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St. Lawrence College releases Equity, Diversity, Inclusion recommendations

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St. Lawrence College (SLC), and its Belonging + Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) task force, have published a report of recommendations that will act as a guide for the College moving forward.

The report is the culmination of the work of the task force whose mandate was to propose a framework and recommendations that would serve as a foundation and engine for operationalizing the value of Belonging, according to a release from SLC.

“St. Lawrence College’s strategic plan SLC-in-Five (2019–2024) committed to making Belonging a fundamental value of the College’s culture and the student/staff experience, and I’m proud that we have this framework to make SLC a place where everyone truly feels they belong,” said Glenn Vollebregt, SLC President and CEO. “Belonging at SLC means we believe honesty, inclusivity, and accountability are the pathways to success. We have pledged to celebrate diversity, respect our differences, value contributions, and foster an environment where everyone feels they can participate without discrimination.”

Through a consultative and collaborative process, members of the Belonging + EDI task force utilized an intersectional equity lens to establish and implement a framework and recommendations for operationalizing the value of Belonging along with equity, diversity, and inclusion to address the needs of the tri-campus SLC community, internal, and external, according to the release.

The report concludes with the following seven strategic recommendations that are considered essential pillars for a bold and sustained commitment to EDI at SLC:

  1. Nurture a deep diverse talent pool
  2. Attract and retain an enriching and diverse student body
  3. Build and Sustain EDI Vision, Leadership, and Communication Capacity
  4. Foster EDI Excellence and Innovation in Teaching, Learning, and Research
  5. Sustain an Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive Campus Culture and Climate
  6. Honour Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being
  7. Commit to establishing a five-year EDI Charter and Work Plan

The College said its next steps in implementing the recommendations include:

  • completing a national search for a Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion who will play an instrumental role in developing an EDI Charter and leading the implementation of a long-term work plan rooted in the task force’s report.
  • creating a framework and nurturing a culture of belonging that will shape the role and work of our new Knowledge Keeper in Residence.
  • putting effective communication channels in place so the whole college community can understand our respective roles and participate in this long-term journey of making the EDI pillars an essential part of SLC’s essence and way of being.

According to the release, the report will also inform work, projects, and events, including SLC’s plans to honour the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, the new federal statutory holiday on September 30. SLC will be holding short ceremonies on each campus, led by SLC’s newly appointed Knowledge Keeper in Residence, Helena Neveu, or other members of Indigenous Services. Information and resources to help people plan ways to participate in the day can be found here, and a video has been prepared for use in classes that day, and after to continue the conversation around reconciliation.

Visit stlawrencecollege.ca/EDI to read the full report, which is accompanied by Equity Census survey results.

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