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Decolonization, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEDI)

Statement and Action on Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity

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The School of Kinesiology and Health Science upholds a commitment to creating and maintaining a transformative, equitable, diverse, and inclusive community where students, faculty, and staff are welcome and feel safe and secure, while acknowledging lived experiences and ongoing harms.

To ensure that students, faculty, and staff can engage effectively in their work, discrimination of any kind must not be tolerated. Meaningful, focused, systemic, and sustained policies, practices, and programs, as well as individual commitment to learning, critical reflection, and professional development 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 marginalization and oppression; and will require ongoing collaboration and action to address these obstacles to learning and working on York campus, in virtual spaces, and within York’s wider community.  

As necessary first actions, the School undertook an internal audit and critical self-examination with the assistance of an external consultant to assess the equity needs and lived experiences of students, alumni, staff, and faculty through a survey and focus groups.  As a result, the School identified short-term and long-term efforts to address these inequities and create positive change so that the School embraces and celebrates all members.  One immediate action taken was to establish the DEDI Committee.  Each year, the committee will aim to identify priorities, informed by the internal audit recommendations, broader institutional policies, everchanging contexts, and critical reflection of what DEDI means for the School and how these principles can become part of the School, its culture, and operations. 

The Committee seeks to foster relationships of respect and recriprocal learning. The internal audit, ongoing data collection, relationship-building, and dialogue are vital to understanding how members of the School could  engage in the critical, challenging, and ongoing work of decolonization, and fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

KHS DEDI Committee (Last edited February, 2024)


DEDI Efforts

  • Terms of reference (ToR) review
  • Teaching and Learning
    • DEDI & Teaching workshops
      • October 2023:  Assignments and Accommodation
        • This workshop was facilitated by the Teaching Commons to discuss, from an intersectional lens, strategies for designing assignments that prioritize access and take into account the varying accommodations students may require.
          • Teaching Tips Teaching Commons Workshop Link
    • DEDI & Teaching Community of Practice
      • December 2023:  Community of Practice Gathering
        • This inaugural session was hosted by the DEDI Committee with the support of the Teaching Commons to create space for us to gather and reflect upon our individual and shared experiences in the classroom over the term, from a DEDI lens.  Together, we identified strengths and areas for further consideration.  We also shared insights, experiences, and feedback from teaching peers, and in doing so, learned with and from one another and to ultimately foster a sense of community.
  • Cross-cutting activities
    • ToR Review
    • School statement update
    • DEDI Toolkit

  • Teaching & Learning Activities
    • Catalog of Teaching and Learning resources
    • Workshops on teaching and learning (in partnership with Teaching Commons)
      • April 2023:  DEDI Committee worked with the Teaching Commons to prepare a workshop for interested KHS faculty regarding the implementation of DEDI considerations into course curricula. 16 colleagues from different disciplines and streams participated.  Participants proposed the idea of forming a Community of Practice for DEDI & Teaching. 
  • Cross-Cutting Activities
    • Integration of EDID Principles into Academic Planning 2020-2025
    • EDID report at all Academic Council Meetings
    • Development of Review Process for Terms of Reference from an EDID lens
    • Monthly Email Blasts

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:

Developing Inclusive Research Teams:

Embedding EDI in Knowledge Mobilization, Knowledge Translation, and Data Management:

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"! 

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

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. 

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?

January 2023

Understanding the Land Acknowledgment (8 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:

Or for a more immediate, and interactive resource:

  • Free, confidential support services (professional counsellor, volunteer crisis responder, peer-to-peer community forum)

November 2022

Equity versus Equality (5 min.)

Formation of EDI Coalition

Third-party equity audit by EDICATION Consulting


DEDI Terms of Reference Review

DEDI & Research, community and relationship building


DEDI and Teaching

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.


Relationship Building and Dialogue

What is the DEDI and Teaching Community of Practice?

The DEDI and Teaching CoP is a group of individuals who teach in the School who are interested in examining how to incorporate DEDI principles into their teaching.  When we meet as a group, we learn with and from each other through facilitated workshops.  Gathering together is also an opportunity to reflect on the challenges we face, share ideas, listen and hear from one another, to offer support, to have a safe space to be vulnerable as we navigate teaching in times of crisis. 

What are the time commitments of being a DEDI and Teaching CoP member?

Workshops/gatherings are held once a term.

If interested or have any questions, please contact 2023-24 DEDI Co-Chair, Yuka Nakamura

What is the DEDI Coalition?

The Coalition is a group of individuals who are interested in and want to engage in the DEDI work in the School but are not able to be commit to being part of the DEDI Standing Committee due to time constraints or other reasons.    

Why is there a DEDI Coalition?

The DEDI Coalition came into existence as a way to ensure diverse voices are heard and to increase opportunities for dialogue between the DEDI Standing Committee and interested parties outside of the Committee.  

What are the responsibilities of DEDI Coalition members?

  • To review communications (~1-2 times a month) from the DEDI Committee Co-Chairs
  • To provide feedback on DEDI Committee priorities and Committee work, as needed and when you are able.

If interested or have any questions, please contact 2023-24 DEDI Co-Chair, Yuka Nakamura

DEDI Resources

Kinesiology Syllabus Workshop

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.