Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI)
Working towards a better tomorrow...
The Biology Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee is a student-led group established to promote EDI in the Department of Biology at the University of Ottawa! The committee is led by the EDI Coordinator from the BGSA Council. Within our biology community, and beyond, it is vital that we challenge anti-Black racism and other forms of discrimination against people from under-represented groups.
Only together can we tackle the barriers to equitable access, opportunities, and resources faced by those who are a part of equity-seeking groups. We recognize that each group has its own unique set of issues that require care and attention, but we hope that through our efforts, we can start to move towards reconciling and improving the Biology Department and the Faculty of Science.
Promote the culture of EDI awareness and open discussion
Conduct activities on racism awareness to combat personal biases
Support under-represented minority groups
Produce a department code of conduct
Demystify the undergraduate-to-graduate transition
Provide guidance on updating course curricula to include scientific contribution from under-represented groups
Institute more equitable hiring, including less 'colour-blind' hiring criteria and EDI-explicit job ad wording
uOttawa EDI Resources
How to Combat Microaggressions
This document, made by the biology EDI committee, details how to deal with microaggressions and unacceptable behaviours in a university setting. It features a list of ways to respond and diffuse situations, along with a list of further resources.
The Human Rights Office listens and intervenes when there is a human rights complaint on campus. They also organize EDI-related training for staff members. Their website also refers to a variety of on and off-campus resources that can help when an issue is presented.
The Office of the Ombudsperson consults with individuals about university-related complaints. They can listen, provide information and resources, and help resolve issues in a variety of ways. This service is free, confidential, impartial, and available to all members of the university community.
The Pride Center offers resources, events, programming, and advocacy with a core focus on gender and sexuality topics. They also address various other equity sectors. Some of their services include a quiet room, queer library, and active listening sessions. The Pride Center is student-run, and services are free.
This page links to a variety of resources aimed at learning about self-care and improving your wellbeing. Resources range from on-campus services to at-home tools including books, videos, and apps.
Graduate students have health and dental insurance coverage through Greenshield Canada. Learn more about your coverage, or how to opt out, through the link above. Graduate students have additional CUPE Health and Dental coverage if they work as a teaching assistant
The accessibility hub has resources surrounding accessibility on-campus. It has information about navigating campus with accessibility needs and it serves to educate individuals on their accessibility rights. Here you can also report accessibility issues on campus
Academic Accommodation Services
Students with disabilities who are in need of academic accommodations can contact uOttawa’s Academic Accommodations Service to discuss their needs and create a plan
CUPE 2626 represents certain employees of uOttawa, including teaching assistants. Beyond fighting for fair treatment of employees, they have financial aid available for emergencies, projects, conferences, and healthcare. Students with questions or issues about TA positions should reach out to their CUPE representative (see Peer Support below)
Sexual Violence: Support and Prevention
This website contains information and resources relating to sexual violence, including information about consent and policies, reporting an incident, and supporting yourself and others following an incident of sexual violence.
Afro-Caribbean Mentorship Program
The Afro-Caribbean Mentorship Program is partnered with uOttawa to help support the success of African, Caribbean, Black, and other racialized students on campus. They host regular events and activities to raise awareness on campus.
First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students can register with the Indigenous Resource Centre, which provides a wide variety of resources to increase success in life and academics. Resources include but are not limited to academic counseling, peer support, job postings, events, and mentoring. A full list of services are available on their website
The Academic Writing Help Centre (AWHC) is available by-appointment to help students with all steps of the writing process. Students can book writing appointments through the link above. ESL students can find resources for English writing skills on the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute website
The EDI coordinator leads EDI initiatives in the biology department and serves as a contact for equity, diversity, and inclusion related issues. 2022-2023 EDI coordinator: Tricia Skelton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Support Advisor
The BGSA’s student support advisor serves as a contact for non-academic, non-CUPE problems that students may encounter. 2022-2023 student support advisor: Tovah Kashetsky, email@example.com
The biology department has up to three CUPE representatives that work to inform students about their rights as an employee of the university. The CUPE representatives act as a first contact for students encountering union-related issues. 2022-2023 CUPE representatives: Haya Hawari, firstname.lastname@example.org and Mohamed Ojaghi, email@example.com
Join In & Use Your Voice!
These are only the first steps, and so the committee asks for interested graduate students, post-docs, faculty, and staff to join in and provide their voice to this initiative. If you have any questions or want to join the Biology EDI Committee, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form below!