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Equity-centred culture

Create an inclusive campus community that values diversity and challenges dominant systems of power, including colonization, white supremacy, historical trauma and patriarchal norms, through research, teaching, curriculum, policy and practice.

Why?

During the plan’s creation, UVic community members noted that dominant systems of power continue to prevent the success of the equity work underway at UVic. In response, we must work to dismantle all forms of oppression, including colonization, white supremacy, historical trauma and patriarchal norms. Addressing the ongoing and historical impacts of these systems of power will help build an inclusive culture on campus.

Committed actions

  1. Senior administration will champion equity by diversifying its own representation through mentorship, encouragement and sponsorship of faculty and staff from systemically and historically marginalized groups.* Lead: Executive Council

  2. Develop communications plans, strategies and resources that focus on diversity and a commitment to social justice and societal change. Communications should be transparent and acknowledge the dominant systems of power. UVic should be authentic and honest about the barriers and challenges systemically and historically marginalized communities face. Lead: Executive Council 

  3. Continue to advance the principles of the Canada Research Chairs Program, the Scarborough Charter and future national and/or government initiatives related to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging. Lead: Executive Council

  4. Update UVic’s Policy on Human Rights, Equity and Fairness to communicate the university’s responsibilities related to equity, diversity and inclusion. Leads: Executive Council, Equity & Human Rights

  5. Provide equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-oppression, decolonization and cultural safety education for all members of the university including anti-Indigenous racism and other forms of oppression. Leads: VP Academic & Provost, VP Finance & Operations, Equity & Human Rights

  6. Develop an education strategy so that all students learn about equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-oppression and decolonization within academic programming prior to graduation. Leads: VP Academic & Provost, Equity & Human Rights

  7. Provide experiential learning opportunities that reflect and contribute to the pressing issues of our time related to equity (e.g., Indigenous rights, climate change, social justice, etc.). Lead: VP Academic & Provost

  8. Adopt policies, educational sessions and practices of inclusion that support harassment-free classrooms and other learning environments.* Leads: VP Academic & Provost, VP Finance & Operations

  9. Incentivize faculty and staff to prioritize building an inclusive and equitable campus including developing performance evaluation tools that incorporate and assess equity, diversity and inclusion skills, competencies and achievements.* Leads: VP Academic & Provost, VP Finance & Operations

  10. Create a strategy that supports the development of unit-level equity committees and encourages their engagement with each other and the Equity Action Plan (EAP). Leads: VP Academic & Provost, VP Finance & Operations, Equity & Human Rights

  11. Engage with external research organizations to redress under-representation and build equitable practices into the research grant selection and research recognition processes.* Lead: VP Research & Innovation

  12. Continue to develop pathways for Indigenous graduate students and Indigenous-led research through relational knowledge grants and other supports. Expand the existing programs for other systemically and historically marginalized groups. Lead: VP Research & Innovation

  13. Provide tailored training to key university governance bodies, starting with the Board of Governors and specific senate committees (Senate Committee on Academic Standards, Senate Committee on Learning and Teaching, Senate Committee on Planning), so their decisions are well informed to advance equity and build an inclusive campus. Lead: University Secretary

Barriers & targeted actions

Barriers Targeted actions
There is a lack of acknowledgement of and commitment to addressing the oppressive and inequitable systems of power that UVic was built on (e.g., colonialism, white supremacy, etc.) by senior academic and administrative leadership. This recreates inequitable systems of power. Action 2: Develop communications plans, strategies and resources that focus on diversity and a commitment to social justice and societal change. Communications should be transparent and acknowledge the dominant systems of power. UVic should be authentic and honest about the barriers and challenges systemically and historically marginalized communities face. Lead: Executive Council
Many decision makers have not experienced systemic oppression or inequity. They may lack the skills and knowledge to consider how their decisions impact systemically and historically marginalized groups. This results in uninformed, unclear work that reinforces barriers to equity. Action 1: Senior administration will champion equity by diversifying its own representation through mentorship, encouragement and sponsorship of faculty and staff from systemically and historically marginalized groups.* Lead: Executive Council
Intercultural competency and cultural safety are not prioritized or evaluated within individual units, departments or faculties. Training is inconsistent and/or voluntary. 

Action 5: Provide equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-oppression, decolonization and cultural safety education for all members of the university including anti-Indigenous racism and other forms of oppression. Leads: VP Academic & Provost, VP Finance & Operations, Equity & Human Rights

Action 9: Incentivize faculty and staff to prioritize building an inclusive and equitable campus including developing performance evaluation tools that incorporate and assess equity, diversity and inclusion skills, competencies and achievements.*  Leads: VP Academic & Provost, VP Finance & Operations

Without a shared understanding of UVic’s core equity goals, values and definitions, equity work across campus lacks cohesion and collective action. Action 10: Create a strategy that supports the development of unit-level equity committees and encourages their engagement with each other and the Equity Action Plan (EAP). Leads: VP Academic & Provost, VP Finance & Operations, Equity & Human Rights

 *Adapted from the Scarborough Charter

What's next

Learn how you can be part of putting this goal into action in the reflection and action guides.

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