Niagara College launching equity, diversity, inclusion blueprint for school
Published April 5, 2023 at 2:09 pm
Sometimes it’s best to get the important things down in writing.
To that end, the administration of Niagara College and the Niagara College Student Administrative Council (NCSAC) have created an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Blueprint to show that everyone is welcome and valued on the two campuses at Niagara-on-the-Lake and Welland.
Two years of work by the college’s Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce, which involved extensive consultations with students, employees, and community members, went into the creation of the EDI Blueprint.
“As we write the next chapter in our College’s history, the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Blueprint is a tremendously important guide for our continuous efforts in support of a learning environment and workplace that is respectful, inclusive, and welcoming for all,” said Niagara College President Sean Kennedy.
“The lived experiences and collective wisdom of our NC community will guide us as we move forward with this work.”
NCSAC President Sam Jemison said the EDI Blueprint was more than a simple document.
“It is a testament to continuous improvement and a commitment to ensure that all students are welcomed, included, and accepted – during every step of their Niagara College journey,” said Jemison.
Based on feedback collected through the consultation process, four interconnected areas of focus emerged to shape the EDI Blueprint, including:
- Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Being and Doing
- Student Experience
- Employee Experience
- Organizational Culture and Structure
Within each of these areas of focus is a list of actions. Some examples include hiring an Indigenous curriculum consultant, increasing EDI learning opportunities for students during orientation and co-curricular activities, regular and ongoing recognition of days of significance, increased representation across physical and digital spaces including artwork by Indigenous and racialized artists, updating pride crosswalks on campus, and the use of gender-neutral and accessible language on signs and forms.
In 2021, the College hired Samah Sabra as Workplace EDI Manager, who consults and advises on this important work, supporting ongoing leadership for inclusive workplace programs, practices and initiatives.
“As we celebrate the launch of our EDI Blueprint, we are propelled by the momentum of work that is already underway at our College,” said Sabra.
“Collaboration, engagement, and continuous learning are key to the success of this work and will support the strong culture of inclusion and belonging at NC.”
The college put together this video to further explain the EDI Blueprint.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising