About EDI at SFU

We all deserve an equitable, diverse and inclusive SFU

Universities like SFU originate from eurocentrism, colonialism and bureaucracies that reinforce systems of power and privilege and leave many on the margins. These systemic barriers prevent individuals from feeling accepted, from being their true selves and from accessing the resources and privileges that can make the university experience such a transformative one.

Though there are strengths to build on, SFU must take further steps to dismantle these structures and systems as we journey towards building a more inclusive and equitable community. In order to make change, the university is committed to continual growth, action and accountability in its practices and policies.

SFU's Values

Our values:

  • We are an open, inclusive university whose foundation is intellectual and academic freedom.
  • Our scholarship unites teaching and research: we celebrate discovery, diversity and dialogue.
  • Our students and communities can expect teaching that is personal and learning opportunities that are lifelong.
  • We champion the liberal arts and sciences and pioneering interdisciplinary and professional programs.
  • We are a university where risks can be taken and bold initiatives embraced.

Upon these foundations, we will engage all our communities in building a robust and ethical society.

Priorities and Commitments

The EDI executive subcommittee is committing to deliver on the following equity, diversity and inclusion priorities during the 20-21 academic year:

1. Engage in a self-assessment/data-gathering on diversity and inclusion by:

  • Implementing a comprehensive plan for demographic data collection of employees
  • Ongoing participation in the Dimensions Pilot Program and development of self-assessment processes

2. Develop more robust and equitable recruitment, retention and progression for faculty and staff by:

  • Updating the Faculty Recruitment and Retention guide
  • Expanding opportunities for faculty mentoring and leadership development
  • Creating an inclusion toolkit for hiring managers and selection committees
  • Completing a scan of Canadian employment equity policies to guide the review of SFU's employment equity policy

3. Increase capacity and awareness of EDI educational opportunities by:

  • Developing and increasing availability of online and remote EDI training opportunities
  • Increasing awareness of existing EDI resources through targeted communications
  • Creating an EDI Specialist position based in Student Services

4. Enhance inclusion for equity-deserving groups by:

  • Supporting efforts to update the Human Rights Policy GP18 and establish a new Bullying & Harassment Policy.
  • Reviewing the Out on Campus Trans & Gender Diverse Guide and creating an action plan in response to the recommendations in the guide.
  • Developing guidelines for transitioning staff at SFU and removing barriers for trans/gender diverse community members by updating computing ID change processes, updating Snap App and Roomfinder for inclusive washrooms
  • Developing support programs and services for Black students
  • Co-creating and facilitating an inclusive name selection process for the varsity athletic program

These activities represent only a portion of the work taking place across SFU. Learn more about the SFU community’s collective efforts to support equity and inclusion by visiting Actions.


Yabome Gilpin-Jackson, PhD
Vice-President, People, Equity and Inclusion

Samir Traoré, PhD
Executive Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Administrative group

These EDI directors are responsible for delivering on the equity, diversity and inclusion priorities established by the VPPEI. These priorities include:

  • Implementing a comprehensive plan for demographic data collection of employees
  • Developing and increasing availability of online and remote EDI training opportunities
  • Ongoing participation in the Dimensions Pilot Program and development of self-assessment processes

Suman Jiwani, MSc
Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Faculty Relations

Theresa Burley, MPH
Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Strategic Initiatives

Nadia Mallay, Postdoc., EdD
Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Staff and Human Resources

Jennifer Kandjii, PhD
Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Student Services

Special Advisors

Paola Ardiles Gamboa, PhD
Special Projects Advisor to the Vice President, People, Equity and Inclusion

Mary Catherine Kropinski, PhD
Special Advisor to the Vice-President, People, Equity & Inclusion

Advisory Council

The mandate of the EDI Advisory Council is to develop an aspirational vision for EDI at SFU that will guide and strengthen our commitment to fostering inclusive workplaces and learning environments, and equitable opportunities for all.

Specific responsibilities of the Advisory Council are to provide advice and guidance to the President on the following:

  • developing an aspirational vision statement for EDI at SFU
  • high-level, strategic reflections on EDI-related priorities
  • communication strategies and outreach
  • data collection and analysis
  • programs and policies
  • opportunities and systemic barriers
  • university responsibilities


The EDI Advisory Council is composed of members including faculty, staff and students. The aim is to have diverse representation of career and educational stages, and experiences that reflect the diversity of our staff, faculty, and students, with a minimum of seven faculty members, seven staff and seven students. Rather than representing constituencies, EDI Advisory Council members will be asked to work together to consider the needs of the entire university and serve as EDI champions.

The EDI Advisory Council is co-chaired by Joy Johnson, president and vice-chancellor, and a volunteer from the council. Members of the executive subcommittee and administrative group serve as ex-officio members. The final approval of the slate of the advisory council will be made by the SFU Executive.

The term of the EDI Advisory Council is one year.

We are currently seeking expressions of interest from the SFU community to participate on the EDI Advisory Council for the 2023-24 year. The term for students is one-year, staff and faculty are two-year terms. Please click here to submit your expression of interest by March 27, 2023.

2022 Appointees


Sherryl Bisgrove
Donald Estep
Maya Gislason
Adel Iskandar
Paul Li
Lesley Shannon
Venecia Williams
Natahnee Winder


Aslam Bulbulia
Dorothy Christian
William Gill
Shaheen Nanji
Judy Smith
Dal Sohal
Valerie Spicer
Javier Tavitas
Nadia Van


Berthier Kyobela
Gem Lee
Sonia Orlu
Vicki Parnell
Carolyn Tinglin
Kyle Yeung
Amy Qi-Li Zheng

Meeting Schedule

The Advisory Council will meet three to four times a year. The 2022 meeting schedule for the Advisory Council is as follows:

March 14, 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
June 24, 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
September 16, 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
November 18, 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Meeting minutes for the 2022 Advisory Council can be found here.

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