Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Statement of Goals

Prepared by the Department of Theatre EDI Committee: May 25, 2021


Mission Statement:

Taking inspiration from the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26, which states:

“Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups […]” (54),

the University of Victoria Department of Theatre is committed to delivering programming that respects and reinforces these human rights. This includes an awareness of the student, staff and faculty diverse sex and gender identities and expressions, racial and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, religious affiliations, diverse physical and mental abilities, and unique socio-economic circumstances and constraints, among other factors.

All of these factors, including their intersections, will inform how programming and activities at the Department of Theatre are equitably structured and developed to create an inclusive, dynamic, respectful, supportive and diverse learning and working environment. These activities include and are not limited to: instruction, pedagogy, student, staff and faculty relations, and scholarly and creative outputs.

Works Cited: Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations, 2015 

Short to Medium Term Goals


Implementation of these goals is intended to begin immediately and transpire over a one to five-year timeline.

  • Learning (Resource Building):
    • Recommendation to each focus area committee to compile resource list to support integration of EDI in curriculum.
    • Workshop session from LTSI for faculty/instructors re course design/redesign grants to support EDI in curriculum design/redesign.

  • Listening (Draw in Expertise):
    • Contract artists that have an expertise in anti-racism in theatre training to conduct workshops with faculty, staff, and students.
    • Draw on existing on-campus resources for further education related to EDI (including student groups).
    • Conduct an audit of standout university theatre programs and what they do to be more inclusive.

  • Collaborating (Encouraging Internal Conversation):
    • Explore spaces that already exist where we could advance conversation on EDI (IE: reading the TRC report together across a year of faculty meetings, integrating EDI as a standing item on all faculty meeting agendas, required readings/viewing materials for faculty and staff meetings related to EDI)
    • Build new spaces for conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion with students regarding mainstage season selection, a faculty retreat with a focus on EDI led by the support of facilitator(s), monthly conversations led by faculty that ask faculty members to present/respond to the question: “How can we as a faculty find opportunities to bring what we have to offer to conversations about EDI?”)

  • Committing:
    • Collaboratively draft detailed Equity, Diversity and Inclusion action plans that serve as a culmination of the learning, listening, and collaborating processes in all focus areas. Topics that should be addressed in this action plan include: curriculum, facilitation and teaching practices, research, production practices, ancillary programming, support for IBPOC faculty, staff and students, support for faculty, staff and students with diverse needs.
    • Seek input on that plan from EQHR, Dean’s Office, Indigenous Resurgence Coordinator, student groups and colleagues.
    • Release action plans.
    • Create a public-facing Accountability Statement that reports on annual developments including new hires, mentorship programs, community collaborations and relationships rooted in reconciliation – which demonstrates the Department’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Long-Term Goals (Five Years+)

  • Greater diversity represented in faculty and staff through preferential/limited hiring processes.

  • Develop additional courses devoted to non-Eurocentric Theatre: More courses exclusively devoted to IBPOC theatre should be added to our curriculum replacing or in addition to others presently offered. There should be a minimum of one of these courses as a requirement for the Major Program. These courses would be open to all UVic students and could be used towards credit in the Theatre Minor Program. The courses should be developed with cultural sensitivity, balance and harmony.

  • Create path to recruiting undergraduate and graduate students of diverse backgrounds: This could be done in liaison with UVic Recruiting but there could also be initiatives within the Department of Theatre. Perhaps hosting events and workshops in conjunction with the Inter-Cultural Association or creating an event within our own space to speak to the importance we place on equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Strong mentoring of IBPOC students at the undergraduate and graduate levels: The department should be working to close the gap between emerging and professional artists and academics by providing stronger mentorship.
    • At the undergraduate level:
      • This might be achieved by a faculty mentor assigned to students of diverse backgrounds.
      • There could be greater assistance provided to students upon graduation by assisting with grant applications to create work for emerging artists and seeking placement opportunities following graduation.
      • Those who may benefit from further educational advancement at a conservatory or in a graduate program could be encouraged to apply to these programs and supported by faculty recommendations.
    • At the graduate level:
      • By preparing these students to enter into the profession and into teaching. Offering IBPOC post-graduate students opportunities to take on sessional employment within our program to provide them with necessary teaching experience.
      • Work at closing the gap between emerging and professional artists and academics by offering strong mentorship.
  • Regular funding secured for hiring IBPOC artists: Invite IBPOC artists to be guests of the department to direct, design, and create projects for and with our students on our mainstage and to serve as valuable mentors and advisors.

  • Symposium for IBPOC artists and academics: Invite IBPOC artists and academics to present work and lectures at an international symposium.

  • Create a stronger community outreach: The Department could create a portal to invite change and synergy between communities on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
    • Invite IBPOC artists, students, alumni and interested parties to gather in our building for an event that could include lectures, workshops and presentations generated from within the department and the community.
    • Host an event to welcome indigenous artists into our building and to honour and celebrate the memory of Chief Dan George. This would be an important step in opening the door of our sacred house and inviting Coast Salish elders to welcome indigenous artists in.

  • Review and update our efforts for greater Equity, Diversion and Inclusion every five years to identify and renew short and long-term goals.

Implementation of Goals


Potential sites to implement the goals stated above.

  • Embed EDI into the department handbook.
    • Have an accessible electronic version of the handbook on our website.

  • Students: Theatre 105 and/or New Student orientation.
    • Go over goals, receive training/workshop on EDI issues and how they are integrated with operations in the Department of Theatre.
    • All new students receive a paper copy of the department handbook.

  • Students: Reinforcement at the beginning of 2nd year in a full cohort class.

  • Students, faculty and staff: “Spotlight on Inclusion” Program – incorporated into the first rehearsal night of each mainstage production will be a workshop that discusses discrimination and harassment (created by EQHR). A portion can be dedicated to the EDI goals that we create.

  • Faculty and Staff: An activity/workshop each academic year to reiterate our goals and/or introduce new material (such as ICAT or EQHR training).

  • Mainstage season: Embed into season selection and any committee that is to contribute to season selection – must yearly review the work we create. Part of a larger set of goals to keep in front of the work of the committee that already exists (Guiding questions could include: does the play fit our curriculum/does it have educational worth, are we able to cast it, do we have the physical ability/resources).

  • Curriculum Review, 2021-22: Faculty and staff session to discuss this material and to keep the goals in front of us as we work on the curriculum review process.

  • Faculty, staff and students: A yearly town hall to discuss EDI issues.

  • Faculty and Staff: Creation of an inhouse workshop when we have completed our goals to update all on our work.