Implementation dashboard

In 2022, the President’s Anti-Racism Taskforce released 88 recommendations for the University to implement to advance its antiracism mission and, to drive long lasting and meaningful change. These recommendations have led to the creation of 125 projects and initiatives across campus. The University intends to complete most of these projects over a three-year period, which ends in 2025. Waterloo’s progress as of September 2023 (Q3) is presented below:

Recommendation to action

Overall Theme

PART Recommendations 

Progress

1 | The Taskforce recommends that as the University undertakes its Policy Renewal Project, it reviews it policy management framework and existing library of university policies with equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism lens and principles. New policies should also be developed using these principles.

Project: 1 

Status: Future project 

2 | The Taskforce recommends that the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism creates a toolkit (or an appropriate mechanism) to provide a basic understanding of decolonizing approaches and direction for faculty and staff in their review and revision of existing programs and services with an anti-racism lens. This toolkit should also be used to guide development of new programs and services. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

3 | The Taskforce reiterates a recommendation that emerged from the formal review of the former Office of Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion, as much of the anti-racism work will occur in the Offices of Indigenous Relations and Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism, and requires safe spaces/facilities: [These offices] should have space appropriate for [their mandates] in a location separate from campus police, recognizing the need for traditionally marginalized communities to feel safe talking about their experiences. 

Projects: 2

Status: Completed

4 | Taskforce recommends that the University commits to funding the programs, services, initiatives, and other activities that have emerged from PART, as these activities are crucial to the anti-racism mission of the University.

Project: 1

Status: In progress 

5 | The Taskforce recommends that the Offices of IR and EDI-R create guidelines on when and how to properly engage and consult with Indigenous and other racialized communities in a bid to achieve an equitable academic, research and campus environment. 

Projects: 2

Status: In progress 

6 | The Taskforce recommends that the Offices of IR and EDI-R continue to assess the training needs of the University community and develop anti-racism training programs that create a supportive, inclusive, and equitable campus environment where students, faculty, and staff can learn, grow, and thrive. 

Projects: 2

Status: In progress 

7 | The Taskforce recommends that the University ensures the inclusive and intentional recruitment, hiring and retention of more Black, Indigenous, and other racialized individuals into faculty, staff, and leadership positions. 

Projects: 2

Status: In progress 

8 | the Taskforce recommends that the Offices of IR and EDI-R should develop a communication strategy (including a central information resource/hub) to ensure the effective, accessible, and clear communications to Black, Indigenous, and other racialized students, staff, and faculty at the institution. 

Projects: 2

Status: In progress 

9 | The Taskforce recommends that the EDI-R create a screening tool that can be used to evaluate whether the mission and values of an external organization are aligned and consistent with the University’s anti-racism vision and mission. The results of these assessments should serve as an important factor to consider when making decisions on prospective partnerships. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress 

10 | The Taskforce recommends that the University develops guidelines for ethical data governance respecting principles for administrative data. These guidelines are to be adapted for various purposes (e.g., the annual equity data survey, the research enterprise, the Data Management Strategy) and across various areas (e.g., the Office of Research, the Library) to ensure alignment across portfolios, while respecting differential utility. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

Code of Conduct and Safety

PART Recommendations 

Progress

11 |The Taskforce recommends the following changes to Policy 33, presented with the goal of fostering feelings of safety across campus: define racism, ensure the visibility of the issue, clarify the application of the policy, and support individuals who experience racism. 

Project: 

Status: In progress 

12| The Taskforce recommends that the University include information on or reference to professional codes of conduct in Policy 71. 

Project: 

Status: In progress 

13 | The Taskforce recommends the use of an Anti-Racism Statement in all course syllabi.

Project: 

Status: In progress 

14 | The Taskforce recommends that four questions [in relation to Policy 8] should be clarified, in addition to others as determined appropriate by the University. 

Project: 

Status: In progress 

15 | The Taskforce proposes that training be available in four overarching thematic categories: Internal Reflection, Systemic and Institutional Influence, Community Engagement and Building and De-escalation Training and Crisis Prevention. 

Project: 

Status: In progress

Educational Environment and the Development of Learners

PART Recommendations 

Progress

16 | Embed mechanisms and resources to ensure that curriculum, individual courses, and teaching practices are decolonized to create a more inclusive teaching and learning environment by: 

Developing tools and frameworks to guide faculties, departments, and programs in decolonizing curriculum and teaching practices.  

  • Developing tools and frameworks to guide faculties, departments, and programs in decolonizing curriculum and teaching practices. 
  • Modifying the cyclical review process for academic programs to require that every program undertake a review of its curriculum through a lens of decolonization. Ensuring that support/expertise in decolonizing practices are available. 

Projects: 4

Status: In progress 

17 | Create and maintain a comprehensive inventory of all courses with substantial Indigenous and Black content (including Indigenous knowledges, cultures, histories, languages, politics). 

Projects: 2

Status: In progress 

18 | Develop resources and supports and create mechanisms for greater levels of Black, Indigenous, and other racialized undergraduate and graduate student engagement towards inclusive learning environments: 

  • Including these student voices in curriculum and program review committees. 
  • Including these student voices in the creation of a variety of formal and informal pathways and mechanisms for feedback when there are concerns with the learning environment. Providing workshops/resources for teaching assistants on creating inclusive learning environments. 

Projects: 4

Status: In progress

19 | Ensure the development, implementation, and continuing refinement of holistic methods of teaching assessment that make use of multiple sources of information, which may be the best approach for racialized professors:  

  • Use both Student Course Perception Surveys and Peer Reviews of Teaching to assess the quality of learning environment, and the racial, ethnic, cultural and gender inclusivity of the learning environment. 
  • Use newly available disaggregated data about race to improve understanding of differences in student course perception scores, in aid of fairer assessment of racialized instructors. 

Projects: 3

Status: In progress 

20 | Invest in the creation of diverse physical spaces and places on campus where different ways of teaching and learning can occur, including space for land-based teaching, community gatherings, sacred fires, drumming circles, and other elements central to making non-Western spaces. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress 

21 |Train faculty and departmental review committees on how to evaluate non-Western based (particularly, Indigenous) research, teaching, and service and should evaluate bodies of work with appropriate lenses. 

 Project: 1

Status: In progress  

22 |Create a Centre or Institute for Indigenous Research Excellence that supports Indigenous communities with identifying their research needs and areas of interest and assists these communities with achieving their research goals through partnerships with University researchers. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

23 |Mandate training for all non-Indigenous faculty members, staff, and students engaging in Indigenous research. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress 

24 |Consult with Indigenous community members who have existing relationships with the University (including staff, students, and faculty), to create a policy on conducting research with Indigenous communities and on Indigenous lands and waters.

Project: 1

Status: In progress 

25 |Ensure representation of different ways of knowing and being, equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism training, and best practices for the Research Ethics Board membership, so it has the capacity to support, assess, and approve ethics requests for research which impacts or involves racialized communities, with particular emphasis on Indigenous communities.

Project: 1

Status: In progress 

26 |Ensure diverse/broad membership and equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism training for dissertation and thesis committees to better evaluate non-Western research methodologies and projects (formally recognize the contributions of faculty, particularly Black, Indigenous, and other racialized faculty, who may be tasked with more expectations on their labour for serving on these committees).

Project: 1

Status: In progress

27 | Set specific admission goals for domestic Indigenous and Black students, at the undergraduate level, with an eye to creating a student body that reflects the make-up of the Canadian high school population by 2025. 

  • Use both Student Course Perception Surveys and Peer Reviews of Teaching to assess the quality of learning environment, and the racial, ethnic, cultural and gender inclusivity of the learning environment. 
  • Use newly available disaggregated data about race to improve understanding of differences in student course perception scores, in aid of fairer assessment of racialized instructors. 
  • Develop programs and metrics to increase high school recruitment and outreach to Black and Indigenous students. 

Projects: 3

Status: In progress

28 | Identify and address any barriers in admission processes that may negatively impact Black, Indigenous, and other racialized students, acknowledging that for undergraduate and graduate programs where admissions are highly competitive, it is already standard practice to consider additional criteria besides grades. 

  • Train staff in appropriate application of criteria. 
  • Implement mechanisms for Black, Indigenous, and other racialized students to provide supplementary evidence of their ability and commitment to success. 
  • Investigate if application fees may be unintended barriers. 

Projects: 5

Status: In progress

29 |Increase the number and value of scholarships and other funding opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and other racialized students (e.g., needs-based financial support for tuition subsidies, emergency loans, affordable childcare, housing, nutritious food), and identify and eliminate barriers to access these funds. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed

30 | Provide clear communications with students (across multiple platforms and formats) about the financial costs of attending university, so that racialized students from backgrounds where university education has not been the norm can make informed decisions about applying. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed

31 | Create a Transitional Year Program to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the student body by supporting Black, Indigenous, and other racialized students who are close to achieving the usual admission standards for their preferred programs but are unable to do so.

Project: 1

Status: Completed

Health and Mental Health

PART Recommendation

Progress

32 | The following are anti-racism training recommendations for health service providers and counsellors, grouped into five broad categories: Introduction to Anti-racism/Anti-racism Fundamentals, Social Determinants of Health, Racism and Discrimination in Healthcare, Culturally Responsible and Safe Healthcare/Anti-racist Framework for Clinical Practice, Racial and Intergenerational Trauma. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

33 | Develop group-specific healing circles that serve the needs of Black, Indigenous, or other racialized groups. Special consideration should also be given to those with intersecting identities (e.g., with differing sexual orientations and gender identities). These healing circles should offer resources and strategies to deal with mental health challenges (e.g., anxieties), should be empowering, and should promote stories of resiliency. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed 

34 | Ensure that the facilitators of healing circles are trained in the best practices (e.g., regular check-ins with participants) for creating culturally safe spaces, have a background in healing, and come from the same/similar background as those they serve/participants (e.g., Indigenous Elders, Black counsellors, spiritual healers from various faith communities). 

Project: 1

Status: Completed 

35 | Provide opportunities for international students to freely and safely discuss their experiences in a new/unknown environment, obtain strategies to effectively navigate new systems, and learn how to cope with stressors.  

Project: 1

Status: In progress 

36 | Designate ‘safe’ physical spaces (e.g., indoor spaces, community gardens) that can be used by racialized students and employees to heal from racial and intergenerational trauma. Place clear physical markers outside these spaces for ease in locating them. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed

37 | Maintain an easily accessible resource list of healing/safe spaces on campus and in the Region of Waterloo. Distribute this list to health service providers regularly. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

38 | The University should expand its current Wellness Resources Database to include services on and off campus that are tailored to members of the Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

39 | Health service providers should be able to competently refer students to on and off campus supports for emergency loans, access to affordable and nutritious food, housing, or childcare. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

40 | When students are referred to community services, a proper follow-up should be conducted to ensure that the students’ needs have been met in a culturally appropriate and satisfactory manner. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed 

41 | UWaterloo Chaplains should expand the number of faith traditions it represents to meet the needs of the University’s diverse population, as spiritual wellness supports are important to members of racialized groups. In addition, this campus unit should consider a more inclusive name for spiritual leaders other than “chaplains”. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

42 | Extend services to students’ immediate family members, if deemed appropriate for the wellness of students. When appropriate, ensure family members are referred to appropriate community organizations.  

Project: 1

Status: Completed

43 | Ensure healthcare practitioners have diverse cultural, linguistic, and faith/ spiritual backgrounds to provide culturally responsible and safe services that are reflective of the diversity of students. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed

44 | Increase the number of counseling sessions for students and/or evaluate ways to refer students to community counselling services, as deemed necessary by clinical analysis, as the six-sessions counseling model may be insufficient to address certain challenges. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed

45 | Develop culturally sensitive and responsible programs (e.g., group therapy workshops, seminar programs, and peer health educational programs) to address the unique challenges faced by racialized students, in particular racial trauma. Use names for these workshops and programs that are not perceived as stigmatizing by non-Western cultures. Offer them during vulnerable times. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

46 | Explain counselling and health services intake processes on the internal website with greater clarity:  

Provide transparency about the process of switching counselors and transferring to an off-campus service. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

47 | Provide information to community members, especially faculty, to recognize when students could benefit from wellness checks and might need mental health support. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed

48 | Build relationships, trust, safety, and communications: Develop and implement a communication and engagement strategy for connecting with Black, Indigenous, and other racialized persons. 

Project: 1

Status: On hold

49 | Cultural context: Decolonize the Wellness Collaborative’s understanding of and approaches to wellness, specifically mental wellness, by consulting with wellness professionals and traditional knowledge keepers from different cultures and incorporating various cultural perspectives on wellness in programs and initiatives.

Project: 1

Status: Completed

50 | Priorities: The wellness priority areas should be informed by additional consultations with Black, Indigenous and racialized individuals, equity-deserving groups, and other relevant groups for revising (or redeveloping) priorities.  

Project: 1

Status: Completed

51 | Terminology and approach: Identify the systemic barriers or inequities caused by social and structural determinants of health that may negatively impact the inclusion of equity deserving groups in WC and engage in actions that proactively mitigate the identified barriers or inequities. 

Project: 1

Status: On hold

52 | History and current socio-political realities: Wellness Collaborative Advisory Committee and Community of Practice members should participate in educational programs and learning activities. 

Project: 1

Status: On hold

53 | Support indigenization: Review, adopt and enact relevant health-related calls to action (i.e., no. 18 to 24) from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC’s) report. 

Project: 1

Status: On hold

54 | Incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion: Ensure the racial and cultural composition of the WC Advisory Committee and Community of Practice reflect the demographic of the community they serve. 

Project: 1

Status: On hold

55 | Evaluation and sustainability: 

  • Use program evaluative tools to identify intended and unintended impacts of the WC’s work on racialized persons and other equity-deserving groups. 
  • Develop process and outcome success indicators that apply to Black, Indigenous, and other racialized persons. 

Projects: 2

Status: On hold

Professional and Academic Development and Mentorship

PART Recommendations 

Progress

56 | Existing mentorship programs for students and employees need to be reviewed using anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion lens to revise content for cultural appropriateness and enhance programming.

Projects: 2

Status: In progress 

57 | Develop mentorship programs for racialized students respectively in collaboration with/through appropriate channels and which address significant events in the lifecycle of employees and students (e.g., freshman year, transitions to the workforce). 

Projects: 2

Status: In progress 

58 | Race-based, participation, and engagement data should be collected on an ongoing basis to evaluate these mentoring programs, participation and uncover areas in need of improvement. 

Projects: 2

Status: In progress  

59 | SSO should partner with external organizations that offer mentorship programs to provide additional options for Black, Indigenous, and other racialized students. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress 

60 | Develop Alumni Affinity groups to offer an organized mechanism or channel for Black, Indigenous, and other racialized alumni to provide networking, career advice, or intergenerational mentoring to undergraduate and graduate students from these communities. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress 

61 | A central information resource/hub that acts as a one-stop location for information about mentoring, career development, funding, and other supports for racialized groups should be developed, as students and employees may be unaware of mentorship programs that are available to them. 

Projects: 2

Status: In progress 

62 | Develop a framework/program to track the careers of Black, Indigenous, and other racialized employees, and support their professional progress through various mechanisms/systems (e.g., onboarding, peer mentorship, other professional development opportunities) to ensure their long-term retention and to address unique challenges that they may experience. 

This framework should be piloted with the 10 Black and 10 Indigenous faculty that the University is in the process of employing through its cluster hiring. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed

63 | Undertake a consultation process to learn about and address research barriers and particular needs of Black, Indigenous, and other racialized researchers, including a review of recent research in this field. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress 

64 | Identify research funding sources and allocation practices and collect data on current levels of institutional support for research by Indigenous, Black, and racialized scholars, recognizing that funding practices vary considerably from faculty to faculty. 

  • Ensure consistent startup funding offers and disbursements. 
  • Set goals and create specialized programs to ensure the continued support of Black, Indigenous, and other racialized scholars. 

Projects: 3

Status: Future projects

65 | Conduct a review of hiring practices, training, career advancement, performance management/ appraisal, faculty appointments, and tenure and promotion policies – in particular, policies 18, 76, and 77 – using equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, and anti-oppression lenses. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress 

66 | The University’s onboarding process should include useful information/initiatives that are specially designed for racialized employees. 

Project: 1

Status: Future project

67 | Ensure the racial and cultural diversity of academic, student, and career advisors, to provide more culturally sensitive advisory services to students. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress 

68 | Create research awards and additional funding opportunities for Black and Indigenous faculty researchers (e.g., support for open-access publication fees; recruitment of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP); mentorship or networking events; fellowships, research awards and other opportunities for research advancing culturally diverse ways of learning and knowing; and community-based research). 

Project: 1

Status: In progress 

69 | Provide training for staff who support the administration of research, especially for projects with Indigenous, Black, and racialized communities. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed

70 | The University should:  

Create a central Professional Development Fund for Black, Indigenous, and other racialized employees that can be used to access professional development and mentoring opportunities. 

  • Incentivize and support Black, Indigenous and racialized employees to take advantage of professional development funding for their career development or advancement. 
  • Develop data collection and reporting structures to track and measure the use and impact of this fund on members of the Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities. 

Projects: 3

Status: Future projects

 71 | Develop a framework for the formation and implementation of ERGs at the University. This framework should include a set-up process, terms of reference, and guidelines and best practices (e.g., setting up communities of practice/networks; creating safe spaces to promote a sense of belonging) for ERGs. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

Race, Culture and Ethnicity Awareness

PART Recommendations 

Progress

72 | The guiding principles developed in Appendix F should be considered in the development of future strategic planning in the University. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed 

73 | Mission – It is recommended that no changes are to be made to the mission statement at this time, as the mission is established in the University of Waterloo Act. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed 

74 | Vision – Revise the vision statement to use active language that is more community and culturally focused to set anti-racism, anti-oppression, and decolonial goals. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed 

75 | Values – Revise the values to include language that speaks specifically to anti-racist and anti-oppression beliefs, values and principles and promotes the ability of all members of the campus community to thrive. A specific value around action should also be added. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

76 | The Taskforce recommends that the University establish specific training for Senior Leadership, including ways to monitor implementation, establish accountability and demonstrate the values that will lead the cultural shift required to establish a culture of belonging. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

77 | The Taskforce recommends that the University considers the following principles and guidelines, intended to supplement the work that has been done in this course, and for other areas across campus that may also be looking to develop anti-racism training opportunities.

Project: 1

Status: Completed 

78 | Set targets, in line with the Government of Canada’s 50/30 challenge – gender parity (50% women and/or non-binary people) and significant representation (30%) of other equity deserving groups, including Black, Indigenous, and other racialized persons, taking intersectionality into consideration. 

  • The institution should also consider mechanisms to move closer to or meet targets at each of the regular recruitment cycles of new members to governance tables, reporting on these mechanisms, providing projections on when targets will be met, and educating staff, faculty, and students about the importance of equity in governance.  

Projects: 2

Status: In progress

79 | Until the institution can embed more diverse and sustainable representation in the University’s bicameral governing structures, it is recommended that the institution establish interim solutions to ensure equitable representation on leadership governance bodies by creating supplementary positions to these tables, dedicated to racialized and indigenous individuals. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

80 | Ensure inclusive and intentional recruitment, hiring and retention of more Black, Indigenous, and other racialized individuals into faculty and staff positions, which will support the creation of a qualified and diverse pool of leadership-ready members for governance roles. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed 

81 | Ensure inclusive and intentional recruitment, hiring and retention of more Black, Indigenous, and other racialized individuals into senior leadership positions. Review institutional appointment processes for senior leaders to ensure the process of appointing individuals is also based upon anti-racist, decolonial and equity principles. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

82 | Develop Pathways to Leadership Programs designed specifically for Black, Indigenous, and other racialized individuals to create and support qualified candidate pools. These programs will develop leadership competencies and capacities to enhance and support pathways to leadership. 

Project: 1

Status: Future project

83 | Develop mentorship and sponsorship programs for Black, Indigenous, and other racialized individuals to support them in their path to senior leadership and governance roles and support their growth and success while in leadership. 

Project: 1

Status: Future project

84 | The SSO, in consultation with student groups, should host a series of events throughout the year that focuses on building race, culture and ethnicity awareness within the student body. 

Project: 1

Status: In progress

85 | The University should create specific equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism roles that are appropriately compensated, and can provide expert advice and guidance across the organization. The Taskforce acknowledges that there has been an increase in such positions throughout the institution, commends the addition of these positions and recommends that similar positions are considered across Faculties and Academic Support Units, to further increase and embed Indigenous, anti-racism and equity considerations throughout all operations. This recommendation should also be achieved through the EDI-R Program Area Leads (PALS) program that was announced in Fall 2021. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed 

86 | The Offices of IR and EDI-R should be primarily responsible for organizing and hosting events and opportunities that support Black, Indigenous, and other racialized students, faculty, and staff in exploring and celebrating their own activities. 

Projects: 2

Status: Completed 

87 | The Taskforce offers a 16-month calendar (see Appendix H) outlining days of observances: 

Publish this 16-month calendar for student groups, faculties, and academic support units to acknowledge and celebrate significant dates. 

  • Commit to publicly acknowledge and celebrate the following key commemorative dates annually: Black History month; International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; Asian Heritage month; International Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development; Indigenous History month; National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.       
  • Develop A campus-wide message from the President should be sent out for key commemorative dates on the calendar that cannot be celebrated via an event (e.g., International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination).  
  • TheOffice of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-racism and the Office of Indigenous Relations should regularly review the calendar to ensure that the University acknowledges and celebrates key commemorative dates. 

Projects: 7

Status: In progress

88 | The Book Club should continue to be a safe place to learn and unlearn about race, culture, and ethnicity with facilitators that can lead discussions on the books on PART’s reading list. 

Project: 1

Status: Completed