencies and cross-cultural knowledges. DEDI values are also infused into other key planning documents, and the strategy augments existing frameworks, including the Framework and Action Plan on Black Inclusion and the Indigenous Framework.

A collaborative effort

This is important work requiring time and care. The launch of the new DEDI Strategy is the result of the efforts of many individuals and units over the last two-and-a-half years. This includes the 50-member President’s Advisory Council on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which provided advice on the development of this new strategy – and the York community, who provided feedback on the Draft Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, released in March 2022. We are grateful to everyone who participated in this process including the inaugural Vice-President of Equity, People and Culture, Sheila Cote-Meek.

Taking action

While the DEDI Strategy will build on the collective efforts of many in our community, it is important to recognize that much remains to be done if we are to realize our goals. It is also a living document that will undoubtedly continue to evolve as we evaluate our progress each year. Success depends on the combined efforts of the entire York community.

We encourage everyone to read and explore the strategy on its dynamic new website.

We also invite you to join us at the launch event, Taking Action, Making Impact: A Fireside Chat on York’s DEDI Strategy, on Wednesday, May 17 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. There, you will learn how key community members are taking up the strategy in their work, explore how each of us can engage in DEDI work and imagine together how we can transform this institution to right the future for everyone.

Visit this website to learn more about the panelists and register to attend this event, in person or virtually.

Along with other key equity initiatives, this strategy and its underlying principles will empower everyone at the University to respectfully have the uncomfortable conversations that will drive collective understanding, and lead to a greater sense of inclusion and belonging  by facilitating a decolonizing, inclusive, diverse and collaborative ecosystem that promotes well-being for all.

Thank you. Merci.

Rhonda Lenton
President and Vice-Chancellor

Alice Pitt
Interim Vice-President Equity, People and Culture

York lance sa Stratégie de décolonisation, d’équité, de diversité et d’inclusion  

Chers membres de la communauté de York,

Nous nous réjouissons de diffuser la première Stratégie de décolonisation, d’équité, de diversité et d’inclusion (DEDI) de l’Université York. York est l’une des premières universités canadiennes à intégrer la décolonisation de manière substantielle dans un document de ce type, et cette stratégie formalisera et coordonnera les efforts de DEDI dans l’ensemble de l’établissement.

La Stratégie DEDI reconnaît les structures coloniales de York et admet que de nombreuses formes de discrimination et d’oppression existent tant dans la société que dans l’enseignement supérieur. Elle offre une perspective sur le passé de l’Université, sur notre présent et sur notre avenir, ce qui permet de cibler précisément les efforts et les ressources nécessaires pour susciter des changements. La stratégie comprend cinq orientations stratégiques : enseignement et apprentissage, recherche et innovation, représentation et succès, climat et environnement des campus, ainsi que leadership et renforcement des capacités.

La stratégie est ancrée dans le Plan académique de l’Université 2020-2025, qui souligne l’engagement de York à défendre la diversité et l’inclusion, à accueillir des perspectives, des personnes et des modes de connaissance différents, et à encourager des savoirs mondiaux et des connaissances interculturelles. Les valeurs de DEDI sont également intégrées dans d’autres documents de planification, et la stratégie les complète, notamment le Plan d’action sur l’inclusion des personnes noires et le Cadre stratégique autochtone.

Un effort de collaboration

Il s’agit d’un travail primordial qui demande du temps et de l’attention. Le lancement de la nouvelle Stratégie DEDI est le résultat des efforts déployés par de nombreuses personnes et unités au cours des deux dernières années et demie. Il s’agit notamment du Conseil consultatif de la présidente sur l’équité, la diversité et l’inclusion, composé de 50 membres, qui a fourni des conseils sur l’élaboration de cette nouvelle stratégie, et de la communauté de York, qui a donné son avis sur le projet de stratégie sur l’équité, la diversité et l’inclusion, publié en mars 2022. Nous remercions toutes les personnes qui ont participé à ce processus, notamment la vice-présidente inaugurale de l’équité, des personnes et de la culture, Sheila Cote-Meek.

Passer à l’action

Si la stratégie DEDI s’appuie sur les efforts collectifs de nombreux membres de notre communauté, il est important de reconnaître qu’il reste encore beaucoup à faire pour atteindre nos objectifs. Il s’agit également d’un document évolutif qui continuera sans aucun doute à se développer au fur et à mesure que nous évaluerons nos progrès chaque année. Le succès dépend des efforts combinés de l’ensemble de la communauté de York.

Nous vous encourageons à lire et à explorer la stratégie, affichée sur ce nouveau site Web dynamique.

Nous vous invitons également à vous joindre à nous lors de l’événement de lancement, « Taking Action, Making Impact: A Fireside Chat on York’s DEDI Strategy » le mercredi 17 mai, de 13 h à 14 h 30. Vous y découvrirez comment des membres clés de la communauté intègrent la stratégie dans leur travail, explorerez comment chacun d’entre nous peut s’engager dans le travail de DEDI et imaginerez comment nous pouvons transformer ensemble cette institution afin d’être présents pour l’avenir.

Visitez ce site Web pour en savoir plus sur les panélistes et inscrivez-vous pour participer à cet événement, en personne ou virtuellement.

En lien avec d’autres initiatives clés en matière d’équité, cette stratégie et ses principes sous-jacents permettront à tous les membres de l’Université d’avoir, dans le respect, les conversations difficiles qui augmenteront la compréhension collective et conduiront à un plus grand sentiment d’inclusion et d’appartenance en facilitant un écosystème décolonisant, inclusif, diversifié et collaboratif qui promeut le bien-être de toute la communauté.

Sincères salutations,  

Rhonda Lenton
Présidente et vice-chancelière

Alice Pitt
Vice-présidente intérimaire de l’équité, des personnes et de la culture

York releases final security services review report 

People walk through Vari Hall, which is located on York U's Keele campus

Following a one-year review period, the internal expert panel tasked with reviewing York University’s security services and identifying opportunities to improve equity, diversity and inclusion within the University’s security model has released its final report.  

A summary and the full report, along with a statement of receipt from co-sponsors Vice-President Finance and Administration Carol McAulay and Interim Vice-President Equity, People and Culture Alice Pitt is available on the security services review website

The security services review emerged in response to a long history of concerns from equity-deserving groups about security activity at the University, including feelings of racial discrimination and harassment, shared experiences of racial profiling and surveillance on campus and general lack of support. In response, the University released its Action Plan on Black inclusion: A Living Document for Action in December 2021 and identified a thorough review of York’s security services as a commitment and action. 

The final report contains several recommendations informed by comprehensive research, written submissions from the University community and a variety of education sessions, town halls, meetings and focus groups with equity-deserving groups and the broader community. The overarching recommendation from the panel is for the University to transition away from the current law enforcement model that guides its security activities and implement a community-centric model. The panel identifies seven core elements of a community centric approach to safety – it is bias-free, transparent and accountable, diverse and specialized, community-focused and collaborative, representative, provides equity training and is organizationally aligned.  

“The research and consultation conducted for this review leads to an undeniable conclusion,” said Carl James, a professor in the Faculty of Education, senior advisor on equity and representation to the University in the Division of Equity, People and Culture and member of the security services review expert panel. “To serve the University’s highly diverse community, York must ensure its commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization is embedded within its security model. This includes initial transition work and continuous reinforcement to ensure daily security activities are aligned with the principles of a community-centric approach to safety.” 

The review of York’s security services aims to build on the University’s commitment to strengthen decolonization, equity, diversity and inclusion (DEDI) efforts on campus and take action in response to community consultations. This includes recommendations related to community safety operating procedures from Justice Thomas A. Cromwell’s Independent External Review and the President’s Initiative on Open & Respectful Dialogue. As part of this initiative, the Community Safety Department engaged in a full review of its operating procedures, revised them to strengthen safety and event risk responsibility and implemented training for all staff. Many recommendations in the security services review call for further review of operating procedures and policies with the lens of decolonization, equity, diversity and inclusion.  

Over the next several weeks, the University will form a security services review (SSR) task force to review the recommendations and determine the path toward implementation. The task force will be co-chaired by McAulay and Pitt and supported by the executive director of community safety and an advisory committee comprised of the current SSR review team and internal expert panel. Over the spring and summer, the committee will hold several consultation sessions with individuals, groups and the broader community to gather feedback and inform implementation. Throughout the process, the review’s co-sponsors will keep the community apprised of progress and key milestones, including the composition of the working group and upcoming engagement opportunities.  

“The release of the final report is an important milestone, but it is not the end of the journey,” said McAulay. “We are grateful to the many individuals who volunteered their time to share stories, opinions, suggestions and recommendations based on their lived experience and knowledge. Community consultation will remain a cornerstone as we endeavour toward implementation.”