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Dr. Amie McLean is a white settler living on the unceded territories of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc within Secwépemc'ulucw. She is a sociologist, ethnographer, and educator whose work focuses on social justice issues in Canadian post-secondary education and labour markets. She has published on post-secondary funding policies for Indigenous students, neoliberalisation and trucking industry regulation, and the racialised politics of mobility among long haul truckers. She previously served as Co-Chair of the Learning at Intercultural Intersections: Towards Equity, Inclusion, and Reconciliation international conference and co-edited a resulting special issue in the Journal of Intercultural Studies. She serves on the CEWIL EDI Committee, the ACE-WIL EDI Committee, and the Advisory Circle for the SFU R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Project. As Project Manager for Justice, Equity, and Inclusion (JEI) for Work Integrated Learning at Simon Fraser University, she supports the work of a team of WIL JEI practitioners on a broad range of projects and initiatives. In doing so, she applies intersectional, decolonizing, and anti-oppressive approaches to WIL practices, processes, and curriculum.
Leah is a queer and disabled white settler living on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories. She believes in making change through meaningful learning experiences that draw from decolonizing approaches, universal design in learning, and critical digital pedagogy. Her Ph.D research focused on the intersections of race, disability, and public health in Canada, and she has taught courses in Canadian history, public health history, and the histories of race and disability. She is grateful to have participated in professional development opportunities on decolonizing and anti-racist pedagogies through SFU’s Centre for Educational Excellence. As an equity practitioner, Leah seeks to use education as a tool to dismantle systems of oppression, drawing from her lived experience of disability and ableism. Outside of work, Leah enjoys choral music, befriending cats, crafting, and going to farmer’s markets.
WHY JUSTICE, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION (JEI)?
When it comes to equity and inclusion work, there are a lot of acronyms out there. At SFU and beyond, EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion) is widely used. So, why has our team decided to go with JEI (justice, equity, and inclusion)?
We use the term ‘justice’ to refer to our collective commitment to anti-oppressive transformational change. This commitment involves actively working alongside the communities we seek to serve to dismantle systemic barriers and oppressive power dynamics. Our goal is to nurture more equitable, inclusive, and empowering experiences within WIL, our institution, and our communities.
Our team is also committed to doing equity work. Distinct from equality, an equity perspective recognizes that because of systemic barriers, prejudice, and discrimination based on aspects of one’s identity, some people do not have the same opportunities as others. Engaging in equity work involves taking intentional actions to remove barriers for people who have been historically excluded, are underrepresented, and/or experience marginalization (UBC, n.d.).
Finally, our team works toward creating meaningful inclusion, where everyone can have a sense of safety and belonging and where all peoples’ contributions are recognized, acknowledged, and valued (O’Mara, 2015). Justice, equity, and inclusion form the core of our team name not as abstract concepts but as commitments to action. Diversity is the reality of the communities we are a part of and seek to serve; our team does the work through our active commitment to justice, equity, and inclusion.
O’Mara, J. (2015). Diversity and inclusion, definitions of. In J. Bennett (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of intercultural competence (pp. 268-269). Thousand Oaks,, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781483346267.n93
UBC. n.d. “Equity & Inclusion Glossary of Terms.” UBC Equity &Inclusion Office. Available: https://equity.ubc.ca/resources/equity-inclusion-glossary-of-terms/