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    • 19 APR 18
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    CAUT Equity Conference: Mobilizing Intersections

    CAUT Equity Conference: Mobilizing Intersections

    Jamie Finley, FSA Member

    With mobilizing intersections in mind, it was remarkable to me as an individual with a Deaf identity how intersections through equity seeking groups describe more commonalities than differences between us. After listening to the six plenary sessions and two keynote speakers, one theme that I see that keeps coming up is how privilege manifests itself across our society, our work and ourselves, and how we need to be aware of this and move forward with positive approaches and outcomes. This is in parallel to the theme of implicit biases, which has been described by FSA staff and the Diversity Circles initiative.

    This makes me think how important knowing what one’s gifts and strengths are and how this can positively contribute to one’s work at BCIT, oneself as an individual and to society. This requires opening your mind and heart to experiences of others different than you are. This was interesting to observe this theme, although in other words, throughout the equity conference and how important this is for equity-seeking groups.  It is important that awareness of experiences of each equity group are to be increased within FSA and BCIT, only to better understand how those experiences are manifested by actions we do in the workplace.

    So how to move forward in support of equity? I have learned from the CAUT conference how important data is to measuring and tracking equity within the Institution.  As far as I can tell, this has not yet been initiated at BCIT, even though this has been initiated at other post-secondary institutions across Canada.  I think it is important to initiate this discussion of equity data and its uses within FSA and at BCIT.  One starting point of discussion could be looking at the CAUT equity report titled “Underrepresented & Underpaid, Diversity & Equity Among Canada’s Post-Secondary Education Teachers” which describe how the Academy is still not reflective of Canada’s society or even the student body.

    I would like to thank Diversity Circles, my department and BCIT in prompting and supporting my attendance at the CAUT equity conference.  It was an incredible experience absorbing all the information in my second language, American Sign Language.

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