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Decolonization, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEDI)

Statement and Action on Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity

The School of Kinesiology and Health Science upholds a commitment to creating and maintaining an equitable, diverse, and inclusive community where students, faculty and staff feel welcome and valued. We recognize that in order to ensure that our members can thrive in their work as students, faculty and staff, discrimination of any kind must not be tolerated. Meaningful, focused, systemic, and sustained policies, practices, and programs are needed to dismantle the hierarchies that maintain inequity and unearned privilege. Such action must be grounded in the recognition of the intersections, parallels, and differences between all forms of oppression.

We know that the barriers of discriminatory beliefs, attitudes, structures and systems found in the broader society also exist in universities (AUCC Equity Action Plan 2018) and will require ongoing action to address these obstacles to learning and working on our campus. As necessary first steps, we will be undertaking an internal audit and critical self-examination to engage in both short-term and long-term efforts to address these inequities and create positive change at institutional, cultural, and personal levels.

Over the upcoming weeks and months, and with the assistance of an external consultant, the School of Kinesiology and Health Science will be assessing the equity needs and lived experiences of its key stakeholders (students, alumni, staff, and faculty) through such mechanisms as a survey, focus groups, and town hall. The information collected from these tools and events will be vital to understanding what our community members experience within and outside of the School and will inform how we evolve in ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusivity for all.

Quick Links

2022-23 Email Blasts

November 2022

Equity versus Equality (5 min.)

December 2022

The exam period is a stressful time for our students, stress that may be especially heightened for those who have learning, mental health, physical, sensory and medical disabilities, that may impact their studies. 

Below are some resources identified/created by York’s Student Counselling, Health & Well-being: 

Resource for students

For self-care/management:  

Resource for faculty members who may have questions for how best to support the mental health of students, including identifying students in distress, and connecting students to supports: https://counselling.students.yorku.ca/faculty-staff-support-scd

Or for a more immediate, and interactive resource:

  • Free, confidential support services (professional counsellor, volunteer crisis responder, peer-to-peer community forum)
    https://good2talk.ca/

January 2023

Understanding the Land Acknowledgment (8 min)

February 2023

Thinking Critically about Research and Anti-Black Racism - Message from the EDID Committee 

February is Black History Month, an opportunity to celebrate and recognize Black history, culture, heritage, and contributions, as well as an opportunity to learn about Black histories and experiences that may be erased or marginalized.  The EDID Committee invites you to watch a video (8 minutes) about Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman who died of cancer in 1951, and whose cells (HeLa cells) have subsequently been used, without her knowledge or her family’s consent, for research ranging from cancer treatment to vaccine development, research that continues still. 

Henrietta Lacks:  The ‘immortal’ cells that changed the world – BBC REEL (HeLa cells)

We invite you to reflect on how science and knowledge production have been implicated in anti-Black racism and social injustice broadly.  How might we conduct research differently, perhaps in ways that are more inclusive, are informed by EDID principles, and/or resist unequal power relations?

March 2023

Women in Academia - Message from the EDID Committee 

In commemoration of International Women’s Day (March 8) and the International Day for the Elimination of Racism and Discrimination (March 21), the EDID committee would like to share a documentary that is available to stream via York Library (and through Netflix) called Picture a Scientist, and a reminder of an event that Faculty Affairs is hosting:

  • Picture a Scientist:  “…Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries - including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists - who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all…” From ‘About the Film’ on Picture a Scientist's official web page. https://www.pictureascientist.com/ 

April 2023

“I cite the best and most relevant works for my research.  So why is my editor suggesting that I diversify the race and gender of the scholars that I cite?  That seems like politics interfering with science.  – Anonymous, Mechanical Engineering.”

This question was posed in University Affairs (December 2022), a query that perhaps many of us in the School also struggle with, regarding the call to diversity our syllabi and reading lists.  In response, the editor encourages us to distinguish between ‘the best’ work and ‘the most relevant’ work, and that broadening whose voices and perspectives are included can contribute to better science.  The article also includes digital tools to support the practice of auditing citations.  The full article can be found here:  Diversity in citation practices

May 2023

Seucharan, C.  (2020).  Images in COVID-19 studies exclude dark skin tones.  The Globe and Mail, July 11 2020, A15.

During the next few months, many of us will be revisiting our course syllabi or our teaching approaches and philosophies.  You may be wondering how to incorporate EDID related principles into our teaching.  Dr. Lauren Sergio has generously shared one example of how EDID related questions/considerations are introduced to undergraduate students in a neurology course: 

Here is the first 'case study’ (see attached) I share with my 4th year class (a movement neurology course in which we review clinical cases every week). I put students into breakout groups and task them with addressing the following: What might be some consequences of underrepresentation, lack of diversity, in neurology research?

We then reconvene and discuss the article and how moving forward we can be alert to bias in clinical case reports and sampling for the rest of the course, and the impact of non-diverse research on biomedical knowledge. The basic message is "Pay attention to the 'participants' section of methods sections for the clinical cases that we go through"! 

Summer 2023

            From Rebecca Bassett-Gunter:

The EDID committee wanted to share with you some learning opportunities that may be of interest to people while planning for research activities for the coming year. These training programs come from Queen’s University but are open to the public. I have completed the Introduction to EDI in Research Design with my own lab and found it to be thought-provoking and practical.  

As noted by a second year KAHS doctoral student in my lab  -  “The Introduction to EDI in Research Design training module provided an enlightening exploration of how to apply EDI principles to research methodologies. It empowered me to critically examine the biases that can inadvertently skew results, while stressing the importance of inclusive participant selection. The knowledge gained will be invaluable in ensuring the research I conduct in the future is not only equitable and inclusive, but also accurately represents the diversity inherent in our society.”

Learners have the option to enter their email address rather than a Queen’s employee number with these links found below. This might be a great way to integrate some EDID considerations into your own research and lab activities.

Introduction to EDI in Research Design: https://www.queensu.ca/equity/public/edird/

Developing Inclusive Research Teams: https://www.queensu.ca/equity/public/dinrt/

Embedding EDI in Knowledge Mobilization, Knowledge Translation, and Data Management: https://www.queensu.ca/equity/public/ekmtd/

The EDID committee developed and conducted a survey to assess students’ experiences around EDID in KHS and at York more broadly. Students were invited to complete the survey during class in March 2023, in KINE 1000 and KINE 3000. The EDID committee also reached out to 2000 and 4000 level instructors with the hope of ensuring breadth in the survey completion. The survey was also circulated to graduate students.  Approximately 25 undergraduate students completed the survey.  With the support of a work-study student, survey feedback was summarized and presented in the attached infographic.  Despite the low response rate, the results help to identify the School’s strengths as well as areas for improvement, with regards to promoting EDID.

Kinesiology Syllabus Workshop Inquiries

From Lisa Endersby and Ameera Ali, Teaching Commons:

DEDI-Related Resources: 

At the moment, the DEDI resources we have at the Teaching Commons are dispersed throughout the website based on the specific topics/areas that pertain to them. We have been attempting to infuse DEDI within our work and offerings so that it is apparent in all that we do, however we do have several DEDI-specific resources and programming. Below are links to some DEDI-focused resources that we have available through our website:

DEDI-Related Programming: 

In addition to this, we do have some programming that offers DEDI-specific topics, which can also be accessed through our events calendar. Some of these offerings include:

  • Alternative Approaches to Online Tests and Exams Course
  • Access and Equity in Online Teaching Course
  • Caring to Teach Course
  • Decolonizing the Academy Course
  • Equity in Assessment Course [Faculty]
  • SEEDS: Supporting Experiential Education for Diverse Students
  • Supporting Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in the Classroom Workshop series
  • Trauma-Informed Pedagogies Workshop Series (currently under development)

We also run a Decolonization, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (DEDI) Community of Practice that is open to anyone who teaches at York. Our community meets once a month for one hour to engage in discussion around various topics related to DEDI in teaching and learning.