Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

We would like to acknowledge that at Simon Fraser University we live and work on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

SFU is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and mutual respect. It strives to create an environment for teaching, learning, research and work in which all members of the university community thrive. SFU honors the history, culture, and presence of Aboriginal peoples and embraces the diversity of its students, staff, faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and our community. These foundational principles underpin SFU's strategic vision.

In furtherance of that commitment, Kim Hart was appointed as Special Advisor to the Provost on Equity and Diversity. Kim is working in collaboration with many others, as outlined below.  The initiative she is leading during 2018-2019 will complement and build on the equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives already underway at SFU and will be informed by existing reports and recommendations as well as the work being championed by staff, faculty, students, offices, units, organizations, and committees across the university including the Aboriginal Reconciliation Council, the Indigenous Students Centre, SFUFA and its Equity Committee, Academic Woman, Student Services, Human Resources, Faculty Relations, Office of the Vice President Research, the Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office, Ombudsperson, the Human Rights Office, SFU West (SFU Women in Science, Engineering and Technology), SFU International, the Global Students Centre, Interfaith Centre, Out on Campus, the Women’s Centre, the student societies, student clubs and organizations and many others.

Community consultation

Part of Kim’s task, working in collaboration with others and with the advice of an advisory group (comprised of faculty, staff and students) is to consult the community and to prepare a report with recommendations for an action plan, including a framework for embedding equity, diversity and inclusion more deeply into SFU's institutional practices and processes. More information about the community consultation will be available in the coming weeks.

Collaboration

Professor Genevieve Fuji Johnson from the Department of Political Science has been appointed by the Provost as a Senior Advisor to the Provost’s Office on Faculty Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement to work alongside Kim.

They have been working in collaboration with Catherine Stoddard, the Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in Faculty Relations and Rosie Dhaliwal, who is leading Diversity and Inclusion in Human Resources. Other members of the EDI working group are: Heather Williams, who is leading the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Project in the Office of the Vice Provost, Students and International; Theresa Burley who had a lead role in preparing the university’s Canada Research Chair Program Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan; and Marcia Guno, the Director of the Indigenous Students Centre.

To inform, guide and coordinate this work, Kim has established and chairs both an advisory group and a coordinating group. An initial meeting of the coordinating group was held in February 2018. The advisory group's first meeting was held near the end of March 2018 and it continues to meet regularly.

Activities

In addition to actively planning the community consultation with input and guidance from the Advisory Group, some of the recent work of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) core team includes collaborating with offices and units to develop resources that SFU is lacking such as an inclusive event planning guide and a map showing the location of universal washrooms. We are actively responding to other needs identified by the community, such as opportunities for community members to build the skills necessary to engage in courageous conversations. We have partnered with various individuals, units and organizations to co-sponsor and/or promote diversity and inclusion events. We are working with the Library to develop an EDI Resources page that will include scholarly material, videos, infographics and guides – materials to assist all members of the university community in both understanding and operationalizing EDI work. While the Library project is under development, we invite you to access the materials posted under our Resources link.

Earlier this year we supported the Office of Associate Vice-President, Students and International in developing a survey of students about inclusion and belonging. The data from over 8,000 responses to that survey is currently being analyzed. Other collaborations include: working with Faculty Relations to develop an improved faculty recruitment guide and a more robust implicit bias training program for appointments committees; and working alongside the Office of Aboriginal Peoples and the Indigenous Student Centre to advance some of the calls to action in the Aboriginal Strategic Plan and the Walk this Path with Us Report (from the Aboriginal Reconciliation Council) including making recommendations for changes to the look and content of SFU’s job position posting websites and identifying proactive ways for SFU to attract and support Indigenous scholars. We have also been investigating options for mentoring programs. 

With the advice of the Advisory Group, we are developing both an employee Census and an employee Experience Survey through which we hope to learn more about the demographic diversity of the university community and the experiences of the people who work here.

The EDI team will be broadening the conversation in the upcoming months through the Provost’s Conversation series which is intended to create space for dialogue on issues of importance to the SFU community, including among others: racism, colonialism, disability, gender expression and identity. 

At present we are booking space in which to host a series of open and closed meetings so that we can hear directly from members of the community about gaps and barriers as well as inclusive practices and can receive, in person, their suggestions for embedding EDI principles more deeply into SFU’s policies and practices. The schedule of meetings will be posted on this website. Community members will also have the option of providing anonymous input through a link on this website.

We invite you to connect with us to learn more about the initiative, to share what you are doing to build a more inclusive community at SFU, and to offer your ideas for creating a culture of inclusion and mutual respect in which all members of the community thrive.

Learn more

For further information or discussion, we invite you to contact us:

  • For general questions or comments about the equity, diversity and inclusion initiative.
    Contact Kimberly (Kim) Hart, krhart@sfu.ca, Special Advisor to the Provost on Equity and Diversity.
  • For questions or comments about this initiative as it relates to the interests of faculty members.
    Contact Genevieve Fuji Johnson, gfjohnso@sfu.ca, Senior Advisor to the Provost’s Office on Faculty Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement.
  • To discuss any questions, issues or concerns related to equity, diversity or inclusion for faculty.
    Contact Catherine Stoddard, cstoddard@sfu.ca, Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (Faculty Relations)
  • To discuss any questions, issues or concerns related to equity, diversity or inclusion for staff.
    Contact Rosie Dhaliwal, rosie_dhaliwal@sfu.ca, Diversity and Inclusion (Human Resources).
  • For questions about SFU’s Canada Research Chair Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.
    Contact Theresa Burley, theresa_burley@sfu.ca, Special Projects - Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Faculty Relations.
  • For questions about this initiative as it relates to students
    Contact Heather Williams, heather_w@sfu.ca, Special Projects - Equity Diversity and Inclusion, Office of the AVPSI and Marcia Guno, marcia_guno@sfu.ca, Director of the Indigenous Students Centre.
Last updated: October 05, 2018