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:

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.

Mi’kmaq History Month

MEMORANDUM

To:         The Dalhousie University community

From:       Deep Saini, President and Vice-Chancellor

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

            Catherine Martin, Director of Indigenous Community Engagement

Date:       Monday, October 3, 2022

Re:         Mi’kmaq History Month

Dear Dalhousie community:

Kwe'! For the past 29 years the month of October has been officially declared as 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 to this day 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.

Dalhousie’s faculty, staff, students and alumni join with other Nova Scotians 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.

On Wednesday, Dalhousie will host our 12th 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.

Dalhousie proudly and permanently flies the Mi’kmaq Grand Council Flag on all campuses. Last week, as we marked the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30), Dalhousie also raised 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.

Every year, the Mi’kmaq History Month Committee selects a poster to commemorate the month.  This year it has chosen to highlight Mi’kmaw Beadwork & the Art of Beading as its theme:

“Mi’kmaw beadwork represents life and creation. Generations of hands, eyes, backs, and fingers have worked for balance in intricate designs and colour palettes. From wampum and bone beads to suspenders and peaked caps to contemporary medallions, beauty emerges from skill and love. Ceremonies have a special place to focus the intentions of artists’ hearts and minds. In kitchens and wikuoml masters have shared their practice with those who were dedicated. In turn, they were asked to share with the next generation. Agnes ‘Aggie Baby’ Gould told new beaders “share, please share.” We carry that teaching in our hearts as we celebrate this year’s poster.”

The message of the beadwork reminds us that despite the challenges faced by the Indigenous/Mi’kmaw peoples, they continue to thrive, celebrate and create. This is a powerful message for all of Dalhousie’s students, faculty and staff. It prompts us to strive to better understand the teachings of the Mi’kmaq and include these in our own teaching, research, learning (and unlearning) of Indigenous knowledge, practices, and culture. (For those looking for a good place to start this work, here is a listing of helpful resources.) This is important as Dalhousie continues its efforts towards reconciliation through its many Indigenous initiatives and engagement under the guidance and leadership of the Indigenous Advisory Council, our Elders-in-Residence, and through closer collaboration with the Mi’kmaw communities on whose territory Dalhousie sits.

M’sit Nokomaq / All my relations,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost Equity and Inclusion

Catherine Martin
Director of Indigenous Community Engagement

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.

Celebrating Pride

MEMORANDUM

To: The Dalhousie University Community

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

Rick Ezekiel, Vice-Provost Student Affairs

Aparna Mohan, President, Dalhousie Student Union

Date: Thursday, July 7, 2022

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. Communities in Nova Scotia celebrate Pride at various points throughout the summer. Truro held its pride celebrations late last month, while Dalhousie joins Halifax in doing so throughout the month of July. According to President, Deep Saini, “at Dalhousie, we are truly thankful to the dedicated 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and supporters who have paved the way in building a more inclusive university and community.”

Pride celebrations are linked to a common purpose: to fight for continued recognition of the basic human rights for all 2SLGBTQIA+ people everywhere, a fight that rose to prominence with the Stonewall riots of 1969 in New York. Unfortunately, unprecedented assaults against the community continue across the globe, with attempts to apply anti-trans legislation and anti-trans rhetoric, anti-queer censorship, continuously misnaming (dead-named), misgendering and negatively representing the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in social media. It is against this background that Dalhousie’s students, faculty, staff, friends, family, and alumni join with the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities in Halifax, the rest of the country, and the world in celebrating Pride to protest continued discrimination, to connect and celebrate.

The Pride Progress Flag was developed in 2018 by non-binary American artist and designer Daniel Quasar. It includes black and brown stripes, drawing attention to experiences of people of colour within the LGBTQ community, in addition to pink, blue and white stripes to represent explicit inclusion of transgender and gender non-binary communities. We know that racialized, transgender, and gender-nonbinary people continue to experience disproportionate violence, discrimination, and exclusion within our society, and that our efforts must explicitly focus on inclusion across these intersections. At Dalhousie, we strive for anti-racism within our equity work, including specifically recognizing the experiences of Black queer and trans people. This month the Speak Truth to Power virtual forum series organized by the Office of Equity & Inclusion has chosen as its theme Black Queer and Trans Lives Also Matter. The virtual event is scheduled for Wednesday, July 13 from 6-8pm (https://bit.ly/3NZZKxU).

Dalhousie University acknowledges that it sits on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People and as we celebrate Pride, we specifically recognize the Two-Spirit and Indigenous 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and communities of Nova Scotia, and the Wabanaki Two-Spirit Alliance.

Our Pride celebrations at Dalhousie are one part of many 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.

Please join us in celebrating the rich contributions 2SLGBTQIA+ people make within the Dalhousie community and committing ourselves to actions that reduce exclusion and discrimination faced by members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities locally and globally. The Progress Pride flag will be raised on the Halifax campus and we invite all to join this event on Studley Quad TODAY, July 7 at 12:00 p.m.

Students, alumni, faculty, and staff are invited to join the Dalhousie University group marching in the Halifax Pride Parade. The parade is on Saturday, July 16 and begins at noon, rain or shine. For more information on participation in the parade, please click here. (link)

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

Aparna Mohan
President, Dalhousie Student Union

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.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

MEMORANDUM

To:           The Dalhousie University community

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

                Amina Abawajy, Education Advisor, Human Rights and Equity Services

Date:        Monday, March 21, 2021

Re:           International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on March 21. On this day in 1960 police opened fire at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid pass laws in Sharpeville, South Africa; 69 people were killed and 180 were injured. The UN General Assembly Resolution 2142, passed in 1966, proclaimed March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to be commemorated annually.

Dalhousie stands against all forms of racial discrimination and has made this a central message in our personal harassment policy and discrimination statement. Today, we remind Dalhousie of the importance of this year’s theme — “Voices for Action against Racism” — to speak out loudly, listen closely, and act decisively. It is essential for us to listen to those experiencing injustice and ensure their concerns are at the centre of efforts to dismantle the racism that persists in our institutions, social structures, cultures, and everyday life.   

In Canada, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) — including migrants, refugees, and so many others — continue to confront stereotyping, stigmatization, scapegoating, discrimination, and violence. We see the harmful effect of this in all our social institutions including in the justice system, health, housing, employment, access to basic amenities including clean water, and experiences in education. While we have made strides in becoming a more civic society, the legacy of centuries of enslavement, colonialism, and racism have not completely disappeared and continue to create barriers for safe equity advancement of BIPOC populations.

This month also commemorates another UN observation: March 25 is the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today. The date asks us to reflect on one of the worst violations of human rights in history, in which more than 15 million men, women, and children were victims over a 400-year period.

We all have a responsibility, every day, to collectively and individually stand up against racial prejudice, disrespectful attitudes, and harmful actions — both intentional or unintentional — in the classroom, in the workplace, where we live and socialize. Let us work towards a world where we all enjoy our human rights and end the violence of racial discrimination. 

For more information on activities organized around International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, visit the Human Rights and Equity Services website.