For a summary of committees, equity-based syllabi and additional EDI initiatives, please see below:
The Department of Chemical & Physical Sciences formed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee in 2020-2021. The committee includes faculty members, staff, emerti faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students.
The committee drives internal and external efforts to promote EDI across the department and support other CPS committees in implementing EDI best practices.
- Work to promote and support an equitable, diverse, and inclusive community within CPS
- Engage with the EDI specialist to identify specific, actionable examples of inequity that need to be addressed within the CPS community
- Identify ways in which the EDI lens can be applied to all departmental committees or communities within CPS
- Coordinate with the EDI specialist on changes to CPS policies, procedures, and strategies in support of EDI (e.g., developing a departmental code, creating recruitment strategies, building EDI principles into the curriculum, developing fundraising strategies to reduce financial barriers, strategizing around mentoring plans, planning to recognize and/or compensate contributions to EDI work)
- Coordinate with the EDI specialist on the planning and implementation of events (e.g., developing workshops, training, seminars, recruitment, and community engagement events)
Equity-Based Syllabi: Statements
CPS has implemented mandatory inclusions on syllabi, while also providing suggested language. See below for a range of statements:
- Inclusion in the Classroom
- Course Code of Conduct and Expectations
- Equity Statement
- Accommodations for Learning Needs
- Accommodations for Religious Observances
- Mental Health
- Acknowledgement of Traditional Lands
Additional EDI Initiatives
Weekly EDI posts are included in the CPS department's weekly digest/e-newsletter, and we have many activities in the works, including a planned climate and demographic survey, summer research opportunities, and undergraduate training modules. In addition, CPS has the following initiatives underway:
Unlearning Racism Program (UR-CPS)
Led by graduate students, this 8-week program is aimed at exploring racism in STEM fields through reading and conversation. Grad students ran a group in summer 2021, and also ran a program open to undergraduates in winter 2022.
As part of this program, students participate in informal discussions to unlearn racism and gain knowledge to form educated opinions about how academia can do better to address institutionalized and systematic racism. Participants are awarded with a training certificate, and have the opportunity to help improve policies for future UTM CPS students.
This program’s curriculum was inspired by and adapted from URGE© (Unlearning Racism in Geosciences, https://urgeoscience.org/) for an interdisciplinary STEM audience. It is recommended that you take advantage of the interviews online with experts that have been posted by URGE to further deepen your understanding of JEDI (https://urgeoscience.org/recordings/).
CPS plans to offer training on a variety of EDI-related topics at least two times a year. CPS initiated this program with two training sessions on Indigenous Cultural Competency Training, led by John Crouch, in April 2022. The series will continue with a visit from Nicole Kaniki, director of equity, diversity, and inclusion in research and innovation at U of T in November 2022.
The department is also active in supporting and organizing EDI-related public events. A screening of the documentary film Picture a Scientist was held in November 2020, hosted Dr. Freeman Hrabowski III for the E.A. Robinson Lecture in February 2022, and co-sponsored the performance of the one-woman show TruthValues in September 2022.
Graduate students and Inclusive Laboratories:
The department provides a number of resources for graduate students, including a student manual, and funding for conference and research travel, degree completion, pedagogic and professional development, and support during parental leave. CPS provides a graduate student handbook. The department also recently introduced Mentor Café, a program pairing senior and incoming graduate students to help the latter navigate their entry to UTM.
Through an extensive and collaborative process, CPS also recently produced a departmental values statement centred on safety, respect, and professionalism. This is accompanied by an extensive template for faculty and lab members to develop an agreement on conduct and responsibilities in the laboratory and field, and to outline protections and resources available to lab members.