Stewarding Inclusivity Across the VPFA Portfolio

Session Topics

In a portfolio as diverse as ours – and at a university that is committed to increasing its diversity across the campus – it can sometimes be difficult to develop a working understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion. These umbrella terms are interpreted differently by each person, their definitions informed by past experiences, degrees of awareness, and potential ways and contexts in which they may be applied.

Thank you to everyone who joined our Stewarding Inclusivity Across the VPFA Portfolio lunch and learn series, where we celebrated diversity and examined inequities together. This series encompassed a range of topics and speakers, with perspectives from the Queen’s and Kingston communities, and beyond.

We look forward to future opportunities to learn together. If you have suggestions for new initiatives that champion EDII within our portfolio, please contact our office.

We enjoyed discussion with two Queen's student groups:

Queen's Correctional Services Volunteers: a student run club that works with federal offenders on rehabilitation and reintegration programs at three different levels of security; minimum, medium, and maximum facilities. Our goal in volunteering is to equip offenders with necessary tangible and social skills they need to succeed upon their return into society.

Big Spoon Lil' Spoon: a social venture that provides healthy living programs and life skills workshops to children with disabilities and their siblings. Their goal is to help teach participants of all ages learn to be self-sufficient and lead a happy and healthy lifestyle.

March 11, 2020 

In this introductory session, Dr. Lee Airton introduced us to the spectrum of people who are transgender and provided us with the tools to make spaces, services and interactions welcoming of transgender-spectrum clients, students, and employees. We received an overview of gender-neutral pronouns, both for particular individuals and broader uses of singular they/them as tools for gender-friendly university. We touched on things like addressing and communicating about clients and students, making good mistakes, maintaining gender-friendly spaces, and other actionable tips for standing alongside transgender clients, students and colleagues.

Speaker: Dr. Lee Airton, Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies in Education, Faculty of Education, Queen's University

February 5, 2020

Mental illness related stigma is increasingly recognized as an important public health problem that directly affects the one in four Canadians that will experience a mental illness each year, their family members, and their friends. This session examined the nature and nurture of mental illness related stigma to illustrate the complex interplay of individual, social, and structural factors and their outcomes. Six evidence informed approaches for disrupting mental illness stigma were examined and their applicability to post-secondary environments.

Speaker: Heather Stuart, PhD, FRSC, C.M., Professor and Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-stigma Research Chair, Queen’s University

January 29, 2020 

A chance to interact with multi-faith panel members, asking the question “How can we create more inclusive celebrations?”

Panelists: Jagdeep Walia - Sikh faith, Jacqueline Davies - Judaism, Greg Nacu - Wicca/Pagan, and Adam Bloemendal - Christian

Moderator: Kate Johnson, Queen's Chaplain, Faith and Spiritual Life

December 16, 2019

A walking tour of the accessibility highlights in Queen’s newest building, Mitchell Hall.

Facilitator: Maridee Osolinsky, Physical Plant Services

October 18, 2019

The Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) promotes equity for people who are Deaf and hard of hearing through their efforts, public awareness programs and education. This session helped to answer questions and raise awareness on Deaf culture and the community. CHS programs, products and partnerships are aligned with our commitment to breaking down communication barriers, advancing hearing health, and promoting equity for the Deaf and hard of hearing.

Speaker: Colleen Costa, Canadian Hearing Society

September 6, 2019

Participants learned about the historical significance of the traditional lands upon which Queen’s University is situated, understanding why land acknowledgements are important (both individually and in relation to Indigenous peoples), and developed their own land acknowledgement statement based on their personal story. Participants had a chance to practice their own acknowledgement in small groups, in a safe setting.

Speakers: Vanessa McCourt and Laura Maracle, Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre

June 17, 2019 

Generational differences are increasingly evident in our workplaces. In this workshop, we explored the characteristics and strengths of each generation and develop strategies for improving communication and multi-generation team performance. 

Speakers: Alison Cummings and Shannon Hill, Organizational Development and Learning, Human Resources

May 13, 2019

Testimonials and Impact


“Great job! Thanks for organizing these enriching workshops.”

“It is such a great outreach and I appreciate the opportunity to learn more in different spaces.”

“Amazing series! Thank you for providing this incredible experience!"

"Excellent work, thanks for taking the lead on putting these events on and I look forward to attending future sessions."

-VPFA Inclusivity Series Attendees 

Human Rights and Equity Office Logo

The VPFA Lunch and Learn Inclusivity Series was awarded the 2019 Employment Equity Award by the Queen’s Human Rights and Equity office, for advancing the university’s commitment to create an inclusive environment.

The VPFA strives to ensure diverse and equitable participation in its initiatives. We welcome input from all interested members of the Queen’s community, and particularly women, people with disabilities, Indigenous community members, racialized community members, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. For more information, please contact us.

The Office of the Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) acknowledges that Queen’s University is situated on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory. We are committed to effective resource stewardship, championing inclusivity and creating a culture of sustainability.

Tsi Ratihiatónhkhwa ne Ohénton-Iehón:nete (Ohwísta Rati’nikónhrare tánon Thotiniarotáhrhon) ratiién:tere’s ne Queen’s Ionterihwaienstahkhwa’kó:wa tsi Anishinaabe tánon Haudenosaunee Raononhontsà:ke nón:we nikanónhsote. Ionkwaterihwaién:ni aonterihwahtén:ti ne shaoié:ra tsi aontakaniarotáhrhon, aiakwarihwanón:we’ne akwé:kon ne thénon aontaiakwát:ka’we tánon aiatión:ni ne tóhsa aónhton ne shaoié:ra. (Mohawk)

Eni-niizh gaa-niigaaniid gikino'amaadiiwigamigon (zhooniyaa zhigwa bimichigewin) ogikendaanaawaa' iwe Queen's University ayaamagad Anishinaabewakiing dago Haudenosaunee nake. Nindebwetaamin ji-naagajichigeyaang iwe; ji-wiijiiwichigewin zhigwa ji-aayaanike-bimenindizong. (Ojibwe)