Invitation to participate in the Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (HREI) Review

Friday, December 18, 2020

To:  University of Waterloo students, faculty, and staff

From: External Review Team - Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (HREI) Review

Date:  December 18, 2020

Subject:  Invitation to participate in the Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (HREI) Review

Note: This email is for information and for action         

As we get underway with the review of Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion (HREI) as communicated on December 1, 2020 by the Vice-President Academic & Provost, we are looking forward to meeting and hearing from members of the University of Waterloo community. It is an unfortunate limitation of the pandemic —especially for something as important as this review at this moment in history—that we will need to have conversations virtually.

We commit to listening carefully and openly to what the community would like to share with us. We welcome your observations, experiences, stories, examples, and any other means you wish to share. This involvement can be in a scheduled virtual meeting, or by a written submission (more on this below). Our work will be informed by you, and our report to the University will reflect the strength and meaning of your contributions.

Our deliberations will be confidential. By this we mean that there will be no attribution of what was said to us in any meeting or written submission. Our report will be organized thematically, and where examples are used, we will ensure the confidentiality of the person(s) sharing them.

We will start by meeting with members of the HREI team before the holiday break, and no later than January 2021. During January and February we would like to meet with or hear from interested members of the Waterloo community. Please accept our invitation to schedule a meeting with us. We will be working with Human Resources and other offices to reach out to key stakeholders of HREI to encourage participation in this process.

Requests for meetings and accommodations to participate in the process should be sent to Michelle Hollis, Director HR Client Services, by email to, or by phone at 519-888-4567 ext. 41127.

Should you wish to provide a written submission, the University has set up an email for us to use for this review: Only members of the Review Team will have access to this email. Further, a website is being created to support the review that will house progress updates, outreach events, and news. The website will also feature an anonymous feedback form, should members of the Waterloo community choose to connect with us in that manner. We anticipate this website will be launched in late January. 

We have assembled some open-ended questions that may be helpful as you reflect upon this review and organize your thoughts. They are intended only as a starting point and are not intended in any way to limit what you wish to share with us.

  • With which HREI units (Equity Office, Indigenous Initiatives, Conflict Management and Human Rights Office, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office, and Education and Awareness) or individuals have you engaged?
  • What does HREI or individual units within HREI do well? Please share examples. What can HREI/the units within HREI do to strengthen existing services and programs?
  • Is there anything HREI should start or stop doing?
  • Do you have any observations to share regarding the structure of HREI, and how it could be improved?
  • Do you have any observations to share about how HREI develops and sustains community partnerships and collaborations?
  • How can the University Administration better support HREI and/or the units within HREI?

We are very much looking forward to engaging the community in this review process and wish to extend our gratitude in advance for your willingness to participate and contribute.

Thank you.

HREI External Review Team

Denise O’Neil Green          

Christina Sass-Kortsak      

Barrington Walker

Lisa Castle

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