The mandates and responsibilities of the Working Groups are presented below.
It is important to note that the University has already proceeded with the implementation of some preliminary recommendations and action items, as these were identified as critical by the CC and the Working Groups. For example:
- The University hired a Senior Manager, Anti-Racism Response to help develop a centralized process to manage complaints related to racism and to provide support to individuals experiencing racism.
- The Centre for Teaching Excellence welcomed a Senior Educational Developer, Indigenous Knowledges and Anti-Racist Pedagogies in the fall of 2021 to support departmental- and faculty-wide Indigenization, anti-racism, and decolonization efforts in curriculum and pedagogy.
- A Counsellor for Black Student Support and a Counsellor of Indigenous Student Support were hired to provide mental health and wellness support to Black and Indigenous students respectively.
- Various departments also created specific equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism roles and working groups/teams to provide expert advice and guidance in their areas.
- The Equity Office released an e-learning course, Confronting Anti-Black Racism, in April 2021, and opened this learning opportunity to students, faculty and staff.
Other recommendations that have or are in the process of implementation are presented in the “Proposed Accountability Framework” section.
A Note on Terminology – Although the term ‘BIPOC’ was used in developing the mandates and responsibilities (see following sections), the Working Groups opted to forego this term, and instead, adopted the term ‘Black, Indigenous, and other racialized people’ in their recommendations. The Taskforce recognizes that ‘BIPOC’ may be a shorthand to encapsulate various identities but felt that it conflates the unique identities and experiences of different communities.
The Taskforce also acknowledges that language is regularly evolving, and although it has decided to use ‘Black, Indigenous, and other racialized people’ in its recommendations, it approaches this choice with the utmost respect, and with the understanding that there may be other perspectives on what constitutes appropriate terminology. This is also true for other similar terms used in the report.
Educational Environment and the Development of Learners
Guide broader consultations within and outside of the working group towards discovery of recommendations to enhance the educational environment and the development of learners for BIPOC members of campus, utilizing environmental scans, data discovery and research resulting in related key performance indicators and outcomes. Work with external stakeholders as needed to fulfill objectives.
- Review programming to recommend approaches to pedagogy in curriculum to create a relatable and inclusive environment.
- Make recommendations to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing, content, perspective, discourse, and approaches as appropriate.
- Develop recommendations and resources to include BIPOC scholarship and research in curriculum as appropriate.
- Provide recommendations for the development of cultural awareness in language and teaching, including for case studies and examples.
- Provide recommendations for the development of BIPOC entrance and other scholarships.
- Advise on strategies related to approaches for introducing a transitional year program for high-school students.
Health and Mental Health
Guide broader consultations within and outside of the working group towards discovery of recommendations to address health and mental health needs of BIPOC members, utilizing environmental scans, data discovery and research resulting in related key performance indicators and outcomes.
- Research and suggest training opportunities related to anti-racism for health service providers on campus.
- Research and suggest training for existing counsellors to understand the psycho-socioeconomic BIPOC-lens.
- Discuss and offer suggestions to provide virtual meeting safe places/healing spaces and approaches to support BIPOC students/staff/faculty who experience racism to learn strategies to address mental health and anxiety, and to provide a venue for sharing stories of hope and encouragement.
- Provide recommendations for strategies to increase BIPOC mental wellness services, supports and resources.
- Develop recommendations on where increased support for health and mental health would be most effective.
- Recommend how a BIPOC lens could be included into the wellness collaborative that addresses the social determinants of health.
Professional and Academic Development and Mentorship
Guide broader consultations within and outside of the working group towards the discovery of recommendations to address professional and academic development and mentorship for BIPOC members of campus, utilizing environmental scans, data discovery, and research resulting in related key performance indicators and outcomes.
- Develop recommendations to increase mentorship/sponsorship opportunities for BIPOC staff/faculty/students.
- Suggest mitigation strategies to address conflicting information on how to navigate the University of Waterloo system , provide equitable opportunities and overcome barriers for staff and faculty career advancement.
- Develop recommendations to address how funding in support of professional development and mentorship for BIPOC staff/faculty/students is allocated and implemented.
- Develop communication strategies that increase awareness and foster access to professional development and mentorship opportunities for BIPOC staff/faculty/students.
- Develop recommended options for Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for BIPOC communities.
Race, Culture and Ethnicity Awareness
Guide broader consultations within and outside of the working group towards discovery of recommendations to address race, culture and ethnicity awareness for BIPOC members of campus, utilizing environmental scans, data discovery and research resulting in related key performance indicators and outcomes. Work with external stakeholders as needed to fulfill objectives.
- Review Waterloo’s mission, vision and values, and guiding principles through a diversity and inclusion lens to develop recommendations that reflect the needs of BIPOC communities.
- Make recommendations for anti-racism and oppression training for all members of Waterloo’s community to contribute towards a culture of belonging.
- Provide recommendations on a module for students on the roots of racism and how to address, prevent and identify systemic racism.
- Recommend mechanisms for gathering BIPOC input at all levels of governance.
- Provide recommendations for race, culture and ethnicity awareness initiatives driven by undergraduate and graduate students, including recommendations on funding for such activities.
Make recommendations for establishing diversity and inclusion representatives related to the anti-racism file for consultation, with regard to language and culture, who provide advice to staff/faculty/students.
Discuss and provide ideas and suggestions for events and opportunities to support BIPOC members in exploring and celebrating their own identities.
Discuss and provide ideas and suggestions for events that educate the university at large, including our alumni community, about an inclusive society, systemic racism, and the need for a variety of voices at all levels.
The mandates and responsibilities of the Implementation Teams are presented below.
Black Studies Programming
Beginning immediately, this team will develop programing which introduces students to the Black experience (history, culture, art, socio-economic, political, and religious) in Canada and the wider world.
- Develop programing which introduces students to the Black experience (history, culture, art, socio-economic, political, and religious) in Canada and the wider world.
- Explore new approaches, perspectives, analyses, and interdisciplinary techniques as it relates to the Black experience.
Beginning immediately, this team will develop a plan including how targets related to representation will be established, how targets will be reached, expected timelines, and finally will implement hiring plans.
- Review representation on campus.
- Develop and communicate an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) commitment statement, and a commitment to contributing to reconciliation by responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC’s) calls to action.
Develop a strategy for addressing the impact of systemic racism in hiring, retention and recruitment processes that reflects best practice and includes a plan for mandatory anti-racism training for key stakeholders to be identified by this Implementation Team, including selection committees.
Develop targets and review current state related to representation, with data presented at an aggregate level to ensure individual anonymity.
Create a campus representation plan for meeting targets and key milestones for the plan.
Communicate an annual report on progress made toward representation.
Race, Culture and Ethnicity Awareness
Beginning immediately, this team will coordinate and host monthly events over the 2020-21 academic year that promote education, awareness and a deeper understanding of race, culture, and ethnicity across campus.
- Identify themes, speakers, and event program for each monthly event.
- Create promotional and programmatic materials as appropriate to drive attendance and facilitate engagement throughout each event.
- Evaluate success of events through post-event surveys, overall event engagement (number of attendees, social media engagement etc.), and learnings achieved.
- Create mechanisms for reporting and ensure the events reflect the mandate of the Race, Culture and Ethnicity Awareness working group.
University of Waterloo Equity Data Advisory Group
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; recommendations to consistently use equity data to inform institutional processes and decision making.
- Provide guidance on race-based data collection.
- Provide guidance on the wording of questions and self-identification options to accurately represent diverse identities.
- Recommend strategies to build a culture of disclosure, where people feel comfortable and safe to self-identify.
- Provide recommendations to consistently use equity data to inform institutional processes and decision making.