Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Access


Statement on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Access

We acknowledge that what we now refer to as Canada was built on the labour of many marginalized peoples, particularly those brought to this land as part of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and immigrant and migrant communities exploited for their labour. We acknowledge ongoing practices of discrimination and immigration that perpetuate racial disparities and impede the ability of all people to enjoy equitable psychological and material well-being.

Applying a racial justice lens, it is essential to center the multitude of ways that Black and racialized peoples have had their labour and lives taken. An example is how Canada was involved in the transatlantic slave trade and had a segregated education system for Black people. While Canada was promoted as a safe haven for slaves, some enslaved Black people who escaped, and came to locations like London, Ontario, while not formally enslaved,  experienced extreme violence and persecution. Such anti-Black racism continues today in multiple systems including health, law, child welfare, social and community services. In both the child welfare system and the criminal justice system, overrepresentation of Black individuals persists. Despite such violence, groups like Black Lives Matter Canada continue to affirm Black existence and knowledge. Other racialized peoples also face historic and continued racism and structural violence. An example is how Canada used Chinese temporary workers in the dangerous work of constructing the Canadian Pacific Railway. The engagement of migrant workers in Canada in forced and dangerous workplace conditions continues today. So does anti-Asian racism and efforts to end such racism.

A gender-based analysis reveals how women's labour continues to be devalued through unpaid housework, the gender earnings gap, intimate partner violence, workplace violence, and the motherhood penalty. We recognize the intersections between precarious employment, oppressions, and gender-based violence. We also recognize links between oppression and gender-based violence. We know that different people experience violence differently and that these experiences interconnect with systems of oppression and social structures of power and privilege including sexism, colonialism, racism, heterosexism, classism, ableism, white supremacy, and many others. Women and survivors continue to advocate for change and gender equity.

As the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children, one of our values is to use a gender-based and intersectional analysis and one of our principles is to strive to demonstrate commitment to decolonization and anti-oppressive practices in our work. We will support and partner with communities that are actively seeking liberation.

As a university-based Centre in particular, we commit to challenge notions of who holds knowledge by honouring diverse ways of knowing and amplifying voices that are often silenced. 

Learn more about our work supporting the commitments made here: