Equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism

Equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism as core values

"As a Faculty, we strive to embrace diverse perspectives, abilities, approaches, and experiences in building an inclusive community for education and research. We are committed to recognizing and respecting lived experiences, historic and contemporary, especially relating to Indigenous persons, while eliminating barriers for all in our greater community."

- Faculty of Health 2020-2025 Strategic Plan

The Faculty of Health comprises the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, and the School of Public Health Sciences and all share the commitments within this statement. We are committed to equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism in all aspects of the Faculty’s culture, operations and activities. This includes, but is not limited to, access to academic programs and opportunities for: employment, volunteering, committee participation, leadership; awards and recognitions; engagement in research and learning; and knowledge sharing. Our commitment is founded on principles of respect, well-being, and justice for all.

The Faculty of Health welcomes all individuals independent of sex, race, religion, Indigenous identity, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender expression, or other identities, and the intersectionality of these identities. We uphold University of Waterloo Policy 8 (Freedom of Speech); Policy 18 (Staff Employment), Policy 33 (Ethical Behaviour), Policy 76 (Faculty Appointments), and Policy 77 (Faculty Tenure and Promotion).

As a Faculty, our emphasis on equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism is broad and we recognize the impacts of ableism, ageism, citizenship status, classism, colonialism, the gender binary, heteronormativity, mental health concerns, microaggression, racism, sexism, sizeism, or structural poverty and structural violence on health and wellbeing.

To advance equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism, the Faculty of Health is committed to promoting the respectful inclusion of diverse people and perspectives in all Faculty activities and practices by:

  • Increasing representation and participation in Faculty leadership and committees by being proactively inclusive;
  • Using the UW Equity Survey data to inform initiatives on diversity within education, training, research and service communities;
  • Taking meaningful action to address systemic barriers, racism and biases in education, training and research opportunities;
  • Providing resources and opportunities to build capacity and knowledge among students, staff and faculty about safety, equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism in education and training, mentorship, research, and service;
  • Encouraging Faculty of Health members and other collaborators to develop, foster, promote, and maintain an environment that values and respects all individuals. This includes expectations of interactions with faculty, staff, students, alumni, volunteers and collaborators that are free from discrimination and harassment, and reflect the values of fairness, dignity, and respect;
  • Fostering environments that are safe for marginalized members of our student, staff and faculty groups. This includes a commitment to invest in physical and on-line spaces to support connection and community-building;
  • Advancing the evidence needed to support equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism in health sciences, knowledge mobilization, education and training, practice, and service provision;
  • Acknowledging treaty and traditional territories in classes, meetings and events, along with fostering the knowledge and capacity of non-Indigenous Faculty members to develop meaningful relationships with Indigenous peoples;
  • Using Faculty of Health platforms to increase awareness, address oppression and advocate for health and well-being at the University of Waterloo and for all people in Canada and globally;
  • Recognizing the importance of language and how it can evolve over time. As such the Faculty acknowledges that different terms are being used in this field and is committed to regularly reviewing and updating this statement to ensure that it reflects our commitment and actions.

In summary, this statement is a commitment to action and expresses our intent to create change in the Faculty of Health.


Anti-racism: actively seeking to identify, remove, prevent, and mitigate racially inequitable outcomes and power imbalances between groups and change the structures that sustain inequities.

Equity: understanding and removing systemic barriers and biases to enable all individuals to have an equal opportunity to access and benefit from Faculty of Health programs and services and be treated fairly.

Diversity: differences in individual qualities and characteristics, including race, colour, place of origin, religion, immigrant and newcomer status, ethnic origin, ability, sex, size, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and age.

Inclusion: the practice of ensuring that all individuals are valued and respected for their contributions and are equally supported; creating an environment in which differences are embraced.

1 Adapted from https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/nfrf-fnfr/edi-eng.aspx and Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, Glossary of Terms, January 2022. Glossary of terms (ccdi.ca)


For students

For employees

For instructors

For researchers

Anti-racism reading lists

To develop a deeper understanding of issues of racism, and how you can engage in anti-racism work, see the Anti-racism reading lists.

Suggestions, ideas or comments?

The Dean's Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-racism is committed to actions to celebrate our diversity and support equity and inclusion. The committee consults with faculty, staff and student-led organizations to develop equity and anti-oppression practices in teaching, research, human resources processes, environment and spaces.

Unit initiatives

Learn more about equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism initiatives and resources in Kinesiology and Health SciencesRecreation and Leisure Studies, and the School of Public Health Sciences