June 1, 2021
As the academic year comes to a close, there is much to commemorate. June is Pride Month—a time to celebrate with our LGBTQ2S+ faculty, students and staff who enrich the social and academic life of IHPME. Pride celebrations embody the principle of inclusivity, which is so integral to our success.
June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. This year, we mark this occasion with heavy hearts with news of the discovery of the remains of 215 children buried at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. This loss of innocent life is a tragic reminder of the devastating legacy of the Canadian residential school system and the need for us as Canadians to acknowledge our history and embrace and respect each other’s traditions and cultures to build a better future.
We are committed to promoting a positive environment that celebrates diversity, one where all people feel safe and supported. As a start, we have established an IHPME Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and linked to broader U of T initiatives and resources to provide training on unconscious bias and humans rights to faculty, staff, and students. We have created entrance and post-doctoral awards for people who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, Inuit or Métis. And in the development of the Institute’s new strategic plan, we are dedicated to enhancing diversity and inclusion in research, teaching and curricula, recruitment and the workplace environment.
These are the first steps among others to come, through which we will foster a more inclusive and equitable environment for all.