Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenization at Smith

Smith School of Business Task Force on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenization (EDII)

Queen’s University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment by removing and preventing barriers to participation in all aspects of learning, education and governance. By attracting students from every imaginable background into a positive work/study environment, we promote a vibrant, enriched learning experience where creative ideas and new knowledge are generated. Informed by diverse global, cultural and sociological perspectives, we empower the Smith community to thrive in developing open-minded citizens and outstanding leaders.

EDII is a core value for Smith School of Business.

Mandate

This task force shall i) develop a strategic plan that identifies actions required to support an academic and work environment that is open, accessible and inclusive with respect to many aspects of diversity including ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation, ability and socioeconomic status; ii) define specific objectives with associated indicators of progress or targets; and iii) provide recommendations for best practices, opportunities for campus-wide collaborations and shared resources, and the creation/modification of policies and/or processes to promote EDII.

A plan is expected by December 2020, followed by implementation.

Responsibilities and Work Plan

The task force will typically meet monthly as a group and may consult with individuals and groups as appropriate to assess and understand: factors impacting progress, EDII-related initiatives adopted across campus, and resources supporting EDII.

The goals are to:

  • describe systemic barriers to EDII in Smith (e.g. policies and processes, recruitment and admissions, program structure) and non-systemic barriers (e.g. lack of awareness and understanding, attitudes)
  • develop and prioritize directives for concrete action to achieve EDII in:
    • student, staff and faculty communities
    • curriculum
    • policies and practices
    • physical and virtual spaces
  • establish an implementation plan for reducing barriers and advancing EDII as a core value fundamental to all activities
  • Identify measurable targets to both reflect commitment and monitor progress

To both expand Smith community engagement and accelerate progress, working groups will be formed to carry out specific activities and focus on key issues bringing action items, findings and recommendations forward to the Task Force. Working groups will involve faculty, staff, students and alumni

Past Updates

Task Force (TF) met on October 7 for the regular bi-weekly meeting.

Updates:

  • Students, staff, and faculty members have voiced the need for a reporting mechanism or process to report inappropriate behaviour. The working group on Policy, Process, and Practice Reform is mapping these processes, aiming to make reporting more accessible and transparent.
  • A planning session will be facilitated by Queen’s Executive Decision Centre to help the TF develop an EDII strategic plan for Smith. The first session will include the TF members and working group co-leads. Other sessions will involve Smith students, staff and faculty.
  • The Dean met with the Smith Advisory Board this week. Board members are encouraged by the amount of change underway at Smith and are involved in several initiatives. They emphasized the need for KPI’s to track progress towards Smith’s goals and objectives.

Updates from Smith Student-led and Program-specific EDII Committees:

  • Commerce Society: (1) Co-Chairs completed the Co-Chair Training and Development Program, which includes training in anti-oppression, inclusive leadership, and equity hiring. (2) The new Smith Black Business Association was unanimously ratified as part of ComSoc. (3) This Fall for the first time, every first-year Smith Commerce student was connected with a trained upper-year mentor to serve as an ally and resource throughout the year and beyond. (4) The society has formalized a working group to research, rewrite, and implement a robust code of conduct and whistleblower program. The team is working with Queen’s administration, the Smith Commerce Office, and the Alma Mater Society. (5) ComSoc completed an Acknowledgement of Territory guide that will be circulated and utilized by Co-Chairs.
  • MBA-MOM: a contract has been signed with consulting firm Divercial as a pilot project in the full-time Smith MBA program to track student experience from application to completion of the program, with a focus on inclusion.
  • Commerce EDII Committee: (1) the first of a four-part series of Smith Commerce Anti-Oppression and Equity Speaker Series for Commerce students will be held this week. (2) An event focused on allyship and leadership was held for first year students, linked to the COMM 153 course. (3) The Commerce admissions process is being modified to attract applicants from more diverse backgrounds, while the Personal Statement of Experience is changing to recognize a greater variety of experiences and perspectives.

Data and Dashboard Project Team updates:

  • Significant data has been acquired from various offices across Queen’s. One concern is low response rates to the surveys conducted by Queen’s.
  • The team is assessing the available data and will make recommendations to the TF of appropriate KPIs. This will include recommendations to improve/add data collection.

Working Groups update:

  • • Advancement and alumni engagement in support of EDII: (1) developing new criteria to recruit alumni and engage them in the working group and other EDII activities at Smith. (2) a new staff position at Smith will connect corporate partners, alumni and the Career Advancement Centre to promote EDII.
  • Policy, process, and practice reform: Prioritize mapping out key processes. This requires initial research to identify current reporting processes and integration with policy. Following this, process maps with narratives will be developed for students and for staff then shared with the TF.
  • Physical and virtual spaces: continuing to look for ways to make Smith a more equitable and inclusive environment, both physically and online. A more robust Land Acknowledgement for Goodes Hall has been written in consultation with Indigenous experts at Smith and Queen’s, which will be displayed in the building and online.

This is a regular summary of actions and initiatives underway at Smith School of Business to address equity, diversity, inclusion and indigenization (EDII) at the school. Note that these up-dates do not capture every initiative but highlight key efforts.

To view past up-dates, or review information about Smith’s activities in this area go to smithqueens.com/inclusion.

Engagement & Education

Multiple events are being held within Smith to raise awareness, discuss, and educate on EDII-related topics.

  • Pedagogy and Practice Workshop Series
    The fourth in a series of workshops for Smith faculty to learn about and apply EDII in their teaching pedagogy continued this week, with facilitator Alison Cummings from Queen’s Human Resources team leading a live, remote session on “Inclusive & Responsive Teaching.” Previous workshop topics were “Conversations on Decolonization,” “Power, Privilege & Bias,” and “Navigating Difficult Conversations”. The next topic will be “Universal Design for Learning.”
  • Smith Researchers meet with SSHRC President
    Smith faculty met with Dr. Ted Hewitt, President of SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) to discuss EDII-related developments at the tri-council research funding agencies and the agencies’ commitment to embedding EDII into the research enterprise. Dr. Hewitt discussed SSHRC’s requirement that EDII considerations be addressed in research proposals, design, execution, assessment, etc., as well as EDII best practices.
  • Smith Staff EDII Training
    Additional training in EDII topics was mandated for all Smith staff in August for completion by the end of September. Topics included: Working Together to Build an Inclusive Community; Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Human Rights; Indigenous Cultural Safety; Positive Space Training; and Cultural Intelligence. This is in addition to staff training already required on discrimination, inclusion, and harassment.

Student Initiatives

Smith Commerce Society
  • Smith Black Business Association – ComSoc ratified the newly-formed student group at its Sept 27 Assembly. SBBA “seeks to eradicate the barriers that intervene with the prosperity of black people in the Business Industry and to provide a space that is both safe and welcoming in which they can learn and grow.”
  • Training and Development Program – all ComSoc Co-Chairs successfully completed the first-ever Co-Chair Training and Development Program on Sept 23, including Anti-Oppression, Inclusive Leadership, and Hiring Equity training. ComSoc is currently collecting feedback from participants and facilitators to modify the program for future years.
  • First-Year Mentorship Program – ComSoc launched its first-ever Peer Leader Program. Each first-year Smith Commerce student was connected with a trained upper-year mentor to serve as an ally and resource throughout the year and beyond.
  • Acknowledgment of Territory Guide – ComSoc completed an Acknowledgment of Territory Guide that will be circulated to Co-Chairs in the coming weeks. This project came to fruition from the overwhelming number of Co-Chairs asking for Indigenous land acknowledgments for their events. The guide provides student leaders with a framework for creating and utilizing land acknowledgments at ComSoc sanctioned events.
  • ComSoc Student Code of Conduct – ComSoc recently formalized a working group to research, rewrite, and implement a robust code of conduct and whistleblower program. The team is actively working alongside Queen’s administration, the Smith Commerce Office, and the Alma Mater Society to determine the limits of ComSoc’s non-academic misconduct governance structure. Currently, members of the working group are engaged in student, faculty, and alumni consultations to determine best practices and shortcomings within our previous disciplinary policy. The team hopes to begin the rewriting process towards the beginning of December, with the goal of implementing by February.
Reform Smith

Dean Brouwer held a productive meeting with the co-chairs of the student and alumni group Reform Smith, following the release of its proposal. The Dean noted a number of common goals and areas of overlap and a shared commitment to advancing EDII work in tangible ways. They will continue to meet monthly.

Commerce Program

First year Commerce students participated this week in an event called ‘Allyship and Anti-Oppressive Leadership’ with guest speaker Tenniel Brown from the Centre for Anti-Oppressive Communication.

The Commerce admissions process is being reviewed with the objective of attracting and enrolling students from a greater diversity of backgrounds and experiences. A series of changes is being developed, to be implemented starting with the recruitment cycle for students entering the program in September 2021.

A comprehensive demographic survey of Commerce students is being prepared that will be administered this fall. The purpose is to gather deeper benchmark demographics data about the student body, making it possible to track changes in diversity as EDII initiatives are implemented going forward. This will become an annual undertaking.

Centre for Social Impact at Smith

The CSI hosted its annual Social Impact Summit on Oct 2-3, involving Smith students, faculty and external guests. A significant part of the agenda was devoted to EDII issues, including a discussion with Catalyst Canada Executive Director Tanya van Biesen on EDII and how we can each make a difference. Diversity and inclusion were the focus of a panel featuring Smith faculty Christine Coulter and Kate Rowbotham, and Harvard researcher and Smith alumnus Chu Q. Wang. Other sessions offered insights for students to advocate for diversity and inclusion as aspiring leaders.

The CSI hosted a webinar with partner Catalyst Canada on “Diversity and Inclusion on the front lines of COVID-19.” The session aimed to deepen the understanding of issues and challenges faced by front-line workers in healthcare, retail and banking. In addition, wages paid to these front-line workers are often very low, not reflecting the dangers they face. The panel of accomplished researchers and industry practitioners shared best practices and spoke about the need to mobilize academic knowledge and research.

Smith Professional Graduate Programs

Smith has engaged Divercial Consulting, a full-service diversity and inclusion consultancy firm, to conduct a pilot project to review the candidate-to-student journey in the full-time Smith MBA program. The focus will be on the program experience, and will include recommendations to enhance inclusion. The intention is to embed the recommendations across Smith’s portfolio of professional graduate programs as appropriate.

Career Advancement Centre

The CAC is hosting its inaugural ‘Diversity Clubs’ fair to connect Smith's corporate partners with Smith student diversity groups. The objectives are: to give student clubs exposure and support for their initiatives and events with corporate partners; and to give corporate partners an opportunity to get involved with the student groups to identify talent. We are excited to have student groups Q+, Edge, Smith Black Business Association, Queen’s Commerce Mental Health Association, Reconciliation on Bay, QWIL (Queen’s Women in Leadership) MBA, QWIL Commerce and Smith Women in Finance on board. The virtual event on Nov 19 will kick off with lightning pitches by the student groups, followed by break-out sessions with corporate partners.

Task Force (TF) met on September 23 for the regular bi-weekly meeting.

Updates:

  • Conversations are taking place with Reform Smith, a group of Commerce students and alumni, regarding their proposal. The end goal of Reform Smith and the Smith EDII TF are aligned: to have an inclusive and vibrant academic and work environment in which all voices can be heard. Dean Brouwer is meeting with Reform Smith to determine how both groups can work cooperatively and collaboratively
  • Senior administration at Queen’s is working with a sense of urgency to address EDII issues. For instance, conversations are taking place to improve recruitment and admissions practices for the soon to begin recruitment cycle.

Working Groups update:

  • EDII research and thought leadership: 40 EDII-related initiatives in research and thought leadership have been identified that are being pursued.
  • Incorporating EDII in teaching and learning: (1) Coffee Chats and conversations on teaching (similar to the Pedagogy Café sessions held last year) will be held this Fall. (2) Faculty participation in recent EDII workshops was less than hoped. A short survey, which will ask questions on how to get Faculty members more involved in EDII-related activities, will be sent to Faculty members shortly. (3) Discussion is underway to determine if the Faculty Development Fund can be utilized to hire Research Assistants to help Faculty members develop EDII content for their courses. (4) There is an increasing need to have open dialogue opportunities for Smith community members.
  • Physical, virtual and safe spaces: (1) Working on accurately defining ‘safe space’ to guide the working group in providing such spaces. (2) Revisiting land acknowledgements for Goodes Hall and SmithToronto and how best to display. (3) Working with the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre to produce a list of all art and their respective artists in Smith buildings. This will provide the working group with an idea of how diverse the artwork is. QR codes will be attached to each piece of art, which when activated will provide information on the art and artist. The goal is to display work from artists reflecting a variety of perspectives. (4) Working on spotlighting Smith spaces that are inclusive such as gender-neutral washrooms and the prayer/meditation room, as well as communicating how to access EDII resources at Smith that support inclusion. (5) ‘Extending the Rafters’ – working group recommends showcasing business leaders from historically disadvantaged groups in physical and virtual spaces.
  • Policy, process, and practice reform: (1) Refined mandate: look at existing policies and procedures, identify gaps and barriers, and develop recommendations as needed for equitable and more inclusive policies and procedures. Currently reviewing policies and procedures on recruitment and admissions across all programs. (2) Looking at policies and procedures for raising issues of discrimination and harassment. The goal is to provide a guideline of processes to communicate with Smith community members and propose strategies to encourage the reporting of incidents. (3) Considering a request from students for a non-Dean’s Office and non-Program Office staff member who can listen to student concerns regarding discrimination and harassment. This person would also guide students in pursuing formal action if needed. The working group will look into what is offered at Queen’s and communicate with students. If there are gaps, a recommendation will be brought forward to the TF to address this need.
  • Advancement and alumni engagement in support of EDII: (1) Developing criteria for alumni to sit on the working group to help support its mandate. (2) More than 40 alumni have volunteered following an email to all Smith alumni. Applications will be assessed in an unbiased process developed with outside expertise. The goal is to have new members by early November.

Updates from other Smith EDII-related committees:

Commerce Society: Two new Commerce student clubs are being created: the Smith Black Business Students’ Association and the Smith Indigenous Students’ Association. The AYS has had their ratification revoked.

This is a regular summary of actions and initiatives underway at Smith School of Business to address equity, diversity, inclusion and indigenization (EDII) at the school. Note that these up-dates do not capture every initiative but highlight key efforts.

To view past up-dates, or review information about Smith’s activities in this area go to smithqueens.com/inclusion.

Engagement & Education

Multiple events are being held within Smith to raise awareness, discuss, and educate on EDII-related topics.

The third in a series of workshops for Smith faculty to learn about and apply EDII in their teaching pedagogy continued this week, with facilitator Ian Fanning leading a live, remote session on “Conversations on Decolonization”. Prior topics were “Power, Privilege & Bias”, and “Navigating Difficult Conversations”. The next topic will be “Inclusive & Responsive Teaching”.

Ian is a member of Shabot Obaadjiwan Algonquin First Nation; he identifies as Algonquin/settler. He teaches at Queen’s in the departments of Global Development Studies, Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and in the School of Policy Studies. The workshop focused on how faculty can decolonize their courses by questioning their assumptions, looking at course content through Indigenous perspectives, educating students on the impacts of colonization, and leading difficult conversations in class to build awareness and understanding of Indigenous issues.

Pilot Project with Xeni Gwet'in First Nations Community and Red Bird Circle

September 21st was the opening reception for the inaugural Certificate in Administration and Business Management with students from the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations community in B.C. The program was created in collaboration with the Centre for Business Venturing at Smith, leaders of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation and Red Bird Circle, a training organization founded by Smith alumnus Jonathan Araujo Redbird. The program is a hands-on, immersive experience where students will apply the business, leadership and entrepreneurial skills they learn in the program to identified projects in the community. The Centre for Business Venturing hopes to work with other Indigenous communities to create similar programs. For more on this initiative, click here.

Reform Smith Proposal

On September 8, the Dean, and school and university leadership received a proposal prepared by a group of students and alumni that provided detailed and thoughtful assessments and recommendations for improvements in equity at Smith. Dean Brouwer’s detailed response is posted on smithqueens.com/inclusion and she is meeting with the co-leads of the project this week to discuss collaboration possibilities.

New Student Roles

The Commerce program has launched the process to hire two students to work within the Commerce team’s EDII efforts.

Smith’s Centre for Social Impact is underway with hiring a Diversity and Inclusion Student Intern Position this fall.

Alumni Engagement

Last week, the Smith Development and Alumni Engagement team put out a call for alumni with diverse perspectives and experience to volunteer to assist with Smith’s EDII initiatives. To date, more than 68 alumni have signed up to help in many ways — from mentoring a student and speaking at events to supporting the alumni task force working group and providing advice as an EDII subject matter expert. Alumni can register here.

Career Advancement Centre (CAC)

The CAC has developed a detailed tip sheet on “Harassment and Discrimination in The Recruiting Process and Workplace” to help Smith students recognize interactions of discrimination and harassment that might occur during the recruitment process, the concrete actions they can take, and the available support services. This also applies to those who have witnessed harassment or discrimination.

The CAC also has a number of new initiatives underway to support international students’ recruitment needs. Starting early in September and extending through the fall recruiting cycle, a Career Coach has been hosting a weekly series of one-hour drop-in sessions called, “Recruiting Readiness Ask-Me-Anything Series – International Edition”. The sessions are aimed at answering questions about recruitment. Planning is underway for a panel of international alumni who will share their insights with current students, with the option of ongoing mentorship opportunities.

Development has begun on an international student career-related curriculum series. This series will address questions around: immigration and working in Canada (developed in partnership with Queen’s International Centre); culture and working in Canada; and tactical sessions about resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn, and building connections and networks.

The CAC is sending a newsletter to corporate partners up-dating them on Smith’s EDII actions and initiatives. The newsletter highlights the diversity-related student clubs and initiatives at Smith, and events/opportunities to connect with the students involved.

Commerce Society (student government)

The Commerce Society continues to implement its detailed EDII plan released earlier in the summer, available here. The All Year Social (AYS) club was de-ratified by ComSoc at the end of August.

Program Initiatives

An Anti-Oppression and Equity Speakers Series has been launched by Smith Commerce. Commerce is also developing specialized programming to better support international students. See other Commerce initiatives in past bi-weekly up-dates at smithqueens.com/inclusion.

A committee has been formed of Masters in Management Innovation & Entrepreneurship (MMIE) alumni with expertise and a strong interest in supporting Smith and the MMIE program in continuous improvement. Their goal is to raise awareness, educate and assist the implementation of EDII initiatives for MMIE faculty, staff and students. They are working in four key areas: Communication/Support; Resources/Tools; Teaching/Content; and Measurement (KPIs of EDII change). Initiatives underway include an option for faculty teaching in the program to have the committee suggest ways to add EDII content to their courses, and a new MMIE club committed to the United Nations Sustainability Goals.

The Task Force met on September 8 for its regular bi-weekly meeting.

  • The Smith EDII Commitment was endorsed by Smith faculty and staff by means of a vote on September 8 (note: voting occurred after the EDII Task Force meeting ended). The Commitment was drafted by a sub-group of the EDII Task Force and circulated for comment to faculty and staff. It is a roadmap to guide the school’s EDII strategic direction and initiatives.
  • Indigenizing curricula: Smith faculty are asking for more support to indigenize their course curricula. A workshop for faculty is scheduled in September facilitated by Ian Fanning from Queen’s Centre for Teaching & Learning on “Conversations on Decolonization.” A list of resources and tips will be compiled and distributed to faculty to support this important initiative. Faculty should also use the many resources on decolonizing and Indigenizing teaching and learning accessible from the Centre for Teaching and Learning website.
  • Policy, process, and practice reform Working Group: are reviewing existing policies and processes at Smith and Queen’s. A focus will be on developing clear roadmaps to aid Smith students, staff and faculty in how they can access guidance and support on reporting incidents of inappropriate behavior, navigating the process and relevant policies, and what to expect at different stages of the process.
  • Incorporating EDII in teaching and learning Working Group: created and distributed a checklist of ideas and recommended best practices to faculty to inform their teaching; this followed from the Aug 27 student panel discussion on “What students want professors to know about EDII”. Advice included: how to create safe spaces so that marginalized students have a voice in class; encouraging faculty to confront and talk about their own implicit biases; and bringing more diverse perspectives into case studies.
  • Smith EDII webpages: the webpages are being redesigned to accommodate the growing quantity of information being posted, the type of content, and the need to make information easy to find. Task Force updates are posted on the pages as well as other Smith EDII-related material. Input is being gathered from the Task Force to anticipate what may be posted in future including dynamic content such as data and dashboard reports, feedback forms, etc.
  • MBA student hackathon: an initiative supported by the EDII Task Force and led by MBA students including EDII Task Force member Joban Chobal, the Smith MBA student EDI Club is organizing a hackathon involving 150 students from six universities. The final presentations are on Sept 19. One of the cases was written by Smith staff incorporating recent events at the school.

Other Smith EDII Committee updates (submitted in writing):

Career Advancement Centre (CAC)
  • Is introducing a career orientation session for first-year Commerce students the week of September 24. Objectives include providing early awareness of the breadth of career options for students, including an overview of four-year career programming and supports available for diverse career paths.
  • Smith recently became the first academic institution to partner with ICON Talent Partners, a not-for-profit talent development organization dedicated to training, mentoring and exposing top BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and Persons of Colour) talent to employment sectors such as investment banking, asset management, venture capital and technology start-ups. Students at Smith will benefit from ICON's programming, scholarships, and summer and full-time employment opportunities to help advance representation of BIPOC candidates in leading Canadian business roles.
  • The CAC is developing a Smith mandate and guidelines for equitable and unbiased hiring practices for corporate partners. The team is working with student groups Edge and Reform Smith, as well as Queen’s Career Services colleagues, to get input and alignment on best practices.
Full-time Smith MBA

Smith MBA team has been analyzing data from applicants, with specific focus on those from QTBIPOC communities. This is a long-term project to ensure we are exposing and eliminating barriers to qualified applicants from equity seeking groups. Similarly, we are ensuring our marketing efforts reach a diverse audience of potential applicants. On a practical front, we are embedding more EDII content in the core Managing Human Capital course, and delivering more focused EDII content during Orientation week to ground students in the program’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. The MBA’s Advisory Board recently appointed two new members to enhance representation on the Board of gender and persons of colour.

This is a regular summary of actions and initiatives underway at Smith School of Business to address equity, diversity, inclusion and indigenization (EDII) at the school. Note that these up-dates do not capture every initiative but highlight key efforts.

To view past up-dates, or review information about Smith’s activities in this area go to smithqueens.com/inclusion.

A School-wide Approach

Experiences shared courageously by students, alumni, and others speak to entrenched systemic issues within Smith and Queen’s. They also demonstrate troubling and persistent intolerance within our society at large. Making sustained, organizational and structural change at Smith means a substantial and comprehensive effort throughout the school and its communities.

Faculty & Staff Commitment

On September 8, Smith faculty and staff endorsed the Smith EDII Commitment. The Commitment is a roadmap to guide initiatives to combat systemic racism, discrimination and exclusion at the school. With their endorsement, faculty and staff demonstrated their support for meaningful, sustainable change.

The EDII Commitment is one of the initiatives of the Smith EDII Task Force, whose Working Groups continue their efforts on multiple fronts – updates are posted here. A major deliverable of the Task Force is a Strategic Plan with hard goals, action commitment, and key performance indicators, which will guide Smith’s efforts long-term. The Task Force mandate can be found here.

Reporting & Following Up on Events

We continue to monitor posts and feedback by students, alumni and other Smith community members describing serious and hurtful incidents of racism, sexual violence and inappropriate behaviours. Where these accounts have been posted through third parties (such as @StolenbySmith), we strongly encourage the impacted individuals to report these incidents to Smith and the university so they can be followed-up and investigated in accordance with existing policies. Information about various reporting options has been posted to smithqueens.com/inclusion under “Reporting Events.”

In all cases, reports made to the university of a serious nature will be treated as confidential and followed up with the submitter to discuss next steps. When reaching out to one of the resources, you can indicate that you are doing so in confidence.

Reference Information on Processes

Smith has made publicly available reference information about Smith and university processes posted here. Topics include: the current Commerce admission process; tuition and financial aid; data & demographics; hiring processes; code of conduct and discipline; sexual violence prevention and response processes; and student government.

Engagement & Education

Multiple events are being held within Smith with various audiences to raise awareness, discuss, and educate on EDII related issues.

For faculty members:
  • The annual Smith Faculty Retreat on Aug 31 – Sep 2 included significant content on EDII-related topics.
    • The opening keynote speaker was Dr. Leela Viswanathan, Founder and Principal of Viswali Consulting. Her topic was, "Fostering empathy and inclusion in the context of uncertainty: Considerations for Higher Education." She encouraged faculty to think about anti-racism as it applies to their work as teachers, researchers and community members; to be empathetic, which is the foundation for creating inclusive spaces for students and peers; and to have a growth mindset when working to counteract racism and discrimination. Dr. Viswanathan shared an excellent list of resources referenced in her talk, covering a range of topics from anti-racism, to intersectionality, to empathy and leadership.
    • On day two of the Retreat, a panel featuring Tanya van Biesen, Executive Director of Catalyst Canada, and Dr. Dnika Travis, Vice President of Research at Catalyst, discussed research and thought leadership through a lens of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Catalyst is the leading global non-profit working to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion. The panel highlighted ways for faculty to incorporate principles of EDI in their research, such as ensuring that diverse voices are represented in their data collection and analysis, and exploring issues of equity in their specialized area of management.
  • A checklist with advice and resources was circulated to faculty after an August 27 panel discussion during which Commerce student representatives who are engaged in equity issues discussed student expectations for their professors to address EDII issues in their courses. The checklist includes: how to create safe spaces so that marginalized students have a voice; encouraging faculty to confront their own implicit biases; and resources to Indigenize course content.
  • The series of online modules with facilitated discussions on EDII pedagogy continues in September with “Conversations on Decolonization” and in October with “Inclusive & Responsive Teaching.”
For staff:
  • All Smith staff were required to complete incremental EDII training in August. Another round of training is to be completed by the end of September. Topics include: Working Together to Build an Inclusive Community; Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Human Rights; Indigenous Cultural Safety; Positive Space Training; and Cultural Intelligence. This is in addition to already required staff training on discrimination, inclusion, and harassment.

Support for Students

Full-time Smith MBA Program

The following initiatives are underway:

  • Reviewing the funding available for full-time MBA students. The plan is to better promote the supports that already exist and consider additional funding for equity-seeking students.
  • Analyzing data from applicants, with specific focus on those from QTBIPOC communities This is a long-term project to ensure we are exposing and eliminating barriers to qualified applicants from equity seeking groups.
  • Ensuring we are reaching a diverse audience of potential applicants with our marketing efforts.
  • Embedding more EDII content in the core Managing Human Capital course. A new EDII session will be delivered prior to classes starting for the incoming Class of 2022 in January 2021, led by current student members of the EDII Club from the MBA Class of 2021, with support from a faculty mentor.
  • Adding more EDII content to the Orientation session on Cultural Intelligence, already a mandatory component of the program.
  • Appointing two new members to the MBA Advisory Board from the Class of 2020. The Board’s terms of reference state the need to ensure diverse representation in order to provide program leaders with advice that will keep the program evolving to meet the needs of employers and students: both of the new members are women and one is of Nigerian heritage.
Career Advancement Centre (CAC)
  • The CAC is introducing a career orientation session for first-year Commerce students the week of September 24. Objectives include providing early awareness of the breadth of career options for students, including an overview of four-year career programming and supports available for diverse career paths.
  • The CAC is excited to announce that Smith is the first academic institution to partner with ICON Talent Partners, a not-for-profit talent development organization dedicated to training, mentoring and exposing top BIPOC talent to employment sectors such as investment banking, asset management, venture capital and technology start-ups. Black, Indigenous and students of colour at Smith will benefit from ICON's programming, scholarships, and summer and full-time employment opportunities to help advance representation of BIPOC candidates in leading Canadian business roles.
  • The CAC is developing a Smith mandate and guidelines for equitable and unbiased hiring practices for corporate partners. The team is working with student groups Edge and Reform Smith, as well as Queen’s Career Services colleagues to get input and alignment on best practices.

Task Force (TF) met on August 25 for the regular weekly meeting.

Updates:

  • The “Smith EDII Commitment & Pledge” was shared with Faculty and Staff, who have been invited to submit comments. Faculty and Staff will be asked to endorse the commitment in early September.

Data and Dashboard Project update:

  • The team is continuing to acquire relevant data and information from various Queen’s units, such as Student Affairs and Institutional Research and Planning.
  • The data will be shared and discussed with the TF. All TF members will sign an NDA due to the confidential and sensitive nature of this data.

Working Groups update:

  • Incorporating EDII in teaching and learning: a panel of Commerce students are meeting with faculty on Aug 27 to discuss ‘What students want professors to know’. A summary of the discussion as well as a checklist of ideas and recommended best practices will be made available to Faculty members after the panel.
  • EDII research and thought leadership: (1) a webinar will be held in early September for first responders. Health Sciences and Smith Faculty members will participate. (2) Working with the City of Kingston on local projects focused on equity and pandemic-related issues. (3) Connected with KEYS, a local not-for-profit that offers employment programs and services which extend to a diverse population including newcomers to Canada. Smith Faculty researchers and students will be engaged in projects that involve immigrants in the Kingston community.
  • Policy, process, and practice reform: (1) the MBA-MOM and PhD-MSc subgroups are actively identifying immediate and long-term initiatives to address equity issues. (2) The Commerce sub-group will support the Commerce EDII Committee which is taking the lead on policy changes. (3) The larger working group is discussing how additional resources can be brought in to increase the diversity of Smith’s student population.
  • Advancement and alumni engagement in support of EDII: recommends acquiring external expertise to establish a transparent process to help manage alumni volunteer engagement, both for recruiting alumni for volunteer opportunities at Smith, and for receiving and assessing offers of assistance from alumni. The group is working to coordinate alumni engagement across the school so that alumni are engaged and feel valued as they connect with faculty, staff and students.

Other Smith EDII Committee updates:

  • Commerce Society: (1) students will be sent a survey, which will help the Commerce Society equip itself with better advocacy knowledge on what students want in the curriculum and how they feel about guest speakers. (2) Discussion is taking place for training to be provided to students from Queen’s Human Rights and Equity Office. (3) Need to ensure there is student representation on the EDII Task Force working groups. (4) Pre-orientation activities are taking place as Orientation will commence shortly – 450 students have registered.
  • Commerce EDII Committee: (1) the structure of the committee has been changed – it will be co-led by one Faculty member (Kate Rowbotham) and one Staff member (Mofi Badmos). Once the committee is re-established, the student composition will be determined. (2) Looking to have an anonymous feedback button on the student portal where students can anonymously provide feedback on Commerce-related matters. (3) Two students will be hired by the Commerce Office to support EDII initiatives. (4) An EDII-focused speaker series will begin in September.

This is a regular summary of actions and initiatives underway at Smith School of Business to address equity, diversity, inclusion and indigenization at the school. Note that these up-dates do not capture every initiative but highlight key efforts.

To subscribe to these up-dates, view past up-dates, or review information about Smith’s activities in this area go to smithqueens.com/inclusion.

A School-wide Approach

Experiences shared courageously by students, alumni, and others clearly speak to entrenched systemic issues within Smith and Queen’s. They also demonstrate troubling and persistent intolerance within our society at large. Making sustained, organizational and structural change at Smith means a substantial and comprehensive effort throughout the school and its communities.

The Dean commissioned a Task Force with multiple working groups and a large team of staff, faculty, students, and external experts precisely because of the scale of response required to make meaningful progress at Smith. The mandate, structure and regular up-dates on the progress of the Task Force are available publicly at smithqueens.com/inclusion.

The major deliverable of the Task Force is a Strategic Plan with hard goals, action commitment, and key performance indicators, which will guide Smith’s efforts long-term.

Data & Dashboard Project

A dedicated data and dashboard project is focussing on improving Smith’s base of data about EDII related matters so we can better assess, diagnose and address challenges and also track progress.

Reference Information on Processes

Smith has made publicly available a set of reference information about Smith and university processes posted here. Topics include: the current Commerce admission process; tuition and financial aid; data & demographics; hiring processes; code of conduct and discipline; sexual violence prevention and response processes; and student government.

Engagement & Education

Multiple events are occurring within Smith with various audiences to raise awareness, discuss, and educate on EDII related needs.

For students:
  • Development underway on a speaker series to increase dialogue, challenge assumptions, and enhance understanding of anti-racism, equity, and anti-oppression planned for the fall for Commerce and PhD/MSc students.
  • A dedicated anti-oppression/anti-racism speaker event as part of onboarding for first-year Commerce students.
  • Regular up-dates shared on student program portals.
For faculty:
  • On August 27th, a panel discussion for faculty with Commerce student representatives engaged in equity issues at Smith to discuss student expectations and experience.
  • Online modules and facilitated discussion series. Offered to date: Power, Privilege & Bias and Navigating Difficult Conversations.
For staff:
  • Additional required training to be complete by mid-fall. Topics include: Working Together to Build an Inclusive Community; Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Human Rights; Indigenous Cultural Safety; Positive Space Training; and Cultural Intelligence. This is in addition to already required staff training on discrimination, inclusion, and harassment.
  • Additional EDII focused training for all Commerce Office staff above specific to the undergraduate context.

Physical spaces

Land acknowledgements to be displayed in Smith’s Goodes Hall and SmithToronto facilities.

Programs

There are multiple activities underway within the various academic programs. Some recent highlights:

Commerce

A detailed set of actions has been established for the undergraduate program, and will continue to be developed on an ongoing basis. Among some of the most recent efforts:

  • Re-establishing the dedicated Commerce EDII committee (including faculty, staff and students) with an up-dated mandate and now co-chaired by Mofi Badmos, Diversity and Inclusivity Coordinator, and Kate Rowbotham, Adjunct Assistant Professor Organizational Behaviour.
  • Creating a specific EDII space on the Commerce student portal to be available this fall. The new space will provide information about EDII initiatives, events and resources at Smith and across campus.
  • Hiring two students to support EDII initiatives in the Commerce office. More information about the roles can be found here on the Queen’s Human Resources site.
  • Review of policies and procedures within the Commerce Office related to Commerce operations as well as academic regulations to ensure fair and equitable access.
    • Steps taken to date include drafting new Terms of Reference for the Commerce Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (oversees all aspect of curriculum) to determine how to take into account QTBIPOC student representation and voices, and removing all administrative fees tied to academic options such as late course drops and reassessment of deliverables (e.g. assignments, exams).
  • Improving inclusion for international students.
  • Working with Queen’s Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment EDII Task Force to propose and adopt changes to increase equity, access and diversity of students recruited and admitted to undergraduate programs, including Commerce, and providing more support for applicants in completing the written application and personal statement of experience (PSE).

The Commerce Society (ComSoc) has posted its own EDII Course of Action, Commitment to the Student Body, and will be providing up-dates on its efforts on its web site at comsoc.ca/edii.

Master's Programs

Among a number of initiatives in the Professional Master’s programs:

  • Strategies for Increased content, workshops and activities to develop a stronger culture of psychological safety in student teams.
  • Engagement of program alumni via a volunteer committee.
Career Services

The Career Advancement Centre is undertaking specific initiatives in the context of its role. Among the initiatives being implemented in the near term:

  • Increasing awareness and training for students on the diversity of career paths available.
  • Plans for soliciting QTBIPOC student feedback on career education modules.
  • Increasing networking opportunities between employers and diversity clubs and QTBIPOC students.
  • Develop Smith mandate and guidelines for equitable and unbiased hiring practices for corporate partners.

Collaboration & Partnerships

Smith is in discussion with other Ontario business schools about co-ordinating efforts to develop programming and outreach for students in grades 9-12 who may not see themselves in an undergraduate business program.

Task Force (TF) met on August 19 for the regular weekly meeting. Updates:

  • Smith’s EDII webpage has additional reference information about processes at Smith linked to EDII at: smith.queensu.ca/about/EDII/reference-info.php. Information includes: the Commerce admission process; tuition and financial aid; staff and faculty hiring processes, etc.
  • Two working groups are merging as their mandates are aligned. The new “Physical, Virtual & Safe Spaces” working group combines “Physical and virtual spaces” and “Fostering open dialogue.” The revised working group will promote places and spaces where students, faculty and staff feel safe, welcome and valued, and developing safe places to voice concerns and complaints with clear processes and follow-up.
  • The “Smith EDII Commitment & Pledge” has been drafted by a sub-set of the EDII Task Force, as one of its action items. Co-chair Stephanie Simpson described it as a compass or roadmap to guide our EDII actions. The Task Force discussed the draft document and recommended several modifications. A revised version will be sent to faculty and staff this week inviting comments to be followed by a request for their endorsement in early September. The document is aligned with the Principal’s Declaration of Commitment to address systemic racism released last week, and endorsed by the senior leadership team.
  • Dean Brouwer and Commerce Executive Director Lori Garnier continue to meet with student groups who are developing recommendations to help advance EDII reform at Smith.
  • The Task Force’s Data & Dashboard Project team are coordinating data requests from the working groups. They are sourcing data that is collected by Queen’s and determining how it can be used to inform the working groups’ initiatives. These data sources, as appropriate, will be used to track the Key Performance Indicators identified by the Task Force. Discussion about an engagement survey – framework done for staff, can be adapted to include students. To be followed up with HR and Student Affairs.
  • The Physical, Virtual & Safe Spaces working group has a number of action items to make our physical spaces more inclusive and welcoming, including signage in Goodes Hall and SmithToronto to include Indigenous Land Acknowledgements, signage for gender neutral washrooms, displaying the stories of the artwork displayed and the artists (QR codes); identify, amplify and celebrate diversity among business/thought leaders and entrepreneurs through photos and stories.
  • The Teaching & Learning working group will hold a panel discussion on ‘What students want profs to know’ next week for faculty featuring ~3-4 student panelists.
  • The Policy & Process working group has divided into three sub-groups to focus on program-specific policy improvements.
  • The Commerce Society finalized its training and development plan for the 125 Co-Chairs that operate its 55 conferences and committees. Partnering with Like-Minded Females (a not-for-profit social enterprise changing the narrative of inclusion and enabling women and minority groups to achieve success) and Queen’s Human Rights and Equity Office, they will provide Anti-Oppression, Inclusive Leadership, and Hiring Equity training. All ComSoc committees have submitted an EDI commitment to the student body, and a course of action (comsoc.ca/edii) which are currently being evaluated by ComSoc’s Commissioners and Advisory Board. Queen's Business Review will publish action plans to hold executives accountable to their student body.

Task Force (TF) met on August 4 for the regular weekly meeting. Updates:

  • As several working groups are contemplating various means of consulting with students, staff, faculty and/or alumni, there is a need to ensure coordination, planning and optimizing the efforts and opportunities
  • Representatives from Ontario Business School’s (Smith, Ivey, Rotman, and Schulich) will meet to explore a collaboration with the goal of increasing awareness of business as an option for high school students from marginalized groups. The intent is a program to raise awareness, mentor high school students in grades 9-12 and reach out to schools, communities and students who might not otherwise consider undergraduate study in commerce/business.
  • Reform Smith – outreach efforts by Queen’s administration to the co-chairs of stolenbysmith and the reform initiative which seeks information about accounts of sexual violence are being made. The outreach is to raise awareness about the potential harms, issues of data security and wanting to ensure that individuals who provide accounts are informed of community and Queen’s dedicated resources. https://www.queensu.ca/sexualviolencesupport/
  • EDII-related Meetings with student groups:
    • Transparency Project – this group produced the Broken Ladder report and anticipate three additional reports to follow. An introductory meeting was held to understand the group’s goals, the goals of the taskforce and consider whether there were opportunities to collaborate. A follow-up will be coordinated with the Data and Dashboard project leaders.
    • EDGE Reform – they are interested in access to data in order to complete three project phases. The presentation illustrated an incomplete understanding of the goals of the Task force vis-à-vis the proposed work. Feedback was provided, EDGE would supply updated information and a follow-up meeting would be scheduled.

Working Groups update:

    • Physical and virtual spaces: (1) reviewed Smith’s inventory of physical and virtual spaces. (2) conducting a site visit this week in Goodes Hall to examine the spaces through an EDII lens and provide input to the TF (3) Reported that Smith has 13 gender-neutral washrooms and a prayer room- information to be more effectively communicated to the Smith community.
    • Incorporating EDII in teaching and learning: (1) identified areas for improvement, such as teaching practices and materials. (2) Will consider training elements in teaching and learning focused on intervention for when issues of discrimination arise.
    • Policy, process, and practice reform: (1) have split into sub-groups that are each developing a list of immediate action items. (2) Discussion is taking place to ensure appropriate consultation about recommended changes or revisions to policy.
    • Advancement and alumni engagement in support of EDII: (1) started meetings with alumni to acquire their perspectives on EDII actions by Smith. (2) Discussed the role of educational institutions aligning with the Black North Initiative. Smith has reached out to explore, as a non-corporate entity, how we might engage with them. (3) Discussed EDII training for alumni and their employers.
    • There was general discussion about messaging on current issues, and on actions to promote common understanding. Smith coordinates all communications through our marketing and communications team and with central communications as appropriate.
    • Advancing EDII through open dialogue with students, staff, faculty, and alumni: Discussed the need to ensure effective communication and process for communicating to ensure awareness of plans, initiatives, and activities.
    • EDII research and thought leadership: (1) researchers are actively working in the area of EDII. Thought leadership should identify how the impact of these researchers’ work can be maximized e.g. featured on Smith Business Insight. More resources and incentives are needed to encourage such work. (2) faculty hiring is broadly driven by teaching and research needs; to build capacity for EDII research, this would need to be prioritized.
  • Data and Dashboard Project: (1) working with Queen’s Human Rights and Equity Office to acquire equity-related data. (2) Will meet with Smith HR to identify data that can be captured from PeopleSoft. (3) Met with some alumni regarding KPI strategies to incorporating KPIs focused on physical, social, and emotional safety. (4) Examining data available on student life and gaps in information.
  • Feedback submitted via the Smith EDII webpage has been shared with the TF. Comments and offers to help to be forwarded to the appropriate working groups. Regular updates to be provided.
  • Commerce EDII Committee: will expand its mandate to make it broader and fill vacant seats.
  • MSc/PhD Student EDII Committee: focus is on the Graduate consortium in September and ensuring incoming and returning students feel welcome, included and supported.
  • Commerce Society: (1) hosted an EDII training session for Co-Chairs of student organizations – more than 100 students participated. (2) Student organizations will develop EDII commitments by August 14.
  • In response to queries about mandatory training it was reported that Commerce students take a 2nd year core corporate social responsibility/ethics course. The planning to incorporate mandatory EDII content in first year Commerce is underway.
  • Task Force (TF) met on July 28 for the regular weekly meeting.
  • Smith is exploring a partnership with Ivey, Rotman, and Schulich to improve the recruitment pipeline for Black and Indigenous students. The objectives are to: (a) identify communities and schools where sustainable outreach programs can be implemented; (b) provide outreach to these students early (e.g. in grade 9-10); and (c) provide these students with mentorship and support them in preparing for business school. Members of the TF (Lori Garnier and Mofi Badmos) will participate in this initiative.
  • Smith is planning more forums for Commerce students to hear their EDII concerns.
  • Working Groups update:
    • Physical and virtual spaces: three sub-groups (virtual spaces, physical spaces, and policy, procedure, and communications) have been created. Their objective is to create healthy and inclusive spaces for all community members.
    • Incorporating EDII in teaching and learning: members reviewed the PICRDI and Extending the Rafters reports, among others. Meetings to commence shortly.
    • Policy, process, and practice reform: (1) three sub-groups (MSc/PhD programs, MBA and Master of Management programs, and Commerce program) have been created. (2) An overarching vision and strategy statement has been developed that will guide the group’s work.
    • Advancement and alumni engagement in support of EDII: (1) meetings with staff have commenced. Alumni will be engaged shortly. (2) The group will be utilizing Queen’s Executive Decision Centre’s facilitation process to support its work.
    • Advancing EDII through open dialogue with students, staff, faculty, and alumni: meetings will commence shortly. Its focus is on establishing proactive, longer-term sustainable engagement approaches for the Smith community.
    • EDII research and thought leadership: (1) discussion with the City of Kingston has begun on a project to analyze the socioeconomic conditions and barriers that new immigrants in Kingston face. (2) In September, a webinar focused on woman and frontline workers who are forced into poorly paid, high-risk jobs will be provided by the Centre for Social Impact.
  • EDII Data and Dashboard Project team: (1) the group is researching existing EDII KPIs that can be adapted/tailored to fit our mandate and leverage knowledge and expertise from Smith Organizational Behaviour faculty, Queen’s Human Rights and Equity Office, Queen’s Institutional Research & Planning, and Advancement. (2) Guiding principles were established for the project:
    • Create and maintain a master-list of datasets required for / available to all working groups for efficient coordination.
    • Ensure that data collection, storage, analysis conform to GREB standards (General Research Ethics Board) and obtain the necessary (re)approvals.
    • Always justify how any data that is used is legitimately relevant to the mandate.
    • Be mindful that voluntarily reported data is inherently biased unless the response rate is exceptionally high.
    • Anticipate and address alternatives to labour-intensive steps throughout various stages of data analysis.
  • A Smith-wide EDII statement and associated commitments will be drafted as per the EDII Task Force’s mandate, which will be externally facing and serve to articulate how the School will put EDII into action.
  • Update from the Commerce Society: (1) a best practice guide for all Co-Chairs of student organizations has been created. It will guide students on how to engage with each other through an EDII lens. (2) New evaluation mechanisms have been developed to assess the performance of all ComSoc executives. (3) Raised the concern that students involved in EDII projects are engaging in unpaid labour and that some students from equity-seeking backgrounds are averse to volunteering as they may have to relive past trauma in explaining their backgrounds. (4) Requested from the TF that the expectations of student volunteers on the TF working groups be explicitly stated.
  • Update from the PhD/MSc Student EDII Committee: (1) work has commenced in establishing short and long terms goals to address the specific EDII needs of MSc and PhD students. (2) Discussions have taken place with the Teaching and Learning Committee. (3) Future events and activities will be organized with EDII in mind.
  • Update from the MBA/MOM EDII Committee: (1) three MBA clubs have formed a triad to address EDII issues. (2) A case competition will be held, which will address the EDII issues raised by @StolenbySmith using the Smith Living Case team of writers. Students from other universities will be invited. The Committee is looking to include Commerce and other Graduate students in the competition.
  • Task force (TF) met on July 21 for the regular weekly meeting.
  • Update: (1) Smith held a town hall for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year students on July 16th, ~260 were in attendance; format was too limited for the number of students and quantity of questions. (2) additional town halls and other more suitable forums need to be held for input and discussion will be scheduled on the topic of EDII actions and plans for the immediate, medium, and long term; and (3) it was shared that university-wide discussions with senior administration regarding EDII are taking place.
  • Working groups and their leads were established. The co-leads for each working group are:
    • Physical and virtual spaces: Michael Fisher (Task Force) and Patrick Legresley
    • Incorporating EDII in teaching and learning: Kate Rowbotham (TF) and Arcan Nalca
    • Policy, process, and practice reform: Roshan Udit (TF) and Harry Smith
    • Advancement and alumni engagement in support of EDII: Rishi Behari (TF) and Jeanette Hepburn
    • Advancing EDII through open dialogue with students, staff, faculty, and alumni: Mofi Badmos (TF) and Erin LeBlanc
    • EDII research and thought leadership: Yolande Chan (TF) and Matthias Spitzmuller
  • Working groups will engage students, staff, faculty, and alumni volunteers to support their work.
  • A subgroup of the EDII task force will undertake the EDII TF data and dashboard project (lead: Raga Gopalakrishnan and enlist the expertise of Erin LeBlanc)
  • Comments and suggestions sent to the TF will be reviewed and published (if person indicates permission) on the Smith EDII webpage.

July 16

  • TF members met on July 16 with Kelly Weiling Zou, founder of @StolenBySmith Instagram account, a Commerce Society Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and 4th year Commerce student. Kelly presented a list of action items for Smith to address issues of discrimination, racism, diversity and inclusion among Commerce students. Many of the action items align with the initiatives of the TF and its Working Groups. A commitment was made to continued dialogue with Kelly.
  • Kelly and fellow ComSoc Diversity and Inclusion Officer Meena Waseem met with Dean Brenda Brouwer earlier that day.

July 14

  • Task force (TF) members met July 14 for regular weekly meeting.
  • Six working groups were identified in areas of focus that will deliver on the TF mandate. Each Working Group will have a TF member as well as Smith faculty, staff, and students, several will include alumni. Groups will consider and be guided by PICDRI and TRCTF recommendations as well as other relevant reports and data.
  • Working Groups:
    • Physical spaces (public spaces in Goodes and SmithToronto) and virtual spaces (e.g. Smith web site, student portals)
    • Incorporating EDII into teaching and learning (courses and across curriculum)
    • Research and thought leadership in EDII
    • Policy, process and practice reform (e.g. outreach, recruitment and admissions, award adjudication, clubs)
    • Advancement and alumni engagement in EDII initiatives
    • Advancing EDII through communication and open dialogue
  • Working Groups will work in tandem with program-specific EDII committees and other EDII-focused groups at Smith to avoid duplication, including:
    • Commerce
    • MBA /MOM
    • MMA/MMAI
    • MSc and PhD
    • Centre for Social Impact
    • Commerce Society
    • Career Advancement Centre
  • Working Groups to be populated by the week of July 20 and begin meetings. The TF member on the WG will report back to the TF and upload a brief meeting summary to the teams site.
  • Other EDII initiatives underway across Smith will be communicated on the EDII webpage.
  • Task force (TF) members introduced themselves and why they want to serve on the EDII TF.
  • Reviewed the positioning of the committee as a Smith-wide TF addressing EDII in all aspects of the School’s operations with a defined mandate, workplan and goals. By establishing working groups, broader student, staff, faculty and alumni involvement is possible to accelerate progress and implementation of actions and initiatives. Working groups will complement the work undertaken by program-specific EDII committees and student run EDII committees.
  • The TF will identify performance indicators, targets and monitor progress with periodic reporting and updates posted to the EDII web page.
  • TF will initially meet weekly to get working groups launched and assist with communicating immediate EDII actions thought the EDII web page.
  • A Teams site has been set-up for the TF.
  • Meeting summaries will be posted to the EDII web page (public facing).
  • An invitation will be extended to Kelly Weiling Zhou, founder of @StolenbySmith to meet with the TF members.

EDII Task Force Membership

Co-chairs

Brenda Brouwer

Brenda Brouwer
Dean (interim)
Smith School of Business

Stephanie Simpson

Stephanie Simpson
Associate Vice-Principal
Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion

Members

Richi Behari

Rishi Behari
Staff member, Management

Yolande Chan

Yolande Chan
Tenured faculty member

Ann Deer

Ann Deer
Indigenous Recruiter & Support Coordinator

Michael Fisher

Michael Fisher
Director
Smith HR

Lori Garnier

Lori Garnier
Executive Director
Commerce

Raga Gopalakrishnan

Ragavendran (Raga) Gopalakrishnan
Tenure-stream faculty member

Erin LeBlanc

Erin LeBlanc
Director
Strategic Program Development & Accreditation

Lori Ross

Laurie Ross
Executive Director
Dean’s Office

Kate Rowbotham

Kate Rowbotham
Continuing Adjunct faculty member

Roshan Udit

Roshan Udit
Staff member, non management

Student representatives

Cecilia Ying

Cecilia Ying
PhD

Joban Chahal

Joban Chahal
MBA

Sebastian Monsalve

Sebastian Monsalve
Commerce Society President
Commerce

Sharon Clarke

Sharon Clarke
Associate Director
Queen’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives (ex officio)

EDII Task Force Working Groups

Working Group NameMandateCo-Leads
Physical and virtual spaces working group Examine public spaces (Goodes Hall, website) through an EDII lens, consider need for and structure of a safe and welcoming space for diverse students (virtual, student portals) and for physical & accessible gathering spaces and what that might look like. Michael Fisher, Director, Smith HR
Patrick Legresley, Director, Smith Finance
Erin LeBlanc, Director, Accreditations & Special Projects
Incorporating EDII in teaching and learning working group Focus on principles of EDII and weaving them into the fabric of the curriculum and associated activities & materials. Increase awareness of our values, our commitment to them and expectations of behaviour – how best can this be achieved? (e.g. statements on course outlines, activities/events). Strategies to help faculty adopt EDII in their teaching, development of a toolkit. Kate Rowbotham, Continuing Adjunct Professor, Organizational Behaviour
Arcan Nalca, Assistant Dean (Teaching & Learning)
Policy, process and practice reform working group Examine practices related to the implementation of policies and processes relevant to the academic mission of Smith and examining the policies themselves through an EDII lens. Identify systemic barriers, implicit bias and present solutions and strategies for their removal. The group’s initial focus is on actions and approaches to increasing the diversity of the student body especially BIPOC students, through outreach and recruitment efforts, admissions decisions and onboarding incoming cohorts. Roshan Udit, Faculty Resource Advisor
Harry Smith, Programs Counsel
Advancement and Alumni Engagement in support of EDII working group Identify ways in which alumni can engage in supporting EDII at Smith, in activities related to education, advancement, corporate partnerships, career preparedness, etc. Rishi Behari, MBA’13 Manager, Corporate Relationships
Jeanette Hepburn, BCom’89, Executive Director, Smith Development & Alumni Relations
EDII Research and thought leadership Advance EDII through scholarship, research, and knowledge mobilization. Develop strategies to promote the study of EDII issues by individual Smith faculty, students and Smith teams. Amplify the local and global impact of Smith's EDII research and thought leadership. Yolande Chan, Professor and Associate Dean (Research, PhD/MSc Programs)
Matthias Spitzmuller, Associate Professor and Distinguished Professor of Organizational Behaviour