In Canada and worldwide, there is a growing realization that diversity is vital for communities to flourish, to be at their healthiest and most successful. People from different backgrounds and identities bring unique perspectives, talents and ways of knowing which benefit all of us. Vancouver Island University is committed to achieving improved and lasting diversity, equity and inclusion through an ambitious new initiative which aims to transform VIU culture and landscape. The EDIA program stands for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action, and over a multi-year time frame it will promote fundamental structural changes in policy, processes and leadership.
The vision of the EDIA Program is to enable VIU to foster equity, diversity and inclusion in the service of excellence throughout the university research enterprise and all its operations, by development of evidence-driven practises and systems that will effect sustainable institutional changes.
The program’s goals in the medium term (3-5 years) are to:
- Identify areas for action to improve equity, diversity and inclusion, based on data, surveys and consultation processes
- Develop and implement an Action Plan, based on evidence and analysis of the VIU context
- Improve reporting mechanisms, supported by restorative justice circles
- Develop and implement an education plan, with a focus on bias education and awareness
- Create an ongoing EDI Advisor position at VIU
- Celebrate diversity and our successes in this area, and shared what we have learned
Activities include review of relevant literature and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Plans from other institutions; data gathering, including VIU-specific disaggregated data; surveys, focus groups and interviews; drafting of a comprehensive and sustainable EDIA Plan based on our unique needs; and implementing the plan through systems change (policy and process revisions), individual change (training and education), and a specially trained response team to mediate incidents where an individual or group feels marginalized or mistreated. A Participatory Action Research (PAR) model will be used, to continuously review and revise the program, to ensure it remains responsive to ongoing needs.
Guidance and direction for this project is provided by a gender-balanced Working Group comprised of:
- Provost and Vice-President Academic
- Associate Vice-President, Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity
- Associate Vice-President, Human Resources
- Director, Human Rights and Respectful Workplace
- Director, Aboriginal Education
- CRC or CRC candidate
- Faculty of International Studies representative
- Dean of Arts and Humanities
- Dean of Health and Human Services
- At least one faculty member from each of the federally designated groups (FDGs)
- Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor
- Policy Analyst (resource as needed)
We will update the VIU community regularly on the program’s progress, events and opportunities to provide your inputs. For any questions you may have, please contact Karen Bernard, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor, at email@example.com.