Equity Diversity & Inclusion

EDI is an important issue to the BGSA.  We gladly and proudly represent and serve the entire community of students in the Department of Biological Sciences; students of all skin-tones, all genders, all sexual preferences, all cultures, all races, all abilities, and any other identity.  We value every human being and we will do our best to ensure everyone in our department feels supported, respected, and valued.

In 2019, the BGSA formed a committee to champion EDI in the Department of Biological Sciences.  If you have any EDI concerns or if you would like to volunteer some time in support of equity in our community, please contact us: bgsa@ualberta.ca

If you have more power, remember to listen as much as you talk. And if you have less power remember, to talk as much as you listen. That can be hard when you’re used to hiding. Keep yourself in the present, and don’t obsess over what you should be doing, or could have done differently. Talk to people, don’t get isolated, and remember to empathize, because almost everybody can be changed and transformed.” -Gloria Steinem

Community Social Work Team – Fostering a community of care. Through preventative action we engage with partners from campus and surrounding areas to strengthen capacity, provide bridges to resources, and advocate for greater inclusivity.  https://www.ualberta.ca/current-students/community-social-work/resources.html

Strategic Plan – This strategic plan aims to embed Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity into the culture of the University of Alberta community, from the grassroots to the senior-most levels. https://www.ualberta.ca/equity-diversity-inclusivity/about/strategic-plan-for-edi/index.html

University EDI Homepage – “As an inclusive community, the University of Alberta encourages and supports individual and collaborative efforts to identify and address inequities, and we welcome and enable contributions of all voices as we engage in diverse ideas, knowledges, and perspectives in the pursuit of inclusive excellence for the public good.” https://www.ualberta.ca/equity-diversity-inclusivity/index.html

Welcoming Newcomers Program – The President’s Award for Refugees and Displaced Persons provides financial support to students coming through WUSC, directly from asylum countries in the Middle East and Africa.  They recruit volunteers each spring — students, staff, faculty, alum or community members to ensure these incoming students feel welcome and have our support as they settle into life on campus and in Edmonton.  They build small teams of diverse volunteers to support each student.  https://www.ualberta.ca/global-education/welcoming-newcomers-program

International Week – Hear various perspectives and engage in deep conversations about global issues. International Week speakers will connect their work to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were adopted in 2015 The Goals call on governments and civil society around the world to address the world’s most pressing issues from poverty and education to health and environment.  UAlberta’s annual International Week is an incubator of ideas and a source of inspiration for us to work together for a better world.  https://www.ualberta.ca/global-education/international-week

Diversity in Diplomacy – Jointly organized by the University of Alberta’s Intersections of Gender Signature Area, the Peter Lougheed Leadership College, and University of Alberta International.   In moderated online conversations, heads of diplomatic missions, such as Canadian and foreign ambassadors, high commissioners, and consuls general, are invited to reflect on their practice of foreign policy and diplomacy with a view on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in the diplomatic service.

Intersections of Gender (IG) – As a Signature Area of Research and Teaching at the University of Alberta, IG promotes intersectional gender research, supports interdisciplinary research collaborations, builds capacity for inclusive mentorship and teaching, and engages communities across all sectors on gender + intersectionality  Intersections of Gender builds upon existing research excellence across faculties and disciplines at the University of Alberta. Its goal is to make UAlberta a globally recognized leader in intersectional gender-themed research that advances innovation and collaboration across disciplines and helps to respond to local, national and global challenges.  The IG in Conversation series uses intersectional expertise to explore emerging issues.    https://www.ualberta.ca/intersections-gender/index.html

Unitea – Unitea provides opportunities for peer connection through causal conversations.  https://www.ualberta.ca/current-students/community-social-work/unitea/index.html

First Peoples’ House – Standing true to our beliefs as First Peoples and guided by our cultural teachings, the First Peoples’ House provides an environment of empowerment for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) learners to achieve personal and academic growth.  Our vision is to demonstrate our commitment to the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit student community on campus and provide services that reflect this responsibility. We will continue to honour the Indigenous worldview of education as a continuous ceremony of learning by respecting and supporting the voices and spirit of our student community at the University of Alberta.  https://www.ualberta.ca/current-students/first-peoples-house/index.html

The Landing – The Landing is a Students’ Union service at the University of Alberta main campus that offers support for gender and sexual diversity. We strive to promote gender equity on a broad scale, and advocate for the safety and acceptance of individuals of all genders and sexualities in campus life. As part of this mandate, we support LGBTQ2S+ communities and individuals as well as their supporters, friends, family and loved ones.  https://su.ualberta.ca/services/thelanding  and Facebook and Instagram

Office of the Student Ombuds – Fairness in Communication A Relational Fairness Guide https://cloudfront.ualberta.ca/-/media/ualberta/students/ombuds/documents/communication-guide.pdf

500 Women Scientists –  https://500womenscientists.org/related-resources

500 Women Scientists is a grassroots organization started by four women who met in graduate school at CU Boulder and who maintained friendships and collaborations after jobs and life took them away from Boulder. Immediately following the November 2016 election, we published an open letter re-affirming our commitment to speak up for science and for marginalized communities in science. More than 20,000 women of STEM and supporters from more than 100 countries have signed in support of 500 Women Scientists, pledging to build an inclusive scientific community dedicated to training a more diverse group of future leaders in science and to use the language of science to bridge divides and enhance global diplomacy.

Since 2016, we have gathered our support network of women scientists and got to the work of confronting the threads of racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and anti-science rhetoric that were during the 2016 U.S. election. While our initial pledge still resonates today, we are not the same people who wrote that pledge in 2016. As we build 500 Women Scientists, we continue to evolve along the way. We continue to confront the shameful history of science being used to harm people - and the participation of the scientific community in this harm. We are still learning to use our voices to speak out against the injustices we see in science and in society. We are grappling with our privilege. We are learning that building a truly inclusive and intersectional movement is messy and painful but critically important. We are here to do the work and we welcome all individuals who support our mission to join us!


Multiculturalism, Indigenous and Inclusion Grant Program supports initiatives and projects that build intercultural awareness and understanding.  https://www.alberta.ca/multiculturalism-indigenous-and-inclusion-grant-program.aspx

Alberta Human Rights Commission – Under the AHR Act, employers have an obligation to create an inclusive workplace. This includes removing discriminatory barriers that prevent individuals from getting a job or promotion; accommodating employees who have special needs; and ensuring that the work environment is free from discrimination.  https://www.albertahumanrights.ab.ca/employment/employer_info/partnerships/Pages/building_inclusive_workplace.aspx

ABSI (Alberta Social Innovation) Connect is a collective of Alberta-based organizations and individuals who want to address the root causes of today’s most pressing issues and believes this requires working and learning together. https://www.absiconnect.ca/resource-library

Racial Equity Tools – Racial Equity Tools is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. This site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large. https://www.racialequitytools.org/home

Center for Assessment and Policy Development – CAPD’s mission is to help foundations, communities, organizations and public systems craft and execute thoughtful responses to pressing social issues. http://www.capd.org

  • Flipping the Script: White Privilege and Community Building
    • “For many of us, since our very identity is rooted in the institution, when asked to examine our institution we often feel the examination not only asa critique of the institution but of us as well. We then internalize the institutional examination as a personal and professional threat. As a foundation, if we want to ensure our relevance to social change, we must create new methods of institutional growth and transformation that do not present themselves as threats, but rather what I would call a “lovers’ model of institutional examination and transformation.” I say this because we must first care about and love the institution we would like to change; if not, we could destroy it.” -Barbara Major
    • “…are we willing to work just as hard to support community building efforts that ‘privilege’ the stated aspirations of people whose cultural values are different from our own, as we do for ones that match our own values?” -Sally Leiderman
    • “…what is needed are organizational and institutional efforts to create environments where racial disparities are acknowledged and addressed and where there is a lived commitment to creating shared ownership, leadership, and benefit across difference.” -Donna Bivens
    • Consistently check to see whose voices are dominating decision-making processes, and make sure that the people most accustomed to controlling these processes (white people with respect to people of color; men with respect to women; wealthier people with respect to poorer people; advocates and system workers with respect to neighborhood residents) are not dominating the processes.”  “It is also important to ensure that youth are provided an opportunity to share their experiences, opinions and perspectives. Older people can dominate conversations and negate youth voices.” -Maggie Potapchuk
  • How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice
    • Leadership can play a critical role in either contributing to racial justice or reinforcing prevailing patterns of racial inequality and exclusion. In an ever-changing multicultural society, filled with racial complexities, the role that leadership plays requires continual re-examination and reshaping to contribute in positive ways toward creating a society in which opportunities and benefits are more equally shared.
  • 15 Tools for Creating Healthy, Productive Interracial/Multicultural Communities: A Community Builder’s Tool Kit
    • No matter how knowledgeable and experienced project leaders are about the work of community building, they never outgrow the need for more training. Interracial, multicultural communities are dynamic places where change is the only constant. There is always something new to learn—about technology or the latest research, about local conditions or innovative practices elsewhere, about privilege and oppression. Good leaders value new learning experiences that build their skills, refresh their spirits and rekindle their desire to do this work.

FGSR (free)

  • Succeeding in the Workplace: Intercultural Competence for Employment (2 hours): Register here.

Mitacs (free)

Dale Carnegie (costs ~130.00 CAD)

Indigenous Canada

ARRAY Artists, Advocates, Audiences, Aligned – We are dedicated to the amplification of independent films by people of color and women filmmakers globally. Varied voices and images in cinema: Array now! http://www.arraynow.com/

#ShutDownAcademia and #ShutDownSTEM is an initiative from a multi-identity, intersectional coalition of STEM professionals and academics taking action for Black lives.  As scientists and academics, we know that in order to solve a problem, we first need to understand it. This is just as true for structural racism and anti-Blackness! It’s also important for non-Black folks to not rely on Black folks for this education. https://www.shutdownstem.com/resources

Transformative Justice Kollektiv Berlin – Resisting all forms of violence. https://www.transformativejustice.eu/en/what-are-ca-and-tj/

INCITE! is a network of radical feminists of color organizing to end state violence and violence in our homes and communities.  Community accountability is a community-based strategy, rather than a police/prison-based strategy, to address violence within our communities. Community accountability is a process in which a community – a group of friends, a family, a church, a workplace, an apartment complex, a neighborhood, etc – work together… https://incite-national.org/community-accountability-working-document/

A WOC Space – Creating a safe space for Women of Color (WOC) to simply exist. A consulting and training company focused on changing the cultural climate for Women of Color (WOC) in the workplace. Our mission is to provide allies and people of color accessible tools and WOCShopsTM to create and maintain an equitable, productive and inclusive workforce.  https://awocspace.com/

Please note: Organization descriptions are exerpted from the website linked, in order to respectfully preserve the intended meaning of their authors. Direct quotes are also italicized for clarity and individual authors are credited wherever possible.