Thursday, August 29, 2019

New Departmental Name: Equity and Inclusive Communities

Dear Students,

It gives me great pleasure to announce that effective immediately, our department name will change from Equity Services to the Department of Equity and Inclusive Communities (EIC). We announce this change simultaneously with the launch of our new website.

The name change corresponds with a reimagined aspiration and mandate to promote an inclusive and transformational university culture where individual distinctiveness and a sense of belonging for every member drive excellence in research, teaching, learning and working at Carleton. Such a culture facilitates collaboration, engagement and innovative intellectual inquiry where all can fulfill their potential. Our commitment will strengthen connections, build cohesion and foster leadership capacity-building throughout the institution.

Surfaced through broad consultation, the changes to our name and website are a first response to community desires for:

  • Greater strategic alignment between the mandate of the department and the university academic mission,
  • Expanded proactive services beyond compliance activities and issues management,
  • Stronger identification and visibility of departmental services,
  • Sharper and more vivid encapsulation of current and future departmental work.

We retain the concept of Equity to reassure the community of our unwavering effort to expand the principle of fair access to services and opportunities, ever mindful of the need to recognize the relative advantages and disadvantages members bring to the university. Moreover, we continue to acknowledge that equity presupposes an environment free from discrimination and harassment where Indigenous ways of learning and knowing are considered in all university actions.

As we learned through consultation, a broader approach is needed to engage Carleton’s reality, our challenges and opportunities.  For members to bring their whole selves in the pursuit of personal and institutional excellence, as much value must be assigned to their attachments to multiple potential identities and distinct lived experiences as to their sense of belonging to a common purpose.  This concept of Inclusive Communities therefore extends our understanding of Carleton University as a community of communities.

Inclusive Communities is also a process and practice of cultivating the inherent distinctiveness of each of our members while nurturing and growing points of connection and cohesion. It enables exploration and discovery at the borders of ideas, values and experience.  Residing at the heart of innovation, interdisciplinarity, collaboration and engagement, supporting Inclusive Communities is critical to our current and future success in a globalized higher-education context.

Our expanded mandate will inform new strategic directions for planning, partnerships and programs based in the department’s four centres of focus: (1) Equity and Inclusion Promotion, (2) Indigenous Initiatives, (3) Sexual Violence Prevention and Survivor Support, and (4) Discrimination, Harassment and Accommodation Response.  Through this work, we also aim to positively impact wider institutional concerns around student success, internationalization, and expanding stakeholder expectations for diverse representation in employment.

I wish to thank all those who took time to share their views with me and the team as we envisioned a more strategically engaged department. I especially offer appreciation to those student and administrative leaders who provided important feedback throughout the various reflection phases.  In the months and years to come, the Department of Equity and Inclusive Communities looks forward to new and exciting collaborations on campus and beyond to accelerate individual attainment and university progress.


Michael F. Charles
University Advisor and Director
Department of Equity and Inclusive Communities (EIC)

Thursday, August 29, 2019 in ,
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