In May 2018 the Equity Office and the Human Rights Office officially united to become the “Human Rights and Equity Office”. This change has brought about exciting new initiatives as well as the ability to consolidate and coordinate existing efforts. Now Human Rights Advisory Services, Equity Services, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response, and the Accessibility Hub are under one office.
An inclusive community that values, respects, and celebrates the dignity and worth of every person, and where all can be their best.
To advance a culture of human rights, equity and inclusion by inspiring and educating community stakeholders through: developing and implementing innovative strategies in employment and educational equity; providing information, advice and assistance to individuals or groups at Queen’s regarding protections available under polices and legislation; providing non-judgmental sexual violence prevention and response support; and improving access for everyone on campus by removing barriers, encouraging accessibility, and promoting the duty to accommodate.
The brand of our office is centred around the logo below. This logo encompasses the office's core values:
- Community Centred Practices
- Creativity & Innovation
In 2019, the Office commissioned Vincent Design Inc. to design our new logo. The logo features two figures cradling each other forming a complete circle and in turn create the sense of safety in sharing ideas free from judgement as well as a mutual responsibility for continuous improvement of social practices. This new design is representative of community, support and inclusion. It also pays homage to the legacy of Leo Yerxa through use of organic shapes, patterns and elements present in his previous work for the organization brand.
To learn more about our office and our mission, please take a moment to watch Stephanie Simpson, the Associate Vice-Principal (Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion) discuss what Human Rights & Equity means to the Queen's University community.
First established in 1992, the Human Rights Advisory Services (formerly known as the Human Rights Office), aimed to advance a culture of human rights, equity and inclusion by inspiring and educating community stakeholders, through:
- Developing and implementing innovative strategies in employment and educational equity.
- Providing information, advice and assistance to individuals or groups at Queen’s regarding protections available under Polices and Legislation.
- Providing non-judgmental sexual violence prevention and response support.
- Improving access for everyone on campus by removing barriers, encouraging accessibility and promoting the duty to accommodate.
Equity Services (formerly known as The Equity Office) was established in 1998 to advance the University's equity goals. The Office achieves this by carrying out the following mandate:
- Identifying throughout the University those structures, practices, and policies which create inequities
- Facilitating the development of new policies, procedures, and programs that remove barriers to equity
- Ensuring greater and equal participation of marginalized groups and individuals in the University
- Providing leadership and information on equity matters
- Initiating cultural change throughout the University so that equity becomes everyone's concern and responsibility
For the past decade, our office has displayed Leo Yerxa’s artwork. He identified as an artist of Ojibway ancestry, and his pieces have given our physical space an important Indigenous presence. Leo’s pieces translate the meaning of our work into visual art.
Leo started creating design and graphic work for the Human Rights Office when times were difficult for the office financially. His first piece was the original logo -birds stretching upwards toward freedom- that was the face of the office for many years. Later on, the office commissioned him to do an art piece that would represent the spirit of human rights. During that time there wasn’t much budget for art, but Leo believed in the work that our staff was doing, so he decided to create, and gift, four additional pieces that represent the different services we still offer: sexual harassment prevention, anti-racism, anti-LGBTQ discrimination, Indigeneity and identity.
Leo also created the Equity Office logo. The orange figure that has now become part of our identity was his original idea.
Leo always listened to what was needed, made sure our expectations were met, and always gave more and went above and beyond. That was a big part of his generous personality.
As an artist, Leo was very proud of transcending categorizations. His artwork wasn’t always reflective of traditional Indigenous methods, but the five pieces created for the office were intentionally designed to represent Indigenous aesthetics. For our office, it was a way to acknowledge the land we are inhabiting and to honour the stories and experiences of the Indigenous peoples who are still connected to these spaces.
Take a look at Leo Yerxa’s artwork in our office.