Equity, diversity and inclusion
The Dimensions program publicly recognize postsecondary institutions seeking to increase equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in their environments and across the research ecosystem. The program objective is to foster transformational change within the research community at Canadian postsecondary institutions by identifying and eliminating obstacles and inequities. This will support equitable access to funding opportunities, increase equitable and inclusive participation, and embed EDI-related considerations in research design and practices.
First ever pilot cohort
Two rounds of preliminary program development consultations with colleges and universities of various sizes took place in fall 2018 and winter 2019. The first round allowed the Tri-agency to form the foundations of the program. The second round focused on creating Dimensions’ unique charter, which was released on May 9, 2019.
The program was then co-developed during a pilot period with a cohort of 17 diverse postsecondary institutions from across Canada. It is intended to be “inclusive by design”—each part co-created in collaboration with those members of the research ecosystem who will use it and, hopefully, benefit from it. Co-development included pre-pandemic cross-country consultations and collaborations to develop the charter, careful ongoing discussion with academic EDI experts and leaders, and in-depth working groups focused on the program’s various components. These institutions provided extensive comments, feedback and suggestions, and they shared promising practices, expertise and valuable assistance.
Participating institutions have a unique opportunity to be among the first in Canada to be recognized for their efforts and progress made to advance EDI in the research ecosystem.
- Camosun College (British Columbia)
- Holland College (Prince Edward Island)
- Lethbridge College (Alberta)
- Mohawk College (Ontario)
- Mount Saint Vincent University (Nova Scotia)
- Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) (Ontario)
- Sheridan College (Ontario)
- Simon Fraser University (British Columbia)
- Université Laval (Québec)
- University of British Columbia (British Columbia)
- University of Calgary (Alberta)
- University of New Brunswick (New Brunswick)
- University of Ottawa (Ontario)
- University of Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan)
- University of Winnipeg (Manitoba)
- Vancouver Island University (British Columbia)
- Wilfrid Laurier University (Ontario)
Selection of pilot institutions
A letter of interest process was used to select the participating institutions in the pilot to form the cohort. Consult the Dimensions letter of intent process report for more information.
Program Design Expert Committee
The mandate of the Program Design Expert Committee (PDEC) was to provide expert advice on issues of EDI throughout the development of the Dimensions pilot program. The committee reviewed and provided feedback related to EDI content, language, and approach on sections of the Dimensions handbook and other documents as they were developed in collaboration with tri-agency staff and Dimensions cohort and affiliate institutions. The committee was designed to include representation from across Canada, from various sizes and types of institutions, and from various equity-deserving groups.
Wesley Crichlow is a tenured Associate Professor at Ontario Tech University (OTU). Grounded in his Caribbean roots, Wesley is motivated by cultural identity and race, and his research concentrates on ensuring marginalized voices are heard, by providing the legal framework to improve the conditions for those whose lives have historically been impoverished or discriminated against. He aims to remove the barriers to equality and raise the consciousness of policy makers and stakeholders who can affect positive change.
Wesley brings more than 23 years of research, teaching and community university collaboration in the areas of critical equity, critical race theory, social justice, Black masculinities studies, and queer activism from an intersectional and interdisciplinary perspective. His latest community-based study investigates the impacts of criminalization on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) incarcerated youth and adults, and the implications for Canadian legal and correctional policy. He aims to establish a strength-based research program for adapting and piloting evidence-based healthcare interventions for African, Caribbean and Black men in Toronto. On an international scale, he is collaborating with researchers from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), Latin America and the Caribbean to investigate ways to improve the human rights agenda by expanding knowledge to protect children’s rights. Wesley and his colleagues will provide key recommendations to strengthen their rights, consistent with Article 19 of the UN Convention.
He joined OTU in 2003, and has contributed to the development of substantial social justice and equity policies there. Previously, Wesley spent four years as an Assistant Professor in Social Work & Law at Ottawa’s Carleton University. His desire to engage in critical thinking for social transformation and improve human conditions prompted him to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Law & Society from York University, earn a Master of Education in Sociology and Equity Studies, and a Doctorate in Critical Pedagogy, both from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.
Dimitri Girier, CRHA, has been working in the field of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) for over 15 years. He joined the Université de Montréal human-resource team as Chief Equity, diversity and inclusion Advisor in February 2019 after nearly 10 years as Senior Diversity Consultant for the National Bank. His role at Université de Montréal is to develop the action plan for the Talent component of EDI and to contribute, with the help of several committees, to the other components of EDI at this university.
In recent years, Dimitri has been responsible for strategies aimed at developing a talent pool that reflects the population and for providing a work environment that is open and respectful of differences and lets everyone apply their full potential. He has established numerous employee networks, including one for women; co-chaired a diversity and inclusion executive committee; collaborated with the various human resources functions and business sectors on the deployment of EDI strategies; and, for the past four years, has worked on strategies for sensitizing executives, managers and employees to unconscious biases and inclusive leadership among other matters.
Nancy Hansen is an Associate Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba. Nancy obtained a PhD (Human Geography) from the University of Glasgow, and her research interests in disability studies are varied, including: disability in spaces of culture education, literacy social policy, employment healthcare access and experiences of disabled and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) communities in post-conflict areas.
Nancy is a former member of the Canadian Association of University Teachers Working Group Academics with Disabilities and Equity Committee, and former President and founding member of the Canadian Disability Studies Association. Nancy received an Einstein research fellowship examining Disability Studies and the Legacy of Nazi Eugenics. She has assisted with the development of Disability studies academic programs nationally and internationally. She has lectured on numerous occasions at University of Winnipeg Global College Summer Institute. She received the ICUF Sprott Asset Management Scholarship examining disability history and was the 2019 Stapleford Lecturer. She is co-editor of the Routledge History of Disability and Untold Stories: A Canadian Disability History Reader. In addition, Nancy has written numerous book chapters and contributed to various international academic journals.
Jessica Kolopenuk (Cree, Peguis First Nation) is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. She is a co-lead of the Indigenous Science, Technology, and Society Research and Training Program (Indigenous STS), which supports capacities of Indigenous Peoples to govern science and technology projects affecting them. Jessica is also a co-lead of the Summer internship for INdigenous peoples in Genomics Canada (SING Canada), and has more recently been recruited as an instructor for Science Outside the Lab BC (SOtLBC). With Indigenous governance held at the core of her work, Jessica’s research, teaching, and policy advising address what technoscientific knowledge means for Indigenous Peoples and, also, what Indigenous knowledge can mean for science and technology fields.
Lynn Lapostolle has taught French at the Cégep du Vieux Montréal since 1992. She studied translation at the Université de Montréal and holds certificate in Women’s Studies from Concordia University.
Lynn is passionate about research and ardently believes that it is not something for universities alone. She joined the Association pour la recherche au collégial (ARC), which promotes research at the college level, in 1998, when she was simultaneously teaching and doing education research. She became the ARC’s first woman executive director in 2003. Determined for the ARC to contribute significantly to the promotion of college-level research, she leads its efforts across the three main components of its mission: representing college-research interests to all relevant government bodies; developing services for the community; and conducting college-research valorization activities.
Bibiana is Cofounder and Executive Director of the Quebec Interuniversity Equity, diversity and inclusion Network (RIQEDI), a non-profit organization that brings together Quebec universities and several university stakeholders who have the mandate or desire to promote and integrate the values of equity, diversity and inclusion within their institutions. She is at the moment Assistant Director of l'Institut équité diversité inclusion intersectionnalité (Institut EDI2). Babiana is also a researcher and manager, with over ten years of experience in the field of human resources management. Her areas of expertise are related to the analysis of innovative, creative and academic industries, equity, diversity and inclusion management, conflict management, workplace well-being and knowledge management within companies and clusters. She is a doctoral candidate in industrial relations (specializing in human resources) and is recognized for her dedication to teaching, student supervision, university research and community engagement.