- What are the main duties of the taskforce/what do taskforce members do?
Taskforce members will focus on recommendations arising from PART working groups covering the topics of Health & Mental Health Strategy; Safety; Race, Culture & Ethnicity Awareness; Professional and Academic Development & Mentorship; and the Educational Environment & the Development of Learners. PART will connect and structure the recommendations from the working groups into an overarching framework for addressing anti-racism, anti-oppression, and for building inclusivity at UWaterloo.
- How were members of the taskforce selected?
Chairs of the PART working groups comprise the taskforce membership. Working group members, many of which are also members of the Community Collaborative, volunteered to serve on PART based on their areas of both expertise and interest. Chairs for each working group were selected specifically for their expertise in the subject matter and their ability to navigate university administration.
- Who will the taskforce report to?
The taskforce will present recommendations directly to the President for consideration before they are put into action.
- Is there an end date?
Long-lasting change does not happen overnight. It requires a deep understanding of the areas of concern and time to effectively roll-out actions that represent the multitude of BIPOC voices throughout our community. Anti-racism efforts will continue ongoing, until we can truly boast that anti-racism is ingrained in the fabric of our entire UWaterloo society. However, the taskforce will work to identify a timeline for their efforts in their accountability frameworks. This information will be shared once finalized.
- How often will the taskforce update the UWaterloo community about its work?
Engagement and transparency are pillars of PART’s work. The taskforce and its working groups will be sharing updates with the broader campus community at key milestones, on the uwaterloo.ca/antiracism webpage, and directly through emails when appropriate. Further details on how they will remain accountable will be shared once the taskforce accountability framework is finalized.
- Will all of the concerns highlighted by the community be answered through the work of the taskforce?
The feedback received from Community Collaborative members, interested campus organizations, stakeholders, and the broader Waterloo community have been compiled and shared in iterations with members of the working groups. Recommendations received were also assigned to the thematic area, best suited.
Working group members have all the available information to provide fulsome and informed recommendations, that respond to individual concerns, for the benefit of the entire campus community.
Since this is a collaborative process with many perspectives considered, it may be difficult for individuals to see their precise recommended action reflected.
- Why did it take so long for the taskforce to be established?
Long-lasting change does not happen overnight. It required a deep understanding of the areas of concern, and consultation to identify effective actions that represent the multitude of BIPOC voices throughout our community. Gathering that feedback, having those conversations, and creating the internal mechanisms to drive that change, are elements that take time.
Although a lot of work goes into this, it’s not always easy to plainly see, and it is critical that the right individuals on campus in positions to enact change are not only engaged, but are given the proper training to understand experiences of racism, acknowledge the challenges faced at the university, and internalize the principles set out to guide this work.
As progress becomes more identifiable, and students, faculty and staff are able to see their concerns reflected outwardly in university action, it will continue to reinforce that we’re on the right track.
- Will taskforce members be compensated for their work?
Student members will be compensated for their work. We are also working with supervisors of staff to ensure appropriate flexibility and support are given to employees as they engage in this important work.
- What is the role of working group members?
Working group members consult within their groups, and as appropriate across campus to develop recommendations for action based on their thematic area and considering members’ areas of expertise. Recommendations are brought forward to the Taskforce and then the President for consideration.
- How were working groups formed?
Twenty-seven individuals from the Community Collaborative expressed interest in serving on a working group, of their first or second preference. The working group members will drive initiatives related to their chosen area of interest or expertise. The Working Groups are made of at least five individuals from the CC, a representative of WUSA, a representative of the GSA, and between 2 to 3 additional members with the expertise and/or accountability for implementation as recommendations are agreed upon.
Working group focus areas were determined through discussions with members of the Community Collaborative (CC) who provided key ideas about necessary action on campus. Those ideas have been grouped into thematic areas, to be considered by the Taskforce. Working groups and implementation teams were formed to provide recommendations in some of those areas, and begin actions immediately on others.
The thematic areas identified include: Campus Representation; Health & Mental Health Strategy; Safety; Race, Culture & Ethnicity Awareness; Professional and Academic Development & Mentorship; Educational Environment & the Development of Learners; and Race-Based Data Strategies.
- What is the role of implementation team members?
Implementation teams work to develop and execute plans, academic programming, events, and approaches to data collection based on their respective areas of focus.
- How were implementation teams formed?
Members of each implementation team either expressed interest in the area for action, or were approached directly for their expertise in the subject matter, their current roles on campus, and their ability to effectively and swiftly implement the necessary changes outlined through community feedback. Members of the working groups and the implementation teams will undergo extensive anti-racism training, are held to the standards of PART’s guiding principles, and will be held accountable to the President and the broader campus community through each team’s accountability framework.
- How were members of the Community Collaborative selected and are you still accepting members?
50 individuals from the UWaterloo campus community, mostly members of BIPOC communities, expressed interest in joining the community collaborative. This group has already and will continue to play a pivotal role in providing feedback and guidance on the work of PART.
Last Updated: December 11, 2020