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Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Statement on Departmental Climate & Moving Forward

A thriving department requires an inclusive, welcoming environment free of harassment, discrimination and bullying. Where all students, staff & faculty have fair & equitable opportunities to conduct their work and be supported.

EEB Allyship Network

An inclusive, vetted, and trained support network dedicated to listening and providing resources. We stand beside members of underrepresented groups and community members that have experienced unwanted or unwelcome behaviour.

Broadening Representation & Equity With Science (BREWS)

We promote inclusion and equity through community-building tea breaks and data-driven discussions. BREWS helps gather & disseminate data to improve inclusion and equity within the department.

Statement of Values

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto commits itself to be:

Equitable treatmentThe department acknowledges the historical and ongoing exclusion of and discrimination against marginalized groups from the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, as well as science and academia more broadly. The department further commits itself to equitable treatment of all of its members and visitors. This includes specific and intentional support (e.g., training, programming, policy review) of individuals from one or more marginalized groups, including but not limited to:

  • Black individuals
  • Indigenous individuals
  • Non-Black and non-Indigenous racialized individuals
  • Religious or spiritual individuals
  • Individuals belonging to marginalized religious and/or ethnic groups (e.g., Muslim and Jewish individuals)
  • Individuals with citizenship or origin outside of Canada
  • LGBTQIAA+ and two spirit individuals
  • Women, nonbinary and trans individuals
  • Disabled individuals
  • Neurodiverse individuals
  • Individuals affected by ageism
  • Individuals of disadvantaged socioeconomic status
  • Individuals and families with a record of offences
  • Individuals with marginalized family or marital status/history

Code of Conduct

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is committed to ensuring that all community members and visitors 1) are aware of and adhere to University of Toronto policies on appropriate behaviour and 2) uphold the values of respect, inclusion and professionalism outlined in the Statement of Values, both when operating at the University of Toronto and when representing the department elsewhere.

Appropriate behaviour and language:

The department defines appropriate behaviour and language as that which maintains the safety, respect, understanding, and comfort of all members and visitors, regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental or physical health, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, immigration status, Indigenous status, nationality, socioeconomic status, religion or any of the prohibited grounds as set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code.[1]

We expect all faculty, postdoctoral fellows, students and staff who are members, associates, or visitors to both encourage and model behaviour, language, and attitudes that foster a positive environment. We define a positive environment as one that is both free of and actively works against actions and language that are discriminatory in nature or constitute harassment of any kind, including but not limited to verbal, physical, sexual and psychological harassment [1,2,3,4]. This expectation applies to all professional, scholarly, and social activities taking place on campus, online (e.g., social media, email, online webinars and conferences), during fieldwork, at conferences and professional events, and during visits to other institutions and public spaces on behalf of the department.

All members and visitors of the department commit themselves to:

  • Treat others with dignity, respect, and consideration regardless of identity, experiences, or status within the department.[5,6]
  • Respect the views of others, with the exception of views that are discriminatory in nature or constitute harassment.[5,6]
  • Abstain from physical, sexual or verbal violence (e.g., profanity or otherwise abusive language, aggressive gestures, inappropriate and non-consensual physical or sexual contact and acts).[5,6,7]
  • Communicate (in-person or electronically) appropriately and respectfully for an audience that is diverse in identities and experiences.[5,6]
  • Make decisions concerning the use of substances (e.g., alcohol, cannabis) that are responsible, do not endanger others, and are in compliance with any obligations arising from the individual’s employment or representation on behalf of the University, while respecting the decisions of others regarding such substances.[8]
  • Practice respectful and professional conflict resolution and seek out conflict mediation when necessary.

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto does not condone behaviour that violates any of the above commitments or University policies.

The department and University further do not condone retaliatory action taken by its members or visitors against others who have, in good faith, raised concerns about their behaviour or language.[ 6,7]

The department commits itself to prioritizing the needs and desires of any individual harmed by a violation of the Code of Conduct when responding to violations (see EEB Allies and the U of T Discrimination Guideline [5] for options in responding). As outlined in University of Toronto policies, [6,7] violations of University policies on Workplace Harassment and Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including the termination of employment or expulsion [6,7].

Proactive Action Subcommittee

Guided by the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology’s Statement of Values, the Proactive Action Subcommittee of the Department’s Wellness Committee actively works to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community by removing systemic barriers to access and participation in education, research, financial and mentorship support, and the social environment.

The goal of the subcommittee is to develop, deliver and act on informed, intentional and specific programming including reviewing departmental policies, hosting education initiatives, facilitating conversations, and creating resources for use in labs and classrooms.

2020-2021 Objectives

Each year, the Subcommittee identifies 2-3 key areas of action.
For the 2020-2021 academic year, we identified 1) accessibility and disability 2) anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and 3) the ongoing legacy of eugenics, colonialism and racism in ecology and evolutionary biology.

To address these issues, we will:

  1. Develop a plan to make the Department more accessible to individuals with disabilities, by:
    1. Consulting with experts in the fields of equity and accessibility;
    2. Consulting with individuals in the Department;
  2. Hosting visiting scholars with expertise in anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, and the history of eugenics in ecology and evolutionary biology to:
    1. Give Departmental Seminars
    2. Host workshops and/or discussions about their work
  3. Drawing upon the expertise shared by visiting scholars to develop a list of recommendations for the Department to:
    1. Actively address anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism in the Department
    2. Confront, and work toward dismantling, the legacy of eugenics in our fields of study