Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity & Accessibility

Statement following tragedies in Morocco and Libya

Our hearts go out to anyone who has been affected by the recent earthquake in Morocco and the flooding in Libya. The destruction and tragic loss of life are difficult to comprehend. We realize that information is still being gathered, but early reports indicate more than 5,000 people have died or been injured in Morocco's largest earthquake in 60 years and more than 2,000 have died or been injured in Libya's flooding and 10,000 people are still missing. We’re encouraged by the rapid relief efforts that are underway and are hopeful for stories of miracles as the search continues for the missing.

Dalhousie is reaching out directly to our students from Morocco and Libya, and we also want to let people know about supports that are available.

Supports for Students
For students in Halifax, in person and virtual counselling options are available via Dalhousie’s Student Health & Wellness Centre (2nd floor, LeMarchant Place) which offers same-day counselling services from Monday to Saturday.   To book an appointment, click here.  For students in Truro, our health team is available by calling 902-896-6300 or book an appointment here.

If you prefer an off-campus option,  Good2Talk  offers free, professional, and confidential counselling support (24/7) by phone and text.  Further resources are available to international students through the “I.M. Well” app which provides international students with 24/7 counselling support in 180 languages.  For more information about I.M. Well and how to download the app, visit the Student Assistance Program website

Impacted students who are temporarily unable to attend classes are encouraged to consult their syllabi and email their instructors for guidance on absences. If applicable within your course or faculty, complete the Student Absence Declaration Form.  International students are encouraged to connect with the International Centre advisors and can make an appointment via the online booking system to make an appointment.  The Student Accessibility Centre (Halifax) and Student Support Centre (Truro) may be of further assistance for students requiring supports relating to protected characteristics under human rights legislation. For questions that are specific to your academic program, please consult with the academic advisor(s) in your faculty.    

Supports for Employees
Faculty and staff supports are available through our Employee and Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed via one.telushealth.com (formerly LifeWorks) and 1-844-880-9142, or through the enhanced mental health benefit from Blue Cross, or contact Accessible Employment at accessible.employment@dal.ca for additional support or resources.   

Statements from the Vice Provost, Equity & Inclusion:

Statement on University of Waterloo attack

We are saddened and angered by the targeted attack that took place in a gender studies class at the University of Waterloo yesterday. We condemn this hate-motivated violence in the strongest terms and stand in solidarity with our Waterloo colleagues.

Our thoughts are with the students and professor who were injured, and the entire University of Waterloo community during this difficult time.

Members of the Dalhousie community looking for support following these upsetting events are encouraged to contact the Employee & Family Assistance Program or Student Health & Wellness.  

Please take care of yourselves, and take care of each other as our community comes together to support those impacted by this tragic event.

Support Following conflicts in Sudan

We recognize that Dal students, faculty and staff who are from or have connections to Sudan may be significantly impacted by the conflict taking place there. We want to remind you that supports are available for students and employees:

Supports for Students
For students in Halifax, in person and virtual counselling options are available via Dalhousie’s Student Health & Wellness Centre (2nd floor, LeMarchant Place) which offers same-day counselling services from Monday to Saturday.   To book an appointment, click here.  For students in Truro, our health team is available by calling 902-896-6300 or book an appointment here.

If you prefer an off-campus option,  Good2Talk  offers free, professional, and confidential counselling support (24/7) by phone and text.  Further resources are available to international students through the “I.M. Well” app which provides international students with 24/7 counselling support in 180 languages.  For more information about I.M. Well and how to download the app, visit the Student Assistance Program website

Impacted students who are temporarily unable to attend classes are encouraged to consult their syllabi and email their instructors for guidance on absences. If applicable within your course or faculty, complete the Student Absence Declaration Form.  International students are encouraged to connect with the International Centre advisors and can make an appointment via the online booking system to make an appointment.  The Student Accessibility Centre (Halifax) and Student Support Centre (Truro) may be of further assistance for students requiring supports relating to protected characteristics under human rights legislation. For questions that are specific to your academic program, please consult with the academic advisor(s) in your faculty.    

Supports for Employees
Faculty and staff supports are available through our Employee and Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at http://dal.lifeworks.com, or through the enhanced mental health benefit from Blue Cross, or contact Accessible Employment at accessible.employment@dal.ca for additional support or resources.   

Support Following Earthquake in Turkey, Syria and Surrounding Region

We are writing after the devastating news of a recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake centred in Turkey and Syria, which has led to significant destruction and loss of life in those countries, with broader impact throughout the surrounding region. We realize that members of our Dalhousie community who are from or have close ties to the region may be significantly impacted by this news. Our thoughts and support are with you, your families, and your friends in the region, and all those who have been impacted by this natural disaster. We are writing to ensure impacted members of our community are aware of supports available to you as you navigate the stress and disruption caused by this event.

Supports for Students
For students in Halifax, in person and virtual counselling options are available via Dalhousie’s Student Health & Wellness Centre (2nd floor, LeMarchant Place) which offers same-day counselling services from Monday to Saturday.   To book an appointment, click here.  For students in Truro, our health team is available by calling 902-896-6300 or book an appointment here.

If you prefer an off-campus option,  Good2Talk  offers free, professional, and confidential counselling support (24/7) by phone and text.  Further resources are available to international students through the “I.M. Well” app which provides international students with 24/7 counselling support in 180 languages.  For more information about I.M. Well and how to download the app, visit the Student Assistance Program website

Impacted students who are temporarily unable to attend classes are encouraged to consult their syllabi and email their instructors for guidance on absences. If applicable within your course or faculty, complete the Student Absence Declaration Form.  International students are encouraged to connect with the International Centre advisors and can make an appointment via the online booking system to make an appointment.  The Student Accessibility Centre (Halifax) and Student Support Centre (Truro) may be of further assistance for students requiring supports relating to protected characteristics under human rights legislation. For questions that are specific to your academic program, please consult with the academic advisor(s) in your faculty.    

Supports for Employees
Faculty and staff supports are available through our Employee and Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at http://dal.lifeworks.com, or through the enhanced mental health benefit from Blue Cross, or contact Accessible Employment at accessible.employment@dal.ca for additional support or resources.  

Supporting Iranian Students and Employees

We at Dalhousie recognize that students, faculty, and staff from Iran, and beyond, are significantly impacted by recent and ongoing events in Iran. The internet black-out that remains in effect in Iran makes it difficult to get news and prevents much-needed communication with loved-ones, and members of our community may be profoundly worried for the safety and well-being of family members and friends.  For students and colleagues impacted by these concerning events, it may be difficult to find the mental or emotional energy to focus on work or studies.  With this in mind, we would like to make our community aware of the following supports and services during this difficult and stressful time.

Supports for Students
For students in Halifax, in person and virtual counselling options are available via Dalhousie’s Student Health & Wellness Centre (2nd floor, LeMarchant Place) which offers same-day counselling services from Monday to Saturday.   To book an appointment, click here.  For students in Truro, our health team is available by calling 902-896-6300 or book an appointment here.

If you prefer an off-campus option,  Good2Talk  offers free, professional, and confidential counselling support (24/7) by phone and text.  Further resources are available to international students through the “I.M. Well” app which provides international students with 24/7 counselling support in 180 languages.  For more information about I.M. Well and how to download the app, visit the Student Assistance Program website

Impacted students who are temporarily unable to attend classes are encouraged to consult their syllabi and email their instructors for guidance on absences. If applicable within your course or faculty, complete the Student Absence Declaration Form.  International students are encouraged to connect with the International Centre advisors and can make an appointment via the online booking system to make an appointment.  The Student Accessibility Centre (Halifax) and Student Support Centre (Truro) may be of further assistance for students requiring supports relating to protected characteristics under human rights legislation. For questions that are specific to your academic program, please consult with the academic advisor(s) in your faculty.    

Supports for Employees
Faculty and staff supports are available through our Employee and Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at http://dal.lifeworks.com, or through the enhanced mental health benefit from Blue Cross, or contact Accessible Employment at accessible.employment@dal.ca for additional support or resources.  

 

MEMORANDUM 

Latest memos from the Vice Provost, Equity & Inclusion:

African Heritage Month at Dalhousie

MEMORANDUM

To:                   The Dalhousie University community  

From:              Theresa Rajack-Talley, Vice-Provost, Equity and Inclusion 

                        Barbara Hamilton-Hinch, Assistant Vice-Provost, Equity and Inclusion          

Date:               Monday, January 29, 2024

Re:                   African Heritage Month at Dalhousie  

February is Black History Month (also known as African American History Month in the US), which in Nova Scotia was renamed African Heritage Month (AHM) in 1996. Dalhousie joins with the rest of Canada, the U.S., and the world to commemorate Black History – African Heritage Month and honour our Black students, staff, faculty, and wider community members who continue to make invaluable contributions to our institution and society.

This year, Canada’s national theme for Black History Month is “Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build,” while the provincial theme for African Heritage Month is "Our Smiles, Our Joy, Our Resilience as African Nova Scotians." For our own community celebrations, Dalhousie has combined these themes under the title of "Reflect, Rest and Revive" — celebrating and reflecting on the many successes born out of Black resistance and recognizing the importance of self-care, self-awareness, and renewal. Dalhousie’s President, Kim Brooks, calls on all of us “to explore and celebrate the rich history and contributions of the African diaspora communities who have been an integral part of Dalhousie’s growth and culture and made us a more inclusive institution.”

Many of the things Dalhousie celebrates and highlights for AHM are the result of years of effort of dedicated Black students, faculty, staff, community members, and allies. To note just a few: we celebrate last year’s appointment of Dalhousie’s first Black Chancellor, Rustum Southwell, one of Nova Scotia’s most prominent community and business leaders and whose work to shepherd the creation and expansion of hundreds of Black-owned businesses and to champion Black participation in economic development strategies has helped build a stronger, more diverse province and business community. Grace Jefferies-Aldridge joined our community earlier this year as Dalhousie’s inaugural Vice-President People and Culture. She is the university’s first African Nova Scotian Vice-President (in its 200-year history) — a significant and long overdue milestone. As VP People and Culture, Grace brings her stellar intellect and skills to strengthen our Human Resources structure, processes, and inclusion at Dalhousie.  

Black Excellence as an outcome of Black resilience has also resulted in expanded opportunities for Dalhousie students to engage in Black scholarship through three newly launched Black Studies-focused programs. An Africentric Bachelor of Social Work (ABSW) Cohort program started earlier this fall that aims to break down barriers, ease pressures on the health-care system, and create a more robust and diverse social work sector, among other objectives. The Black and African Diaspora Studies (BAFD), also new at Dalhousie, is a program where students “can explore the historical, societal, and cultural dimensions of African Canadian life and the global Black world” and “learn from the experiences of Black resilience, empowerment, and contributions.” And the Black Learners Admission Pathways will help facilitate entrance into medical school by assessing applications using a holistic file review. This new program will “diversify the health care workforce.” These programs — with few or no similar programs offered in Canada — were the result of decades of struggles by Black students and faculty advocating for Black inclusiveness at all levels in the academy. We are reminded of the International Congress of Black Writers organized by students at McGill in 1968 and the student unrest at Sir George Williams University (SGWU), now Concordia, in 1969, which were the culmination of years of frustration by Black students at Canadian universities who wanted a more diverse and inclusive academy.

Black resistance and resilience to racist discriminatory practices have also been observed in recreation on and off campuses, nationally and internationally. Dalhousie is proud to acknowledge another milestone in the signing of Recreation Nova Scotia (RNS) Anti-Racism Charter. This Charter specifically addresses the harm and exclusion caused by racism in recreation and sport and is a reflective, proactive, and systemic approach to making recreation and sport welcoming and inclusive for everyone in Nova Scotia.  This initiative has spurred the Office of Equity and Inclusion office’s annual HRES conference this March to focus on “Race and Sports.”   

It is important to note that all the milestones identified in this memo speak to Dalhousie's operationalization of the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Flourishing at universities and colleges across Canada.

For an overview of all Dalhousie and community events happening during African Heritage Month 2024, visit the Human Rights & Equity Services website and/or the Black Cultural Centre website.

We extend a warm and heartfelt invitation to join us at Dalhousie’s Annual African Heritage Month Launch Day event and Flag-raising Ceremony on Feb. 1 at 12:00 noon. The main event will be held at the LeMarchant Building, followed by a ceremonial flag raising on the Studley Quad at 1:30pm. This gathering has been and continues to be the capstone event for our university community to not only recognize multifaceted identities and rich legacies of Peoples of African Descent but also join in communion with one another to celebrate.

Dalhousie acknowledges that we are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People and pays respect to the Indigenous knowledges held by the Mi’kmaq People, and to the wisdom of their Elders past and present. The Mi'kmaq People signed Peace and Friendship Treaties with the Crown, and section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes and affirms Aboriginal and Treaty rights. We are all Treaty people.

We recognize that African Nova Scotians are a distinct people whose histories, legacies and contributions have enriched that part of Mi'kma'ki known as Nova Scotia for over 400 years.

Accessibility Week (Nov 27 to Dec 3) and the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (Dec 3)

MEMORANDUM

To:        The Dalhousie University and University of King’s College community

From:      Theresa Rajack-Talley, Vice-Provost, Equity and Inclusion

           Judy MacDonald (Co-Chair) Faculty & Staff (dis)Ability Caucus

           Tereigh Ewert (Co-Chair), Faculty & Staff (dis)Ability Caucus

                      Michelle Mahoney (Co-Chair), Faculty and Staff (dis)Ability Caucus;                       Accessibility Officer, University of King’s College           

Date:       Friday, November 24, 2023

Re:           Accessibility Week (Nov 27 to Dec 3) and the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (Dec 3)

Dear Dalhousie and King’s community,

In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly instated December 3 as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) to be observed and celebrated annually. The UN IDPD day of recognition amplifies (dis)ability communities’ voices and their priorities, endeavours to raise ableism awareness, and to mobilize a society committed to the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities.

The 2023 IDPD theme is “United in action to rescue and achieve the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] for, with, and by persons with disabilities.” Preliminary findings from the forthcoming UN Disability and Development Report, 2023, galvanized this year’s theme. These findings indicate there have been insufficient global efforts to effectively realize the SDGs for persons with disabilities. Those in the world’s poorest regions, and those in times of social, political, and/or climate crisis have been woefully failed. The 2023 theme invocates redoubled efforts to reconfirm and reignite the SDGs for, with, and by persons with disabilities.

Dalhousie and King’s join with other universities, wider national and international communities, as well as the United Nations in our commitment to the fulfillment of all human rights for persons with disabilities.   

Dalhousie commits to solidarity, plans, and actions, piloted by the Dalhousie University Accessibility Committee (DUAC), in accordance with the 2017 Nova Scotia Accessibility Act.  Using a highly collaborative approach, DUAC developed and submitted the Dalhousie Accessibility Plan to the Nova Scotia Accessibility Directorate. It is joined in this effort by the University of King’s College Accessibility Plan. Countless faculty, staff, and students across both universities are working tirelessly to achieve our ambitious yet achievable goals. Our aspiration is to not only meet but to also exceed the Accessibility Act standards.

The plan, its spirit, and its concrete goals inspired a new annual event: Dalhousie Accessibility Week. In its second year, Accessibility Week 2023 offers an exciting series of events, resources, First-Voice stories, and initiatives commencing November 27 and culminating on the International Day for Persons with Disabilities (Dec. 3), with additional events stretching into early December. Accessibility Week events are listed on the Dalhousie Accessibility site.

Dalhousie and King’s diverse (dis)ability community members’ insights, voices, priorities, and guidance are integral to our challenging and critical work as we move forward to a future that is accessible to all who work and study on and visit our campuses. Collectively, we can ‘create the change we want to see’ and also lend our collective voices to “unite in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for, with, and by persons with disabilities.”

The Dalhousie Faculty and Staff (dis)Ability Caucus is an affinity space in which members grow friendships, share encounters with ableism, learn from one another about effectively navigating barriers, and form a collective voice with volume. Facing outward, members play a vital role serving on various Dal committees, noting ableist barriers and ways in which Dalhousie policies, practices, and procedures can be made accessible and inclusive. All Dalhousie staff and faculty who live with a disability are invited to join the Caucus; please reach out to one of the co-chairs for more information. Plans for a similar space for the King’s community are in development.

Dear colleagues, as our community progresses in achieving the goals of our Accessibility Plan and in fully recognizing, meeting and sustaining the rights of persons with disabilities, let us acknowledge and appreciate the tremendous contributions those us with disabilities make to our academy and communities every day.

Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the L’nu’k. The Peace and Friendship treaties apply to all parties involved, Indigenous and settler alike.

Dalhousie University acknowledges that African Nova Scotians are distinct people whose contributions have enriched that part of Mi’kma’ki, currently known as Nova Scotia, since 1604.

King’s and Halifax (Kjipuktuk) sit on unceded Mi’kmaw land in Mi’kma’ki.

African Nova Scotians are a distinct people whose histories, legacies and contributions have enriched Mi’kma’ki and Nova Scotia for over 400 years.

A weekend of reflection and reconciliation

MEMORANDUM  

To:                   The Dalhousie University community  

From:               Theresa Rajack-Talley, Vice-Provost, Equity & Inclusion 

                        Catherine Martin, Director, Indigenous Community Engagement  

Date:                Wednesday, September 27, 2023  

Re:                   A weekend of reflection and reconciliation  

 

Kwe,  

This weekend is an extremely important one here at Dalhousie and in Mi'kma'ki. It is a time for honouring and learning from the past as we reflect on our commitments and responsibilities now and into the future.  

On Saturday, we commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day, while Sunday is Treaty Day here in Nova Scotia and the launch of Mi’kmaq History Month.  

Says President Kim Brooks: “Commemorating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day and celebrating Mi’kmaq History Month is of great significance for all members of the Dalhousie community. This coming weekend, throughout the month of October, and beyond, I hope you’ll join me in learning, reflecting, and taking action to advance reconciliation across our campuses and in our communities.”  

Commemorating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation & Orange Shirt Day  

Each year, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Dalhousie joins with many others on our campus and in our broader community to commemorate this tragic and painful history and recognize the ongoing impacts of residential schools. We encourage our students, faculty, staff, and families, on this day in particular, to reflect and participate in activities organized on and off our campus.  Taking the time to learn more and act is how we collectively engage in reconciliation.

September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day to send a message that “Every Child Matters” and that it was a violation of human rights for residential schools to violently attempt to strip away the culture, freedom, and self-esteem of Indigenous children that they had experienced over generations. We invite Dal community — particularly our student population — to wear orange on Saturday and engage in activities organized to honour the thousands of Survivors and those students who never got to go home.  

On September 30, Dalhousie will light up the Henry Hicks clock tower in orange and raise the orange “Every Child Matters” flag to acknowledge the inter-generational impacts of residential schools.  The flag will continue to fly throughout Mi’kmaq History Month in October.  

Learn more about campus and community activities for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation & Orange Shirt Day.

Commemorating & celebrating Treaty Day and Mi’kmaq History Month

Following TRC Day and Orange Shirt Day is Treaty Day and the start of Mi’kmaq History Month - Wi’kipatmu’k Mi'kmawey.  

In 1993, Premier John Savage and Mi’kmaw Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy designated October as the official month to recognize and celebrate Mi’kmaw culture and heritage. The month begins with Treaty Day (October 1) which speaks to the 1752 Peace and Friendship Treaty. When we acknowledge “we are all treaty people,” it is in reference to treaties such as this which are intended to guide our relationships on lands the Mi’kmaq have called home for thousands of years. These treaties are part of a long tradition of relationship-making meant to protect Indigenous ways of life with reciprocity and respect.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the proclamation recognizing October as Mi’kmaq History Month. The Mi’kmaq History Month Committee has selected to focus on Mi’kmaw Sports, Traditional Games and Pastimes. This year’s commemorative poster reflects how sports, games and pastimes have long helped young minds grow into ways of thinking, moving and being as adults.  

It is a fitting theme given the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) were held here this past summer in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Dartmouth and Millbrook First Nation, bringing together 756 Indigenous Nations to celebrate, share and reconnect through sport and culture in. Dalhousie was one of many proud hosts for the young athletes and we were honoured to support NAIG’s mission to improve the quality of life for Indigenous Peoples by supporting self-determined sports and cultural activities which encourage equal access to participation in the social / cultural / spiritual fabric of the community in which they reside and which respects Indigenous distinctiveness.  

Dalhousie’s faculty, staff, students and alumni join with other Nova Scotians throughout October to celebrate and build awareness of Mi'kmaq history and heritage, and to increase understanding of the rich Mi'kmaq culture. This is a month to learn, to reflect, to listen and to share. Dalhousie University respects its relationship with the Mi’kmaq community and has opened a Community Engagement Sub-Office located in Millbrook First Nation in April this year as part of a shared vision and partnership with the Native Women’s Association and Millbrook First Nation to be used for educational and outreach purposes.  

On October 18, Dalhousie will host our 13th annual Mawio’mi in Halifax, one of our university’s most beloved annual gatherings. All are invited to attend and take part in the food and festivities.  

We also invite students and our entire Dal community to visit the display created by students and staff at Halifax West in honour of Red Dress Day, which is an annual event in memory of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women across Canada. The interactive exhibit is currently on display in the Killam Library, and aims to inspire conversations and questions about the tragedy of violence against Indigenous women and children.  

For other activities related to Mi’kmaq History Month occurring on and off campus visit our website.  

Dalhousie University acknowledges that we are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People and pays respect to the Indigenous knowledges held by the Mi’kmaq People, and to the wisdom of their Elders past and present. The Mi'kmaq People signed Peace and Friendship Treaties with the Crown, and section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes and affirms Aboriginal and Treaty rights. We are all Treaty people.

Pride Flag Raising and BBQ

MEMORANDUM

To:           The Dalhousie University community

From:       Theresa Rajack-Talley, Vice-Provost, Equity & Inclusion

                Rick Ezekiel, Vice-Provost Student Affairs  

                Olivia Fader, 2SLGBTQIA+ Advisor

Date:       Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Re:          Pride Flag Raising and BBQ

Each spring and summer, people around the world recognize Pride and celebrate 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and communities. As we celebrate Pride, it is important that we reflect upon the origins and history of the Pride movement, and the experience of 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals.

We welcome the community to join us as we raise the Progress Pride Flag tomorrow, Thursday, July 13, 2023 at 3:30pm, in the Studley Quad. The flag raising will be followed by a BBQ in the Risley Hall courtyard, with food provided and a cash bar.

For a full listing of Pride activities on campus and in the Halifax community, visit:

Have a safe and happy Pride!

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost, Equity & Inclusion

Rick Ezekiel
Vice-Provost Student Affairs   

Olivia Fader
2SLGBTQIA+ Advisor

Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the L’nu’k. We are all Treaty People.

African Nova Scotians are a distinct people whose contributions have enriched that part of Mi’kma’ki, currently known as Nova Scotia, since 1604.

North American Indigenous Games

MEMORANDUM

To:      The Dalhousie University community

From:     Frank Harvey, President and Vice-Chancellor (Acting)

         Theresa Rajack-Talley, Vice-Provost, Equity and Inclusion

         Catherine Martin, Director, Indigenous Community Engagement

Date:      July 10, 2023

Re:        North American Indigenous Games

Kwe’

From July 15-23, the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) will take place across Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Dartmouth, Millbrook Mi'kmaw Community, and Sipekne'katik Mi'kmaw Community, bringing together 756 Indigenous Nations from all corners of Turtle Island. The NAIG will be the largest multi-sport games ever hosted by the city, with over 5,000 participants.

Dalhousie was proud to support Halifax’s bid for the NAIG and will welcome more than 1,100 athletes, coaches, and staff to campus this week to stay in residence and dine in meal halls while they take part in the Games. Athletes staying on campus will have access to campus tours and programming through Dalhousie’s Indigenous Student Centre.

Dalhousie is also pleased to serve as a sporting venue for the Games, hosting swimming and basketball events at the Dalplex and Sexton Gym. Additionally, the Faculty of Architecture and Planning has also collaborated with NAIG organizers and Mi’kmaq communities on the Brave Space project. The Brave Space on the Studley quad and other Dal venues, such as the Indigenous Student Centre, the Ko'jua room and the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Legacy Space in the Killam Memorial Library, will provide participants with safe and comforting places to reconnect, regroup, and reground on campus.

Throughout the Games, we encourage all members of our Dalhousie community to do everything they can to act as allies and create a warm and welcoming environment for participants who may be travelling away from home or staying on their own in residence for the first time. Whether through simple actions like providing directions or answering questions, by attending a sporting event on campus, or by visiting the Cultural Village at the Halifax Commons, there are many opportunities to showcase our Dalhousie hospitality and commitment to inclusivity.

This is also a wonderful opportunity to educate ourselves and others about the significance of the Games and to celebrate sport and culture with the Indigenous community.     

Thank you to the Dalhousie employees who are helping host NAIG athletes and events, both as part of their day-to-day roles on campus or as volunteers in the community. Please note that anyone who wants to enjoy the Games may attend events free of charge and without tickets — including swimming and basketball events on campus.

We invite you to join us in showing these special guests how welcoming Dalhousie University can be and in doing our part to make the 10th North American Indigenous Games a success.

For more information about the NAIG games, visit naig2023.com.   

Wela'lioq. Msit No'kmaq.

Frank, Theresa, and Cathy

------------------

Frank Harvey
President and Vice-Chancellor (Acting)

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice Provost, Equity and Inclusion

Catherine Martin
Director, Indigenous Community Engagement

 

Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the L’nu’k. We are all Treaty People.

Celebrating Pride

MEMORANDUM

To:                    The Dalhousie University community

From:                Theresa Rajack-Talley, Vice-Provost, Equity & Inclusion

                            Rick Ezekiel, Vice-Provost Student Affairs  

                            Olivia Fader, 2SLGBTQIA+ Advisor

Date:                  Friday, June 23, 2023

Re:                     Celebrating Pride

Each spring and summer, people around the world recognize Pride and celebrate 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and communities. In much of North America, June is designated as Pride Month, with communities in Nova Scotia celebrating Pride at various points throughout the summer. Truro will hold pride celebrations this month, while Halifax Pride hosts celebrations in mid-July. Dalhousie University will be participating in both community parades (on June 24 in Truro and July 23 in Halifax), in addition to campus community events, and welcomes all community members to participate. June is also National Indigenous History Month, and accordingly it is important we recognize the contributions of Two-Spirit and Indigenous 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and communities of Nova Scotia, and the Wabanaki Two-Spirit Alliance.

As we celebrate Pride, it is important that we reflect upon the grassroot origins of the Pride movement, often led by some of the most marginalized in the community, namely trans women of colour. Over the past year, we have seen some segments of our societies emboldened in their backlash against the 2SLGBTQIA+ community locally and globally. This has included regressive policies undermining 2SLGBTQIA+ visibility, safety and inclusion in several Canadian and American school districts, development and implementation of anti-trans and anti-queer legislation and rhetoric, including criminalizing and endorsing state violence against these identities in some countries. Additionally, members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community experience invalidation and violence in day-to-day life, including anti-queer censorship, denial of health services, destruction of 2SLGBTQIA+ symbols of inclusion, dead-naming / misnaming, misgendering, and negative representations of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in social media. In spite of these experiences and systemic barriers, 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals demonstrate strength and continue to thrive while making immense contributions to our research and educational purpose within the Dalhousie community.

“Recognizing our shared commitment to building a more inclusive society, our 2SLGBTQIA+ faculty, staff, students, and administrators should feel supported, included, and appreciated at Dalhousie by all members of our university community,” says Acting President and Vice-Chancellor Frank Harvey. “We know that members of equity-deserving groups are often expected to educate and lead — above and beyond their regular workload. We understand the need to shift accountability more broadly by embracing our collective responsibility to champion EDIAD initiatives across our campuses.”

Some of these efforts include:

These efforts, along with our Pride celebrations at Dalhousie, are part of many ongoing and evolving commitments to ensure that members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities are included within the fabric of the university, and that we can authentically express all aspects of our human identities, including diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, while experiencing a sense of belonging and thriving at Dalhousie.

We recognize that we have much work still to do within our own community and our broader societies, and that meaningful change only happens through collective effort and commitment: we all have important roles to play in building a more inclusive community, and we hope Pride events can help accelerate commitments. Let us use this occasion to recommit to actions that reduce exclusion and discrimination faced by members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities on our campus, locally, nationally, and globally.

Dalhousie Pride Events

The Progress Pride Flag will be raised on the Agricultural Campus on Friday, June 23 at 12 pm at the amphitheatre. Details for the Studley campus flag raising, which will take place ahead of Halifax’s Pride celebration, will be shared on the Dalhousie Pride website closer to the date.

Students, alumni, faculty, and staff are also invited to join the Dalhousie University group marching in the Truro Pride Parade and the Halifax Pride Parade. The Truro parade is taking place on Saturday, June 24, with the Halifax parade taking place Sunday, July 23. Both are rain or shine, so please dress appropriately. For more information on participation in the parade, please click here.

For a full listing of Pride activities on campus and in the community, visit:

Have a safe and happy Pride!

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost, Equity & Inclusion

Rick Ezekiel 
Vice-Provost Student Affairs   

Olivia Fader
2SLGBTQIA+ Advisor

 

Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the L’nu’k. We are all Treaty People.

African Nova Scotians are a distinct people whose contributions have enriched that part of Mi’kma’ki, currently known as Nova Scotia, since 1604.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

MEMORANDUM

To:         The Dalhousie University community

From:    Frank Harvey, President and Vice-Chancellor (Acting)

         Kim Brooks, Provost and Vice President Academic (Acting)

             Theresa Rajack-Talley, Vice-Provost Equity and Inclusion                          

Date:    Monday, April 3, 2023

Re:     Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

NOTE: This message discusses sexualized violence. Support services are highlighted at the bottom of this memo.   

Each year, during the month of April, we take the opportunity to raise awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexualized violence. Dalhousie joins with government agencies, businesses, other campuses and community-based organizations in the province, country and internationally, and particularly with those who provide services and support to sexualized violence survivors, to spotlight Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).

As is made clear in our Sexualized Violence Policy, “sexualized violence undermines the full, free and safe participation of all members of the university community by creating intimidating, hostile, or unsafe living, learning, and working conditions, environments and experiences, which can negatively impact an individuals’ academic and/or employment performance and status.” We ask all our community members to join us this month and engage in education about consent and action to prevent sexualized violence.

Throughout the weeks ahead, you can expect to hear more from us through dissemination of information about the resources available on campus, discussions in forums like Senate and Dean’s Council, and stories shared through Dal News or the university’s social channels.

To launch the month, we wanted to share information on some important Dal initiatives and resources.

Campus research project
In an effort to further understand, track and act on incidents of sexualized violence against students, Dalhousie has agreed to join other Canadian universities in a survey-based research project led by McGill University entitled IMPACTS: Collaborations to Address Sexual Violence on Campus, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The information gathered will be analysed and used to improve university policies and programs on sexual violence generally and specifically for our Dalhousie community. Students who receive the survey link are encouraged to complete it and help contribute to the much-needed research about the prevalence and impacts of sexualized violence in our community.

The Purple Folder: How to respond to disclosures of sexualized violence
Members of the campus community are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Dalhousie Purple Folder. The Purple Folder offers support for how to respond when someone shares an experience of sexualized violence and reminds our community about resources and supports, including referral options, that exist on campus and in the community.

Break the Silence NS: A free online course
Developed through the provincial government, Break the Silence NS offers a free online training course for anyone who wants to learn more about sexualized violence and how to support someone who has survived it.

Dalhousie’s Human Rights & Equity Services (HRES)
Dalhousie’s Human Rights and Equity Services is responsible for the administration of the Dalhousie Sexualized Violence Policy, which outlines processes in supporting disclosures and reports of sexualized violence. The Sexualized Violence Advisor, Lyndsay Anderson, is trained to help individuals who have experienced sexualized violence. The Sexualized Violence Advisor offers confidential support and assistance to any member of the Dalhousie Community – contact hres@dal.ca or call 902-494-6672 for more information or to book an appointment.   

Other resources:

  • Student supports:
  • Faculty and staff supports:
    • Faculty and staff resources are available through our Employee Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at http://dal.lifeworks.com. Employees are also reminded of available Blue Cross medical coverage for mental health benefits. Please also visit our employee resources site for additional mental health resources.
  • Dalhousie Security is responsible for the safety and security of the Dal community and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Security is trained as first responders. The DalSAFE app also connects the university community directly to HRES and other resources to support survivors.
  • Nova Scotia mental health crisis line: 1-888-429-8167
  • Avalon Sexual Assault Centre: 902-422-4240

Sincerely,

Frank P. Harvey
President and Vice-Chancellor (Acting)

Kim Brooks
Provost and Vice-President Academic (Acting)

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost Equity and Inclusion

Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. We are all Treaty people.

We recognize that African Nova Scotians are a distinct people whose histories, legacies and contributions have enriched that part of Mi’kma’ki known as Nova Scotia for over 400 years.

International Women’s Day

MEMORANDUM

To:          The Dalhousie University community
From:       Kim Brooks, Provost & Vice-President Academic (Acting)
                Alice Aiken, Vice-President Research & Innovation
                Gitta Kulczycki, Vice-President Finance & Administration
                Sheila Blair-Reid, Vice-President Advancement (Acting)
           Theresa Rajack-Talley, Vice-Provost Equity & Inclusion
Date:       Wednesday, March 8, 2022
Re:         International Women’s Day

Each year, March 8 is commemorated globally as International Women’s Day (IWD) to celebrate the contributions women make to society while, at the same time, bringing attention to the challenges they continue to face here in our communities and around the globe.

The United Nations (UN) theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.” As the UN describes, the theme shines a light on, “women [who] have made untold contributions to the digital world in which we increasingly live but whose accomplishments have been against all odds, in a field that has historically neither welcomed nor appreciated them.”

Dalhousie leads by example, and while we know that we have a lot more to do, we are proud of the work our community has done so far to increase representation and access for women in digital fields and to engage in inclusive research and partnerships that broaden digital knowledges and practices.

To offer a few examples of the kind of work going on around Dalhousie, the number of women studying Engineering at Dalhousie has more than doubled and the number of women studying Computer Science has nearly tripled over the past decade. Students have formed groups like the Women in Technology Society. Faculty members and partners are seeking change in New York this week at the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, where the priority theme is, “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.” And our Digital Strategy explicitly centres EDIA as a shared value.   

In honour of DigitALL, we express our appreciation and recognition for women on our campuses who are breaking historic gender barriers and making incredible contributions to our digital world.

We all have a responsibility to make Dalhousie more inclusive and more equitable for women, girls, Two-Spirit, trans, gender-expansive, and non-binary people. Today is a reminder to call out, stand up, and act to eliminate gender bias, discrimination, and stereotyping on our campuses and in society.

Sincerely,

Kim Brooks
Provost & Vice-President Academic (Acting)

Alice Aiken
Vice-President Research & Innovation

Gitta Kulczycki
Vice-President Finance & Administration

Sheila Blair-Reid
Vice-President Advancement (Acting)

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost Equity and Inclusion

Dalhousie University is located in Mi'kma'ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi`kmaq. We are all treaty people.

We recognize that African Nova Scotians are a distinct people whose histories, legacies and contributions have enriched that part of Mi’kma’ki known as Nova Scotia for over 400 years.

African Heritage Month at Dalhousie

MEMORANDUM  

To:                 The Dalhousie University community
From:             Theresa Rajack-Talley, Vice-Provost, Equity and Inclusion 
                       Ronke Taiwo, Dalhousie Black Student Advisor
                       Guyleigh Johnson, Advisor, Black Student Advising Centre                       
Date:              Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Re:                  African Heritage Month at Dalhousie  

Every year, in the month of February, people around the world observe Black History Month. The month is also known as African American History Month in the U.S. and in Nova Scotia was renamed African Heritage Month (AHM) in 1996. It has become an annual global remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African Diaspora. Dalhousie joins with the rest of Canada, the U.S., and the world to commemorate Black History–African Heritage Month and honour our Black students, staff, and faculty members who continue to make valuable contributions to our institution and society.

Dalhousie recognizes this year’s African Heritage Month provincial theme, Seas of Struggle – African Peoples from Shore to Shore, which reflects the struggles that people of African descent faced from the shores of Africa to the shores of Nova Scotia.  African Heritage Month presents an opportunity to spotlight the history of people of African descent in the development of Canada and the adversity they had to overcome, including the impacts of being enslaved and anti-Black racism. But it is also about celebrating the triumphs and rich cultural heritage of Black people spanning centuries of Black resistance, perseverance, resilience, and success. This includes the experiences and contributions of the African Nova Scotian communities who have been here for over 400 years.  

Given this year’s AHM theme, we want to recognize the Black Student Advising Centre (BSAC) as a common space where students of the Diaspora, from shore to shore, are supported at Dalhousie. According to Dr. Barb Hamilton Hinch, Assistant Vice-Provost for Equity & Inclusion and former Dal Black Student Advisor at the BSAC:    

The centre was opened in October 1989 on Dalhousie’s Halifax campus following the ‘Breaking Barriers’ Report on the systematic barriers faced by Black and Indigenous Students and the advocacy work of the Black Canadian Student Association. The centre was initially developed to be a home away from home for African Nova Scotian students coming from the 52 African Nova Scotian communities. Many students would travel great distances to attend university and it was not always possible for students to find a safe space to gather, especially between classes.    

Currently, the Black Student Advising Centre serves all Black students of African descent in the Diaspora which comprises African Nova Scotian, African Canadians, and Black Diaspora/International students. The BSAC aims to support Black students through personal, academic, financial, social, and cultural challenges they experience while at Dalhousie. Dalhousie is proud of the BSAC and its continued success in serving shore-to-shore students from the African Diaspora.

The work of the BSAC and other units that centre on Black students, faculty, and staff are all in sync with Dalhousie’s commitments to anti-Black racism and Black Flourishing outlined in the Scarborough Charter which the university signed in 2021, and to the ANS community which it identified as one of its priority communities in its Strategic Plan 2021-2026: Third Century Promise. Dalhousie also joins the University of King’s College and the Black Cultural Centre to host the first Universities Studying Slavery Conference outside of the U.S. in October 2023 — an event that will address the impact of Slavery, Reparations, and Education: African Nova Scotia, Canada, and Beyond.  

Please take the time this month and every month to celebrate and understand African heritage in Canada, Nova Scotia, and at Dalhousie — to recommit learning and acting, reflecting and celebrating the contributions of people from the African Diaspora far and near, and collectively continue in the struggle for a more equitable future. We encourage everyone to use this month to further engage in events, programming, and learning opportunities on campus and in our broader community  

The Office for Equity and Inclusion invites you to join in on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 for the launch of African Heritage Month and flag-raising at Dalhousie University. The event will begin at 11:00 am in the LeMarchant Place atrium with a brief program which will then move to the Studley Quad for the raising of the flag at approximately 11:30 am. We will alternate the flying of the Pan-African flag and African Nova Scotian flag on the Halifax and Truro campuses throughout February. For an overview of Dalhousie and community events happening during African Heritage Month 2023, visit the Human Rights & Equity Services website and/or the Black Cultural Centre website

Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the L’nu’k.  The Peace and Friendship treaties did not involve the surrender of land and it is our social responsibility to understand and respect the treaty, the people, their way of life, and the elders.  

Dalhousie University acknowledges that African Nova Scotians are a distinct people whose contributions have enriched that part of Mi’kma’ki, currently known as Nova Scotia, since 1604.  It is our social responsibility to understand and respect the people, the elders, and the African Nova Scotian communities.  

Accessibility Week and the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (Dec.3)

MEMORANDUM

To:         The Dalhousie University Community

From:       Theresa Rajack-Talley, Vice-Provost, Equity and Inclusion

            Judy MacDonald (Co-Chair) Faculty & Staff (dis)Ability Caucus

            Tereigh Ewert (Co-Chair), Faculty & Staff (dis)Ability Caucus

            Michelle Mahoney (Co-Chair), Faculty & Staff (dis) Ability Caucus

Date:       Monday, November 28, 2022

Subject:      Accessibility Week and the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (Dec.3)

Dear Dalhousie Community,

December 3 marks the annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a day used to promote and recommit to the everyday understanding of disability barriers and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with a disability. This year, the theme for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world. Dalhousie joins with the rest of Canada and the world in using this occasion to promote respect for and the full and equal access of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society.

Here at Dalhousie, this goal is being advanced through the establishment and work of the Dalhousie University Accessibility Committee (DUAC), which is linked to the 2017 Nova Scotia Accessibility Act. In 2022, Dalhousie released its first university-wide Accessibility Plan. The plan, created through years of collaboration and consultation, lays out a detailed roadmap for ensuring Dal meets Nova Scotia's goal of being fully accessible by 2030.

This year, Dal has also launched a new annual initiative called Dalhousie Accessibility Week (Nov. 28-Dec. 5). A series of events and initiatives planned for the week will offer members of the Dal community a window into what it's like to live with a disability and steps the university is taking to reduce barriers to access on its campuses. Learn more about Accessibility Week events and initiatives here.   

Disabilities come in all shapes and forms, and it is important we listen to and learn from people in the community to better understand the barriers faced across disability experiences. To make space for listening and learning, the Office for Equity & Inclusion and Dal’s (dis)Ability Caucus, is hosting its next Speak Truth to Power Forum on Monday, December 5 (3:30-5 pm), with a panel of individuals with lived experience who will speak to Accessibility in Action through Awareness.

At Dal, we recognize accessibility as a human right — a principle exemplified so well by the advocacy and support offered by the university’s (dis)Ability Caucus. The Caucus provides staff and faculty with (dis)Abilities a safe, communal space to discuss encounters with barriers and ableism, to advocate for one another, share resources and strategies, and to amplify a collective voice that draws attention to accessibility barriers. Members play a vital role in serving on various Dal committees focusing on making the institution more accessible and inclusive.

Dear colleagues, while our community continues to work toward implementing Dal’s Accessibility Plan, let us at the same time acknowledge the many and significant contributions people with disabilities make from within our academy and communities every day.

Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the L’nu’k. The Peace and Friendship treaties apply to all parties involved, Indigenous and settler alike.

Dalhousie University acknowledges that African Nova Scotians are distinct people whose contributions have enriched that part of Mi’kma’ki, currently known as Nova Scotia, since 1604.