As reported back in August, McGill’s Social Equity and Diversity Education Office (SEDE) has undergone some important changes this fall term to strengthen McGill’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Recently, however, some posts on social media have called for a halt to McGill’s “closure” of the SEDE office – but SEDE isn’t closing.
“These communications seem premised on a misunderstanding,” says Prof. Fabrice Labeau, Interim Deputy Provost (Student Life & Learning), who offers three points of clarification. “First, SEDE is not closing. Second, our recent initiatives are strengthening and enhancing, not diluting, EDI at McGill. Third, all staff within SEDE remain at McGill and are working in closer proximity with colleagues and offices where their work can benefit from greater resources and have an increased impact in advancing EDI at the University.”
As Angela Campbell, Associate Provost (Equity & Academic Policies), told the Reporter in August, “The community engagement focus of SEDE [remains] firmly in place, as we simultaneously bolster our efforts on employment equity, Indigenous success, and preventing and responding to harassment and discrimination on our campuses.”
Recent efforts to those ends include:
Labeau highlights the creation of several new positions at McGill during the last two years, notably: the Senior Employment Equity Advisor, Senior Equity & Inclusion Advisor, and Equity Facilitator. The Equity Facilitator is working with the Office of the Dean of Students and is reinvigorating Residence Hall Programming, which is now receiving more resources than in the past. Taken together, these initiatives have been able to increase education and awareness of EDI among students, staff and faculty.
“McGill has significantly committed itself to EDI and enhanced associated resources in recent years,” says Labeau. “Our goal is to strengthen equity education and support, as well as community outreach and engagement; all of the developments undertaken are unequivocally aimed at this end. The equity team at McGill is working hard, and is committed to ensuring that the McGill community is one in which all students, faculty and staff feel welcome, included, and capable of realizing their full potential for success.”