Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
Jan. 8, 2018
Make 2018 the year for walking the talk of diversity, equity and inclusivity
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: we are all different and these differences make us better, unique, special. Repeatedly, however, we face stories of exclusion, racism, harassment and discrimination. It’s a disconnect that society hasn’t quite been able to tackle consistently—but people across UCalgary campuses are working diligently to make a difference in our inclusion and equity practices.
One such initiative is Diversity Days, the second annual institution-wide event from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Protected Disclosure (ODEPD) and many campus partners, taking place from January 30 to February 1, 2018. The event’s inaugural week last March continues this year with even more opportunities over its three days to spark respectful dialogue, challenge assumptions, beliefs and learn something new—perhaps even about yourself.
“Diversity Days is an incredibly important event for our university given the prevalence of discrimination and intolerance in the world,” says Valerie Pruegger, PhD, director of the ODEPD. “The university has made tremendous strides in our diversity, equity and inclusion practices, and this event highlights the vast number of resources, experts and channels for our community to safely and respectfully explore complex and sometimes difficult topics.”
The event kicks off with a keynote on Jan. 30 from Dr. Evan Adams, Cumming School of Medicine alumnus, Canadian actor and playwright and medical doctor. Dr. Adams will be speaking about his personal experience with Western and Indigenous concepts of knowledge, and how mastery, service, and respect of others are a part of that journey. He is Coast Salish from the Tla’amin First Nation near Powell River, British Columbia. This keynote also offers a free buffet lunch so look for registration soon!
Other events tackle subjects like poverty, accessibility, the language of LGBTQ+, race, sustainability, and mental health through workshops, discussions, panels and more. Faculty deans will be discussing how diversity, equity and inclusion play out in their faculties and schools. Even superheroes make it into the line-up this year!
“We have such a broad representation in our activities through the dedicated people behind the scenes. There truly is something for everyone and I sincerely hope to see the community out over the three days,” says Pruegger.
Diversity Days is a collaboration between multiple groups and individuals on our campus, which highlights a shared commitment to inclusion and is supported by the Office of the President, as well as nearly 20 units and faculties.
For the full schedule of activities and to register, visit ucalgary.ca/diversity-days.