The University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) is happy to announce an opportunity for UWSA members to discuss and explore issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
With increasing awareness of theses issues at Waterloo, in our community, and globally, there is recognition that UWSA members could benefit from opportunities for learning/discussion. Facilitating these discussions, may also help support members equity, inclusion, and belonging work in their various roles at Waterloo and in the community.
What to Expect
The Virtual Equity Circles provide an opportunity for participants to explore equity from a variety of perspectives. The goal is not to reach consensus on a particular topic, but rather to hold space for individuals to share their thoughts and be respectfully heard. It is hoped that participation in the circle will allow individuals to be exposed to diverse perspectives that can help inform their reflections and understanding. These Circle Dialogues are open to individuals with or without lived experience.
If you participate in the circles, you can expect the following:
- There will be a set question, topic, or theme for each circle discussion.
- Each circle dialogue will open and close with an intentional centring activity.
- The guidelines for the circle dialogue are jointly constructed by the participants.
- There will be a “virtual” talking piece that is passed to participants in a predetermined order. Only the individual possessing the talking piece speaks and individuals must wait until the talking piece passes through the ”circle” before being able to speak again.
- There is no requirement to speak – individuals can choose to pass the talking piece to the next individual.
- The process is guided by a Circle Keeper, who helps guide the conversation.
- Circle dialogues are considered to be confidential, except for what all participants agree can be shared outside of the circle (at the end of the conversation). If participants would like to share specific thoughts with the UWSA to inform UWSA’s advocacy team on human rights and equity matters, the Circle Keeper will pass those along.
- Circles will close with an intentional centering activity.
- Given the format, circles will be limited to 10 people or less.
Jeremy Steffler, a former UWSA Director, has volunteered to act as the circle keeper for the Waterloo Staff Virtual Equity Circle Conversations.
Jeremy has over 20 years of experience in group facilitation, including circle conversations, and has been a long-time supporter of diversity, equity, and inclusion both on-campus and in the local community.
Inaugural Circle Conversations
The first Waterloo Staff Virtual Equity Circle Conversation will be held on Wednesday, March 24th from 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm. The inaugural topic will be: What are your thoughts on the collection and use of equity data at Waterloo?
The dialogues will be hosted on Zoom. To register to participate, please visit the following link:
Note that only the first 10 registrants will be approved to participate and priority will be given to participation from UWSA members. If there is a great deal of interest, we may add additional time slots.