Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, & Indigeneity (EDII) Implementation Committee Statement

We recognize that Queen’s University sits on the land of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples.

During these challenging times, we issue this statement of solidarity and support to the members of our Queen’s community who have had their inequities amplified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a Committee, we agree our recommendations must be strategic and meaningful, so that EDII across the university is expanded. Our efforts to draw attention to EDII have been further underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic because inequities are being amplified. Most importantly, we acknowledge that relationships among the Queen’s community are being negatively affected.

Queen’s University prides itself on long-term relationships and our Committee encourages all of the members of Queen’s University to continue to support one another, as many of you have been, throughout this difficult time. To do its part, the Committee aims to provide tools and resources, identify best practices, and bolster allyships in the Faculty of Arts and Science.  

EDII Issues

Responses to the outbreak and subsequent COVID-19 pandemic have not always been positive in our community. We have learned that some students, faculty, and staff were especially targeted because they are Asian. Consequently, some Queen’s community members were subjected to hurtful comments, biased treatments, or even physical violence.

We recognize the increasing stresses and strains created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the realities of isolation, and the uncertainties of the future are significantly impacting the mental health and well-being of Queen’s students, staff, and faculty.

Shifting courses and student supervisions online has altered the landscape of learning and teaching. At Queen’s, we value in-person connections and the daily interactions with our community members. Remote learning and teaching, however, are challenging for both educators and students alike, due to the loss of in-person communications and social connections.

Hearing Back

In addition to issuing a statement of solidarity with members of the Queen’s community, our Committee would like to invite you to share your experiences with us by email (danielle.gugler@queensu.ca) and to suggest actions that we can take to improve EDII in our Faculty by participating in our ThoughtExchange.

ThoughtExchange is an anonymous platform that helps us understand what matters to you. We will be using ideas submitted to direct the work of the Committee, so please take five minutes today and five minutes next week to share and rate thoughts about how we can improve EDII in our Faculty and what we can do to enhance our community at my.thoughtexchange.com/#257870506.

By listening to your experiences and thoughts, we will be better positioned to help respond to continuing issues faced by our community members. We will bring attention to these issues, while also developing support systems and curating resources for those who have been impacted. The Committee aims to be both a resource and support for all Queen’s students, staff, and faculty. Most importantly, the EDII Committee recognizes the need to strengthen and safeguard positive, open, and respectful relationships within the university community.

As members of the Faculty of Arts and Science EDII Committee, we are also envisioning spaces of inclusion for prospective students, staff, and faculty. Our goal is to influence decisions that are currently being made because we are committed to building an inclusive Queen’s for everyone connected to the university now and in the future.

Background

The Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity (EDII) Implementation Committee was created in the Fall of 2019 as a Faculty of Arts and Science Strategic Plan initiative (see Faculty of Arts and Science establishes Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, & Indigeneity (EDII) Implementation Committee).

The Committee is comprised of 12 members from across the Faculty of Arts and Science, including students, staff, and faculty representatives. The Committee is dedicated to identifying strategic points of EDII implementation and working together through difficult conversations, some of which challenge multiple sites of privilege. The EDII Committee has met five times since November and continues to virtually meet during the closure of the university. At its meeting on April 24, 2020, the EDII Committee agreed that it would be timely to make a strong statement, especially given the current COVID-19 pandemic.

With solidarity,

The FAS Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity Implementation Committee:

Dale Bennett

Academic Advisor (Indigenous Students), Faculty of Arts and Science

Thomas Abrams

Faculty, Sociology

Francesco Cellarosi

Faculty, Mathematics & Statistics

Menaka De Rege

ASUS Representative

Danielle Gugler

Administrative Assistant, Faculty of Arts and Science

Laila Haidarali

Faculty, Gender Studies/History

Ting Hu

Faculty, Computing

Colin Khan

School Administrator, Environmental Studies

Karen Lawford

Faculty, Gender Studies

Kristin Moriah

Faculty, English

Caroline Pukall

Faculty, Psychology

Gordon E. Smith

Vice-Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science

Shobhana Xavier

Faculty, School of Religion