Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee
Led primarily by a determined group of graduate student leaders, our department established a series of monthly conversations that began with the #ShutdownSTEM initiative and its call to reflect on anti-Black racism on June 10, 2020. In that inaugural discussion, a panel of students and faculty members discussed racism; the accounts of the students in particular, were courageous, disturbing, and deeply moving.
This inaugural event and the creation of this committee have been followed by many thought-provoking conversations with members of the department and beyond (including McMaster's Equity and Inclusion Office and other experts external to the department) on a broad range of topics, including:
- EDI scholarship
- Harassment and sexual violence
- Inclusivity in the classroom
- Mental health
These conversations have provided a valuable opportunity for the department to engage with challenging topics that shape the daily lives and academic careers of of all, and especially the equity-seeking members of our community. They have already fostered positive change, including the implementation of a graduate-level EDI module, the early stages of the development of an undegraduate-level EDI course, and new scholarship opportunities for equity-seeking students. The committee hopes to sustain the momentum we have achieved, continuing to strive towards an equitable, inclusive and accessible working and learning environment for all in our community.
EDI Value Statement
The McMaster Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology strongly promotes intersectional equity, diversity, and inclusion in the classroom, research lab, department, university, and broader scientific community. As members of one of the leading research institutions in Canada, we affirm that diversity leads to better science and that accessible and equitable education provides a critical foundation for a just society. We believe that the values we promote within our department shape our community and the scientific endeavours we participate in. It is therefore our responsibility and our moral imperative to strive to build more just and equitable communities both locally and globally.
Our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion is guided by the following values:
- The pursuit of equity requires actively dismantling barriers and remedying disparities that have resulted in the underrepresentation of equity-seeking groups in our field. It is not merely a passive rejection of past attitudes but rather a deliberate process of building a more equitable and inclusive department.
- The pursuit of equity is a continuous process of learning and improvement, not a journey with a fixed endpoint. We commit to educating ourselves and others and to re-evaluating departmental norms and practices on an ongoing basis.
- The pursuit of equity must be systematic, transparent, and informed by data. We commit to maintaining open dialogue within our community about this work and to seeking out both qualitative and quantitative data to guide our activities.
- Leadership and advocacy for the pursuit of equity is real work that brings significant value to our community. We commit to supporting and recognizing this work, and to providing opportunities to take on these roles for those who are interested.