Diversity, inclusivity on menu at Knowledge Cafe series

by | Oct 31, 2018 | News

Galvin Zaldivar & Sydnee Walcott
News Reporters

Discussions about equity, diversity and inclusion were brewing at Humber College’s Knowledge Café series across all three campuses.

The college held a series of roundtable discussions to develop an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion or EDI Framework for the college.

Jodie Glean chairs the last Knowledge Café session at Humber’s Lakeshore campus.
(Galvin Zaldivar)

Glean said the Cafes will allow the Centre “to communicate with the Humber Community [and] ensure collective understanding on these terms,” said Jodie Glean, manager of the  Human Rights, Equity and Diversity Centre at Humber, who co-chaired the sessions.

“We wanted to ensure that as we move forward in the development of the [EDI] Framework, that the community felt connected to these terms…and that they had an opportunity to put in their own voices and their own input,” Glean said.

Nancy Simms, director of the Human Rights, Equity and Diversity Centre at Humber, said the Centre took steps to ensure that students’ voices were heard, especially with how few attended the sessions personally.

“We will be going into different classrooms, starting next week … in order to ensure that there’s a student voice in this,” Simms said during the Oct. 18 session at North campus.

Glean said the classroom sessions kept the same format as the Knowledge Cafés and allowed students to discuss the terms amongst their peers. Students offered feedback not on the definitions themselves, but on the expectations, they had for the college.

Attendees were presented with the current draft definitions and were asked to offer their thoughts and opinions on the wording and structure.

Glean said the feedback from across all three campuses was broadly similar after the final session on Oct. 24.

While student attendance was small at the Knowledge Cafes, Glean said the more intimate size allowed those students that attended to be more engaged with the discussions.

“They really sunk their teeth into it, and sometimes went beyond just giving a definition, as to what this term is supposed to do for folks,” Glean said.

Graham Budgeon, a third-year International Development Student and IGNITE Vice President for Lakeshore, said it was important students were able to give their own feedback.

“Any opportunity to give feedback on how we can foster inclusivity and equity within our institution is a direct benefit to students,” Budgeon said.