The Equity Office convenes, manages and supports equity-related committees and working groups in order to advance equity, diversity and inclusion across campus
We prioritize meaningful engagement and consultation with folks who have lived experience as part of authentically and thoughtfully working toward equity on campus.
There are many other equity committees across campus, and we encourage members of the campus community to consider joining or supporting committees or working groups if they are interested.
The University of Waterloo has a strong commitment to increasing equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigenous initiatives in all facets of its operations. As part of the Strengthening Sustainable and Diverse Communities Strategic Plan Theme, the University has committed to “be[ing] a people-centered institution committed to genuine care, concern, respect, inclusivity and well-being for all.”
In a community as large and complex as the University of Waterloo, accurate data is vital to making informed, optimal decisions. The Equity Office is working with key stakeholders on a centralized equity data collection strategy for all students, faculty and staff. An institutional equity data strategy will help us better understand, evaluate, and make meaningful change towards dismantling systemic barriers.
In support of this recommendation, the Equity Office has established an Equity Data Advisory Group. The proposed objective of the Advisory Group is to provide guidance on the creation of an institutional equity data strategy. The Advisory Group will have the mandate to provide guidance and advice on:
- the kinds of equity data Waterloo should collect,
- the wording of questions and self-identification options to accurately represent diverse identities,
- strategies to build a culture of disclosure, where people feel comfortable and safe to self-identify, and
- recommendations to consistently use equity data to inform institutional processes and decision making.
The Advisory Group will be supported by the Equity Office and will be comprised of students, faculty and staff with lived experience and/or expertise in equity and equity data collection.
Advisory Group Members:
Nada Abouelnaga is an undergraduate student in her third year of biomedical sciences. Nada was elected to be the Vice-President Student Life of the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association from May 2020-April 2021. Nada’s background and lived experience comes from serving as a co-coordinator for RAISE.
Dr. Hilary Bergsieker is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Waterloo, where she directs the Diversity and Intergroup Relations Lab. Dr. Bergsieker has expertise in bias reduction, interracial interactions, stigma, and trust formation plus maintenance in diverse groups. Her experimental work demonstrates the psychological costs of compelling multiracial individuals to select a single option on standardized forms. As a Fellow of the Engendering Success in STEM research consortium, she uses science-based interventions to advance the inclusion and success of women and underrepresented groups in STEM fields.
Dr. Jay Dolmage is committed to disability rights in his scholarship, service, and teaching. His work brings together rhetoric, writing, disability studies, and critical pedagogy. My first book, entitled Disability Rhetoric, was published with Syracuse University Press in 2014. Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education was published with Michigan University Press in 2017 and is available in an open-access version online. Disabled Upon Arrival: Eugenics, Immigration, and the Construction of Race and Disability was published in 2018 with Ohio State University Press. He is the Founding Editor of the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies.
Aaron Francis is a doctoral student in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, a multidisciplinary artist, and a curator. In the past year, Aaron has exhibited works from his Vintage Black Canada™ initiative at the BAND Gallery Toronto, the Gladstone Hotel Toronto, the Contact Photography Festival and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Waterloo. The former chair of the City of Kitchener’s Arts and culture advisory committee, most recently in June of this year Aaron co-organized and marshaled the KW Solidarity March for Black Lives that saw an estimated 30,000 attendees.
Jordan Hale is the Digital Repositories Librarian, supporting open access scholarship and publishing on campus. They come to the group with extensive experience facilitating access to social science research data in a library context, as well as respectful and responsible research data management.
Nigel Henriques is Associate Director of Systems in the Office of Advancement and is responsible for oversight of a broad portfolio of Information Technology and Solutions used by staff, donors, and alumni worldwide. He leads an anti-racism initiative in Advancement that aims to engage with staff and its direct community to ensure that any systemic discrimination towards BIPOC peoples are removed and the broad principles of diversity, equity and inclusion are being practiced within the department. Outside of uWaterloo, he is actively engaged with the local Black community and is the Chair of the scholarship committee for the Canadian Caribbean Association of Waterloo Region. He is an alumnus of uWaterloo with a BMath degree in Computer Science and a MASc degree in Management Science.
Dr. John Lewis is a community planner and landscape architect with research expertise in the areas of urban and landscape design, community engagement software, accessible planning, and age-friendly communities. He has worked professionally as an urban planner and community engagement consultant to resource companies and First Nations governments in British Columbia and municipal governments in Ontario, and age-friendly community planning advisor to the Province of Ontario. John is a proud father of two children and registered citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario.
Omi Ra's work includes dismantling anti-Black racism whilst addressing its intersectional impacts on Black trans/nonbinary and gender non-conforming peoples lived experiences.
Jeremy Steffler is a Faculty Relations Manager for the Co-operative Education and Career Action department at the University of Waterloo. Outside of work hours, Jeremy volunteers as a Director of the University of Waterloo Staff Association, a subject matter expert and trainer for the University of Waterloo’s Inclusivity eCertificate and is a mediator for Community Justice Initiatives.
Jessica Thompson is an Associate Professor of Hybrid Media at the University of Waterloo, where she teaches in the Department of Fine Arts and the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business. Her artistic practice investigates the ways that sound reveals spatial and social conditions within cities, and how the creative use of urban data can generate new modes of citizen engagement. She is a 4th generation Canadian whose ancestors settled in Chatham-Kent in the 1860s and is one of the founding members of the Black Faculty Collective at UW. She has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. She is a 2019 recipient of an Ontario Government Early Researcher Award for ‘Borderline’, a practice-led research inquiry that will use the sonification of algorithmic data to create new understandings of place
Dr. Nancy Worth is a feminist economic geographer who is interested in work, social reproduction and inequality. Her current research is with media freelancers in Toronto, examining intersections of paid and unpaid labour in the home in the context of non-standard work. In previous service roles before joining UWaterloo she has worked to challenge discourses of vulnerability around age and disability in research ethics, contributed to building new processes and catalysing resources for an employment equity census, and researched the non-disclosure of equity data—understanding when and why respondents choose not to answer.