An update from the new Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-racism office
A message from the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-racism (EDI-R).
The new office of Equity Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-racism (EDI-R) is excited to share plans and commitments developed in response to the Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (HREI) organizational review report (PDF), which was shared with the campus community in October 2021.
We are grateful for the time and energies that the campus community so generously gave to the external review committee: sharing experiences, frustrations, hopes, and—importantly—being an essential catalyst for the changes we are seeing and will see in the future.
We know that we have work to do to (re)build trust and to foster strong relationships across this campus. Our commitments outlined here are just a start. We will be accountable. We will be accessible. We will be responsive. We will be leaders in equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism, but we need you to be co-leaders with us. This is the work of every person on campus, and we are excited to create the space and opportunity for collaboration and community.
The office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-racism (EDI-R)
In response to Recommendations #5 and #6 in the report, and as detailed in the memo from Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor and James W.E. Rush, Vice-President, Academic & Provost, a new unit has been created, headed by Dr. Christopher Taylor, associate vice-president, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-racism. This new unit includes the Equity Office and the senior manager of Anti-racism Response. Over the next six weeks, we will reconsider the name of the Office. For the time being, when referring to the new direction and strategy, we will use EDI-R as an umbrella acronym for the breadth of work and engagement undertaken in the Office.
In response to Recommendations #4 and #12, the foundation of EDI-R work will be informed by and respond to the needs of students, staff, and faculty. You are the bedrock of everything we do. The services we provide will be relevant and pro-actively and responsively serve the needs of the campus community. To accomplish this, we will increase staff capacity with a priority on hiring racialized staff, including hiring for advisory roles, and co-op and work-study placements.
Place: physical and virtual
In response to Recommendations #11 and #16, EDI-R will work to find a welcoming and inclusive space on campus, where we can gather as communities; where you can seek guidance, support, and resources; and where connections can be fostered and strengthened. We are committed to locating a space that feels safe for equity deserving groups. We will also work to develop an intake system for EDI-R supports, that is accessible, responsive, and timely.
Programs and engagement
In response to Recommendations #13 and #14, EDI-R will also become a policy, program, and student research hub, which can support and mobilize the creation and dissemination of EDI-R research, not only for our campus, but the wider community and beyond. Research will also be used to provide policy advice and program development for our campus and the creators of this work will include our staff, along with experts and employees. There are four crucial aspects to this work:
- Sankofa Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, an open-access and peer-reviewed journal that supports the amplification of marginalized voices of students and employees at Waterloo.
- Cross-campus collaboration and strengthening of partnerships through the creation of EDI-R Program Area Leads (PALS). Within some areas of campus, these positions already exist; where they don’t, we will put a call out for people who are committed to, and have expertise in, EDI-R and can work with us to advance the goals of the Office and the institution.
- An advisory board made up of students, faculty and staff, including student and staff associations on campus, among others, who can provide guidance and accountability for institutional plans to advance EDI-R.
- Targeted communications and engagement to ensure that our work and outcomes are communicated regularly and transparently. We will use multiple engagement tools and resources to ensure that communication is accessible. EDI-R PALS and the advisory board will help to disseminate updates through their respective units on campus using a hub and spoke model.
The EDI-R team will be investing time this month to plan. This means there will be a pause on non-essential work. We appreciate the urgency this work demands and we do not take this pause lightly. We recognize that for us to strengthen our own capacities to pro-actively and responsively provide EDI-R leadership and necessary change, we need to step back from some of the day-to-day work. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
Hec of a Warrior: Tre Ford named Canada's most outstanding player
This is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared on the Athletics and Recreation website.
Warriors quarterback Tre Ford has been named the recipient of the 2021 Hec Crighton trophy for the most outstanding player in U SPORTS. He becomes the first player in the history of the Warriors football program to claim the storied award.
The recognition caps one of the most dominant careers ever seen in Canadian university football. Since becoming the full-time starter in 2018, Ford leads the nation in passing yards and passing touchdowns, while sitting second in rushing yards.
“It’s a great honour,” Ford said. “It’s really a team award and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates: The O-line blocking, our defence getting the ball back and obviously our coaches, setting me up for success with great play calls.”
In 2021’s shortened six-game schedule, Ford completed 63.4 per cent of his passes for 1465 yards and 10 touchdowns through the air, while adding 629 rushing yards and three scores on the ground. Ford averaged a combined 349 yards passing and rushing per game and he finished in the top 7 in the nation in passing yards, passing touchdowns, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and yards per rushing attempt. On top of his incredible accomplishments on the field, Ford was named to the 2020-21 President's Academic Honour Roll for obtaining 80 per cent or higher while competing as a varsity student-athlete, the second time he achieved that honour in his five years at Waterloo.
“Winning the Hec Crighton award as National Player of the Year cements Tre’s legacy in Warriors football history as arguably the greatest of all-time,” head coach Chris Bertoia said. “Tre is a trailblazer: With this award he is the first Waterloo Warrior to ever win it and he is the first Black quarterback to ever win it. I’m so proud of his perseverance and determination. It’s been an honour to have the opportunity to coach Tre. He is a tremendous person, quarterback and teammate. He can and will be successful in whatever he puts his mind to. Our team, coaching staff and football alumni can’t wait to see what is next for Tre.”
Ford’s university career traces back to 2017, in which he claimed the Peter Gorman Trophy as the national rookie of the year, while sparking his Waterloo Warriors to a four-win improvement in the standings. Heading into 2018, his first as a full-time starter, he was anxious to prove himself as one of the top university football players in the country.
On that late summer evening at Warrior Field, Ford put on a masterclass of the quarterback position. He completed 25 of 28 passes for a school-record 463 yards and six touchdowns, while adding six carries for 58 yards and a rushing touchdown. By the time the sun had set behind the west endzone, Ford had put himself in the Hec Crighton conversation – a conversation that he remained a part of for the next three years.
Since that night, Ford has only built his case as the nation's top player: at the end of that 2018 season, Ford claimed the OUA MVP award. Then, in 2019, he earned his first All-Canadian selection. And just two weeks ago, Ford was named the OUA’s most valuable player for a second time. Now, 1194 days after he proclaimed his candidacy to the world, Ford has claimed the top individual prize in Canadian university football.
While his performance in 2021 was otherworldly, it was nothing new for Ford. In 2018, he completed one of the greatest seasons in U SPORTS history: Ford registered a 74.1 per cent completion rate, 2822 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions, while adding 641 yards rushing and two majors on the ground. In 2019, Ford was once again amongst the national leaders in virtually every passing and rushing category as he earned his first career All-Canadian selection.
In addition to being the first Warrior to win the Hec Crighton Award, Ford is also the first Black quarterback to claim the most outstanding player award. It’s a responsibility that Ford doesn’t take lightly and he hopes that this award will help enact some much-needed change in how Black quarterbacks are perceived.
“I’d love to see more Black quarterbacks come out and get a chance in U SPORTS,” Ford said. “It would be great for kids to know that someone has their back like ‘Bert’ had my back.”
Future focused: creating better systems to include people with disabilities
A message from Human Resources.
The University of Waterloo is coming together to raise awareness about this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). The theme for 2021 is Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible, and sustainable post-COVID-19 world. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted persons with disabilities, such as limiting access to healthcare and supports, when they already face many barriers in daily life. It has also driven innovation that has allowed for equal access in unexpected ways, such as video meetings with audio support and closed captioning and asynchronous learning for students.
The experience gained during the pandemic can educate us on how recognizing and embedding the needs of persons with disabilities in a post-COVID-19 world can drive innovation to build systems that are better for everybody. Dr. Lili Liu, Dean, Faculty of Health notes, “More than ever, it’s important that persons with disabilities participate and have leadership roles to help ensure that our campus is equitable, and in turn, future generations of students and scholars experience a more equitable society.”
Thanks for being part of our Giving Tuesday success
A message from the Office of Advancement.
Waterloo faculty, staff and retirees are the best. We knocked it out of the park again, with 1,374 donors from our campus community and beyond contributing an outstanding $559,130 in support for Waterloo.
A very special shout-out to our generous Challenge Champions, who contributed $139,000 of that total to make our Giving Tuesday campaign possible.
Giving Tuesday gifts will provide our students, faculty and researchers with the resources they need to explore and overcome the challenges ahead.
Here are a few highlights from the day:
- Most Donors Challenge: 100 donors made a gift to the Waterloo Eye Institute Fund, unlocking an additional $5,000 for the fund
- Lucky 500th Donor Challenge: Harry C. (BES ’84, BArch ‘86), with a gift to the School of Architecture Rome Program Fund
- Total Donor Challenge #1: 750 donors — unlocked $3,000 for the Student Wellness Fund
- Total Donor Challenge #2: 1,000 donors — unlocked $10,000 for the Waterloo Fund
See the results for all challenges on our Giving Tuesday website.
Thank you again, for being a crucial part of our success. Throughout the year, and especially during this season of giving, we are grateful for all you do.