Wilfrid Laurier University to receive funding for equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives

Minister of Sport and Science Kirsty Duncan makes an announcement at Wilfrid Laurier University on Thursday.
Minister of Sport and Science Kirsty Duncan makes an announcement at Wilfrid Laurier University on Thursday. Wilfrid Laurier / Twitter

Wilfrid Laurier University is set to receive a grant through a government of Canada pilot program with the aim of furthering the school’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

During a visit to the university on Thursday, Federal Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan announced that the school will receive $384,700 in funding over two years.

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The funding will assist the university in identifying barriers that impede the representation of minority groups within academia, including Indigenous people, women, people with disabilities, visible minorities and the LGBTQ2 community.

“When we remove historical barriers and create a more diverse and inclusive culture within academia, we gain new perspectives that can lead to breakthroughs in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics,” university president and vice-chancellor Deborah MacLatchy said.

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The university said it will allocate the lion’s share of the funding for hiring a senior adviser, two faculty colleagues and a research associate to the support the initiative.

The senior adviser is expected to guide the development of a strategy and provide support to departments across the university.

“In addition to helping to support Laurier’s commitment to be a more inclusive institution, the community of practice on (equity, diversity and inclusion) will examine how we define research excellence,” provost and vice-president of academics Robert Gordon said.

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The Canadian government will provide $5.3 million to universities through their Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada program.

Similar programs have been developed in Australia, Ireland and the United States.