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The Department of Equity Studies (DES) offers a learning environment that values cultural diversity and supports social equality. We provide students with an understanding of the social environments that shape their interests, opportunities and identities. Students gain a solid and critical grounding in research methods and theories in ways that allow them to link their education with various types of degrees and certificates.

Faculty teaching in DES are actively engaged in socially relevant research that contributes both to academic scholarship and to communities beyond the University. The Department reflects the teaching and research strengths of a core group of faculty members, as well as the degree programs that have emerged from those strengths.

We offer undergraduate degree programs in Multicultural and Indigenous Studies (MIST) (formerly Race, Ethnicity and Indigeneity - REI), Human Rights and Equity Studies (HREQ), as well as General Education courses. Through an Indigenous Studies focus, we offer undergraduate degree programming in Indigenous Studies (through MIST), and a Certificate in Indigenous Studies. Additional offerings include a cross-disciplinary certificate in Anti-Racist Research & Practice (CARRP) and a general certificate in Refugee and Migration Studies (in conjunction with the Centre for Refugee Studies). A graduate degree, MA/PhD, in Indigenous Thought is currently in development.

The Department is also home to the Chair in Multiculturalism (2010-2015). The Chair originated with an agreement between the Universidade de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos (Brazil), the University of Pittsburgh (USA), and the Department of Equity Studies at York University (Canada), to promote academic cooperation, by means of the exchange of professors/researchers of each institution in the fields of cultural studies, multiculturalism and public policy.

January 29-30, 2010, the Chair hosted an academic conference Rethinking Multiculturalism: Brazil, Canada, and the United States in collaboration with the. Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, the The Harriet Tubman Institutefor Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples and The Michael Baptista Lecture. Students interested in studying in Sao Paulo, Brazil, should contact York International for information and support and e-mail Professor Vermonja Alston at

Graduates of the Department of Equity Studies will be well positioned to work in a wide range of areas with organizations, government, industry and communities that have programs, policies and procedures around the equitable treatment and experiences of Indigenous peoples, racialized peoples, immigrants and refugees, as well as in the area of human rights advocacy and redress.




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