The Catalyst provides the University community with monthly updates from individuals and teams working across campus to counter systemic racism and oppression and highlights excellence from Black, Indigenous and other racialized groups.
Click here to read past issues of the Catalyst.
In this issue:
- Message from the editor
- President's winter break video
- University of Waterloo launches Inclusive Communications guide
- Using data to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Meet Akua Asare-Anim, International Student Recruitment specialist
- Supporting Indigenous research at UWaterloo
- “Go Mommy”
- CIBC, Commercial Banking Wealth Management (CBWM) Inclusion Scholarship
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The Catalyst Anti-racism Newsletter was first issued in May 2021 to provide regular updates on the intricate and long-term work of the President’s Anti-racism Taskforce (PART). After the official handover of the President’s Anti-racism report in March 2022, the Catalyst evolved to showcase the work of the numerous students, staff, faculty and alum, engaged in advancing anti-racism on campus.
As we close out 2021, we can all be proud of the many contributions made by our Waterloo community to combat racism, oppression and discrimination in all its forms.
Top five Catalyst features from 2022
For our December issue, we’ve decided to curate a list of the top five stories showcasing the tremendous impact of our students, faculty, staff, alum and academic support units have made to dismantle racism and foster inclusivity. The articles were selected based on the highest number of clicks from our readers in each Catalyst segment. We hope that you enjoy a look back at our top features for 2022.
We appreciate that our diverse campus community will be celebrating different holidays and traditions as we close out 2022 and enter the new year. We would like to say Happy Holidays to all of our readers and wish you a bright and prosperous new year!
Many of us are observing various holidays and customs this month and over the break. I enjoyed learning more about the significance of the Winter Solstice for certain Indigenous cultures. I would like to thank Savanah Seaton from the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre (WISC) at United College for taking the time to share this knowledge with me.
The experience also reminded me of the importance of embracing and sharing traditional knowledge. Taking the time to slow down, connect to the land and spend time with loved ones is a timely message for us all.
However you spend the winter break, I hope you are able to connect with the people, places and traditions you hold dear, and that you take the time to rest and rejuvenate.
Wishing you a happy, safe and restful break. And we’ll see you again when the days get brighter.
President and Vice-Chancellor
1. Anti-racism across campus
A Message from Nick Manning, associate vice-president, Communications
I am extraordinarily proud to introduce this guide to inclusive communications at the University of Waterloo. This is a document developed by more than 30 dedicated and caring communicators who responded to a call to action to consolidate advice and guidance on ways we can make professional communications at Waterloo more inclusive for the audiences that we serve.
As communicators, our work is inspired by and reflective of the diverse community of individuals that make Waterloo. I am sure that the care and concern that our campus-wide communication teams have shown in developing this guide shines through. I hope this guide contributes to Waterloo’s strategic plan commitment to “make an impact on its campuses and around the world by fostering inclusivity, a sense of belonging and a culture of involvement.”
Read the entire message.
2. Student feature
Originally published by Waterloo news on January 6, 2022
Cassie Myers was an undergraduate Arts student when a professor took her class to visit a startup incubator on campus. That visit was the beginning of a mindset change for Myers. “I knew I had a lot of issues that I cared about but before then I had never considered entrepreneurship as a viable future for myself,” she says.
Today, Myers is the founder and CEO of Lunaria, a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) company with four employees and office space in the Grebel Peace Incubator at the University of Waterloo — the very place she was first exposed to entrepreneurship.
Read the entire story.
3. Staff feature
University of Waterloo Alumni Akua Asare-Anim recently joined the Registrar’s Office as the new International Recruitment specialist. Asare-Anim, who graduated in 2013 with an undergraduate degree in International Development, has always had a curiosity for cultures and cultural cohesion through education. She has a wealth of experience in leading intercultural activities within the post-secondary sector, which provided a platform for international students to showcase and raise awareness about their cultures, beliefs and worldviews.
As the International Recruitment specialist, she is responsible for Black student recruitment to increase diversity on the campus through the development of targeted recruitment opportunities and partnerships. As this new role involves understanding the breadth of academic and non-academic programs and services currently being offered at Waterloo, Asare-Anim has spent the past few months connecting with campus partners and current students to learn about the support and programming provided to Black students on campus.
Read the entire story.
4. Research spotlight
Originally published by the Library on December 7, 2021
The Library recently launched its first-ever Indigenous Research Guide. A collaborative partnership between the Library, Graduate Student Association (GSA) and the Office of Research, this guide will help Indigenous students and those interested in Indigenous studies and research methodologies discover available resources in the Library’s collection and how to approach such research.
This project all began with Jaydum Hunt, a graduate student who was working as the campus partnership coordinator for the GSA at the time. She was on the lookout for projects that could result in concrete action to support students on campus. With her own Indigenous background and research focus, when she discovered a gap in the Library’s research guides an idea began to take root. Seeking out Jean Becker, associate vice-president Indigenous Relations, for feedback and support, Jaydum was quickly connected with Kathy MacDonald, head of Information Services and Resources at Dana Porter Library.
Read the entire article.
5. Alum feature
Originally published in the Fall Magazine
Tracelyn Cornelius (MEB ’21, PhD in progress) is the anti-racism communications manager in the University’s central communications unit. She is also a PhD student in the Sustainability Management program in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED).
As a full-time employee, mature part-time student and mother of three, I often question whether my decision to embark on PhD studies was a wise one. Reflecting on the numerous nights and weekends dedicated to reading, completing assignments, and participating in study groups, I wonder, “Is the commitment of time and energy really worth it?”
Read the entire article.
Eligibility: All full-time undergraduate students from all age groups (preferably members of the Black community and / or First Nations, Metis, and Inuit), not focused on grades but on their interest to work for CIBC
Scholarship awards: $10,000 to the recipient and a summer internship at CIBC
Apply at: https://portal.scholarshippartners.ca/welcome/CIBC_CBWM_En/
Deadline: Applications to be submitted by Friday, January 27, 2023