Our Commitment

Smith School of Business and Queen’s University are committed to action to root out causes of racism, and cultivate a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive academic and work environment. Read more about the pledges made by the school and university leadership.

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 indigenization (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 Commitment and Pledge

Smith School of Business is committed to cultivating a vibrant, diverse and inclusive academic and work environment rooted in a culture of mutual respect and equity such that all members of our community feel safe, possess a strong sense of belonging, and are empowered to thrive. Through intent and action, we must eliminate all forms of racism, discrimination and harassment that have perpetuated inequities in our environment, the curriculum, our research and in administrative operations.

We must change attitudes and structures that have disadvantaged communities across multiple dimensions of diversity including ancestry, ethnicity, race, age, gender and sexual identities, ability status and socioeconomic standing. Furthermore, metrics and performance indicators are critical to evaluate progress, assess the impact of our EDII work, drive accountability and support evidence-based decision-making.

We recognize that access, equity and inclusion are vital to our school's future and to developing global citizens with the broad knowledge, skills, and perspectives needed to contribute meaningfully to society as well as advancements in business. We will expand our efforts and accelerate the implementation of meaningful change in addressing racism and inequities by:

Building diversity

Introducing policies and practices to increase access and inclusion for underrepresented groups — including BIPOC communities, members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, and women — among undergraduate and graduate student bodies, staff, faculty, administrators and advisory boards.

Education and training

Incorporating education and training to enable members of our community to recognize, acknowledge and address systemic racism and the unconscious biases that each of us holds into the onboarding of new students, staff and faculty members and into the professional development of others. We will also provide education and training so that all Smith community members are aware of their roles and responsibilities with respect to creating a school environment free of discrimination, harassment and sexual violence and of the avenues available for addressing concerns.

Fostering inclusion & dialogue

Supporting the success of our community members by: fostering open dialogue and respecting each other’s perspectives and experiences; ensuring the voices and perspectives of those from marginalized communities are sought, presented, amplified and valued; integrating EDII considerations into academic programming, administrative functions, alumni engagement, operations and decision-making; and, incorporating EDII-related concerns in research design, practice and thought leadership.

The above elements are for immediate implementation to ensure action in the short term. Addressing the deep-seated root causes that have allowed systemic racism and inequities to persist will require organizational reform and changes in mindset, structure and culture. This will take time. We will develop and execute a strategic plan that is informed by data, experiences and understanding of the issues. We will be publicly accountable for assessing and reporting on progress and the impact of our actions at regular intervals. With the will and commitment of each member of our community — faculty, staff, students and alumni — we will succeed in affecting sustainable change.

Queen’s-wide Declaration of Commitment to Address Systemic Racism

Principal Patrick Deane has released a declaration, on behalf of the university’s administration, to address racism — systemic as well as individual. All members of the senior leadership including Brenda Brouwer, Dean of Smith, have endorsed the declaration as a signal of their commitment to take action to root out the causes of racism within the university and to ensure that those who experience racism and related forms of injustice are treated equitably and are able to participate in the life of the university, fully and authentically.

View the declaration