Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity at Smith

EDII Task Force Updates

The EDII TF has announced the following immediate actions

  • all Smith staff will receive EDII training before the start of the fall term. This builds on mandatory training that has been in place for management staff already;
  • additional training support will be provided to Smith faculty members to apply equity, diversity and inclusion in teaching pedagogy. The first module and interactive session – focused on Power, Privilege and Bias – will occur in advance of the fall term;
  • all Smith students (undergraduate and graduate) will receive EDII training in the upcoming year.
  • The creation of six working groups that will focus on advancing EDII in:
    • 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 with students, staff, faculty and alumni.

Each Working Group will have a Task Force member as well as Smith faculty, staff, and students, several will include alumni.

Dean’s Message

This has been and continues to be a difficult time for many in the Smith community as issues of inequity, oppression, discrimination, exclusion and systemic racism have been brought front and centre for us all.

It’s not enough that we identify equity, diversity, inclusion and indigeneity (EDII) as a core value – we must live it, breathe it and firmly entrench it in all we do and do so with intentionality.

We have made progress in recent years including:

  • improved hiring processes to be more inclusive. All members of every hiring panel have mandatory equity training and there is always an Employment Equity Representative on each hiring committee;
  • Increased EDII content in the first and second year undergraduate curriculum, as well as master’s programs curriculum;
  • established in 2017 a dedicated role for Indigenous recruitment and support for the school;
  • added in 2019 a dedicated Diversity and Inclusivity Coordinator for the undergraduate Commerce program;
  • partnering with organizations that are leaders in EDII, such as Catalyst Canada;
  • supporting student groups that prioritize EDII, such as EDGE, QCMHA, and Reconciliation on Bay

Clearly, however, there is much more for us to do.

I ask the Smith community to reflect on how each of us as individuals and as part of our community can foster a culture of inclusion, dignity and respect for all. We must hold ourselves and each other accountable for ensuring that our actions speak to our values.

Listening to our community of students, staff, faculty and alumni and learning about their experiences will be part of the process that the EDII Task Force will undertake to gain deeper understanding to inform meaningful action.

We have a lot of work ahead and it will require everyone to do their part if we truly are to build a safe, inclusive and welcoming teaching, learning and work environment for each and every member of the community.

Let’s make it so.

Brenda Brouwer, PhD
Dean, Smith School of Business

Smith School of Business EDII Task Force

A new Smith-specific EDII Task Force was established in Summer 2020. Its mandate is to:

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

Among other goals, the Task Force will identify systemic barriers to EDII in Smith such as policies and processes, recruitment and admissions, program structure, and non-systemic barriers including lack of awareness and understanding, and attitudes.

The Task Force will develop directives for action in areas including student, staff and faculty communities, curriculum, policies and practices, and physical and virtual spaces.

It will establish an implementation plan for reducing barriers and advancing EDII at Smith as a core value fundamental to all activities, including setting measurable targets to 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.

Share your stories, comments and suggestions with us!

Your input matters. Please share your experience at Smith, your ideas and your opinions – we are listening. Thank you.

All content submitted through this form will be shared with Smith’s EDII Task Force. With your permission, some stories will be shared on this site (anonymously). Read comments and suggestions received