R.Gordon presenting award to J. Kechego. text: People Equity and Inclusion News and Events

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, & Decolonization Week

In 2022, the Office of the Vice-President Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion held the inaugural UWindsor Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization (EDID) Week, with events exploring Indigenization, remembrance of the victims of transatlantic slavery, resistance and the Underground Railroad, accessibility awareness, sexual violence prevention, 2SLGBTQQIA+ rights, and the ways that historic and ongoing marginalizations intersect.
The second annual EDID Week, beginning March 20, 2023, continued this work, uplifting efforts to challenge oppression as well as acknowledging the ongoing and future work required toward building a more just campus, community, and world.

While anti-oppression and justice must be at the heart of everything we do at UWindsor, EDID Week provides an important opportunity to shine a spotlight on the diversity and strength of individuals and groups working to address injustice on campus and beyond. With over 12 events, both in-person and online, and featuring campus and local partners committed to advancing equity, 2023’s EDID Week is grounded in community and collaboration.

Monday March 20, 2023

Understanding Islamophobia, Coloniality, and the War on Terror

Speaker: Dr. Naved Bakali

The ‘War on Terror’ ushered in a new era of anti-Muslim bias and racism. Anti-Muslim racism, or Islamophobia, is influenced by local economies, power structures, and histories. However, the War on Terror, a conflict undefined by time and place, with a homogenized Muslim ‘Other’ framed as a perpetual enemy, has contributed towards a global Islamophobic narrative. This presentation and discussion explores the Islamophobic landscape of Canada and across the global North and South, revealing how localized histories, conflicts, and geopolitical realities have textured the ways Islamophobia manifests, as well as highlighting activism and resistance confronting it.

Antisemitism: Reflections on how to Name, Frame, and Challenge

Speakers: Professors Jillian Rogin, Abigail Bakan and Sheryl Nestel

Antisemitism, its meaning, definition, and scope, is one of the most controversial debates of our times. With the rise of white nationalism internationally, and growing concern about human rights and anti-racism, issues associated with antisemitism have particularly impacted our university campus communities. The introduction of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, while claiming to address this, has also claimed a conflation of antisemitism with criticisms of the State of Israel. This panel discussion with Professors Abigail Bakan, Sheryl Nestel, and Jillian Rogin, outlines the contours of the debates about antisemitism focusing on the academic context.

Tuesday March 21, 2023 

Accessibility Awareness Day

Speakers: Mark Lubrick, Learning Specialist – Office of Open Learning; Lorie Stolarchuk – Office of Open Learning

This session will demonstrate how to create accessible content using Brightspace’s text editor and utilize built-in accessibility checkers to identify issues to correct.  Further, this session will highlight how to handle accommodations such as extra time, or different submission dates in Brightspace.  Finally, we will demonstrate a new integrated tool called Panorama, which can provide users with several alternate format types for documents in Brightspace, in addition to offering instructors an accessibility checker for documents uploaded to course sites. 

This event is in partnership with the University of Windsor's  Office of Human Rights, Equity & Accessibility's (OHREA) 10th Annual Accessibility Awareness Days Event 2023.

Quick Tips for Making Your Brightspace Site More Accessible

Celebrating Asian Heritage for an Equitable, Diverse, Inclusive Learning Community

Speakers: Dr. Edward Venzon Cruz, Dr. Jane Ku, Dr. Grace Liu, Dr. Naved Bakali, Dr. Shijing Xu (facilitator), Chenkai Chi (chair)

This panel is to discuss why and how to celebrate Asian Heritage to contribute to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive learning community. The Panelists are faculty members from the University of Windsor who have direct contact and working experiences with students and communities of Asian backgrounds. They will share their first-hand working experiences in this regard.  

Eliminating Racial Discrimination in Public Institutions of Higher Education

Speaker: Dr. Natalie Delia Deckard

Racialization is a function of time and place, and we can understand racism as the distillation of political, legal, social and institutional mechanisms through which some groups are empowered at the expense of the disempowerment of others. Racial discrimination is the instrument through which racism is perpetrated. When racial discrimination exists in public institutions of higher education, the universities charged with improving our society become spaces in which racism becomes inculcated in that society. The elimination of racial discrimination from universities is crucial to the achievement of racial equity more broadly – yet the goal remains elusive. In this discussion, Dr. Natalie Delia Deckard outlines the landscape of racial discrimination in Canadian higher education before detailing best practices for eliminating racism as part of the hidden curriculum of university life.  

Wednesday March 22, 2023

The Muslim Experience at UWindsor

Facilitator: Fatima Fakih

Panelists: Zeinab Taleb, Aisha Aderinto, Ronnie Haidar, and Binazir Haidari

This panel discussion will engage a diverse group of Muslim students from the University of Windsor in dialogue about their lived experiences being Muslim on campus and their perceptions about the presence of Islamophobia at our institution. The discussion aims to inform members of our campus community, including faculty and students, about the unique and often hidden realities of their Muslim students and peers. 

Thursday March 23, 2023

Campus-Based Sexual Assault Prevention: Prevent, Resist, & Support

Speaker: Anne Rudzinski

Anne Rudzinski is the Sexual Violence Education Specialist at the University of Windsor's Office of Sexual Violence Prevention, Resistance, and Support.

Sexual assault is a well-recognized social problem on post-secondary campuses. Sexual violence is prevalent and takes many forms, and the culture surrounding it takes time to change. How do we prevent sexual violence on our campus? How can we best support our students when sexual violence has happened? Join us for an hour-long presentation on our comprehensive strategy for addressing campus-based sexual violence, Prevent. Resist. Support., followed by Q&A.

Friday March 24, 2023

Helping the 2SLGBTQIA+ Community 'Thrive'

Speakers: Ashlyne O'Neil, Joyceln Lorito, and Anne Rudzinski

The University of Windsor welcomes students, faculty, and staff of diverse backgrounds and intersectional identities from all over the world. As we venture to improve our efforts toward equity and inclusion, the UWinPride Committee has been working to support our 2SLGBTQIA+ community, which includes collaborative efforts through the ‘Thriving on Campus’ Campaign (‘Thrive’) to address multiple calls to action for Ontario Universities. This session will engage you with what we have learned, provide an opportunity for discussion, and prompt you to think about your role in creating a just, equitable, and inclusive environment for ALL on our campus. 

Migrant Worker Health Care in Windsor-Essex County

Speakers: Aya El-Hashemi, Team 14: for Migrant Worker's Health (Equipo Catorce: for Migrant Worker Health)

Migrant workers form the backbone of Canada’s agricultural industry, with more than 50,000 migrant agricultural workers hired annually that largely work in the Windsor-Essex region. Largely from Mexico, the Caribbean, Guatemala, Thailand and the Philippines, these workers are usually hired through the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) through temporary contracts with no direct route to permanent residency. With employment in a relatively high-risk industry and the temporary nature of their residency, treatment of workers with critical illnesses is often interrupted by the end of their contracts, with the majority unable to access the same standard of healthcare in their country of origin. Additionally, many refuse to seek initial treatment due to fear of losing employment. Our research aims to understand and prevent this outcome through a multifaceted approach. Through a mixed methods research platform, in which we perform a retrospective case analysis, interview critically ill migrant workers, and collaborate with the Mexican consulate we strive to determine the impact of this interruption on the continuity of care and discover barriers faced in accessing treatment. Through surveying healthcare professionals in the Windsor-Essex region, we aim to discover barriers faced by healthcare practitioners and potential avenues of policy change to better support their care. The ultimate objective of this project is to reform Canada’s policy on the continuation of care for migrant workers. By allowing continuity of care for these critically ill migrants, Canada can fulfill an ethical obligation to support these temporary workers who play a vital component in our society. 

Monday March 21, 2022 

Dr. Charmaine Nelson

Please note: recording is not publically accessible per the wishes of our guest speaker.

The UN International Day of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Speaker: Dr. Charmaine Nelson

The Precariousness of Freedom: Slave Resistance as Experience, Process, and Representation

At NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dr. Charmaine Nelson teaches art history and holds the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Transatlantic Black Diasporic Art and Community Engagement. In 2001, she received her PhD in Art History from the University of Manchester (UK). She taught at Western University (2001-2003) and McGill University (2003-2020). Postcolonial and black feminist scholarship, Transatlantic Slavery Studies, and Black Diaspora Studies are among her research and teaching interests.

Transatlantic Slavery “broke the world in half,” spanning more than four hundred years and causing cataclysmic ruptures of the social, political, cultural, and psychic contexts of vast populations. This race-based slavery solidified ideals of white superiority, legitimized the  displacement of approximately 12 million Africans, and created the Black Diaspora. However, the enslaved did not submit meekly to their racial debasement and institutionalized brutality. For all the dimensions of slave owner control, the enslaved sought actively to maintain their dignity and humanity, and to seize their liberty. Therefore, in as much as slavery was marred by white oppression, it was also characterized by ongoing black resistance. Enslaved Africans often resisted through work slow-downs, feigning illness, damaging, or burning the slave owners’ property, and demanding the right to independently access economic markets. Working comparatively with examples of enslaver brutality and enslaved resistance from Canada, the USA, and tropical regions, this lecture explores the profound obstacles that the enslaved faced in securing their freedom and in resisting the everyday onslaughts of slavery.  

Indigenous Highlight: Special performance by University of Windsor English Literature & Creative Writing student and poet, Victoria Hecnar, to commemorate World Poetry Day.

Tuesday March 22, 2022 

Accessibility Awareness Day

Speakers: David Robbins-Singh & Dane Macri 

Disability and Intersectionality

This session will explore lived experiences and provide insights into how we can become better allies to make our campus and community more inclusive.

This event is in partnership with the University of Windsor's  Office of Human Rights, Equity & Accessibility's (OHREA) 9th Annual Accessibility Awareness Days - "Making UWindsor Accessible."

Wednesday March 23, 2022 

Speaker: Dr. Beverly Jacobs

What does it mean to “Indigenize” the University of Windsor?


Dr. Beverly Jacobs is the Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Relations and Outreach at the University of Windsor and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law. She held Associate Dean (Academic) and Acting Dean appointments in the Faculty of Law. She practices law part-time at her home community of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Her research focuses on Indigenous Legal Orders, Indigenous Wholistic Health, Indigenous Research Methodologies, and Decolonization of Eurocentric Law. Beverly has obtained a Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Windsor in 1994, a Master of Law Degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 2000 and a PhD from the University of Calgary in 2018.  Beverly is also a consultant/researcher/writer/public speaker.  Her work centres around ending gendered colonial violence against Indigenous people and restoring Indigenous laws, beliefs, values, and traditions. A prolific scholar, her published work has earned her numerous awards; her research combined with her advocacy has translated into national and international recognition. 

Based on the short time that she has taken on the role as Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Relations and Outreach, Dr. Jacobs wants to acknowledge the work that Indigenous students, staff and faculty have done to bring cultural safety within the University of Windsor. Dr. Jacobs also want to acknowledge the huge task that it is to “Indigenize” or bring cultural safety of Indigenous peoples on campus.

Speakers: Fardovza Kusow & Hussein Samhat  

Launch of Belonging, Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity (BIDE) Institute

Presented by The Office of Student Experience, The BIDE Institute is a student led institution that serves to provide a platform for underrepresented and marginalized groups on the University of Windsor campus. Driven to create platforms that will propel steps towards eradicating racism on college campuses, The BIDE Institute believes student and academic affairs need prioritize language around race both within the educational curriculum as well as external student opportunities.  

Please note: recording is not publically accessible.

Speakers: John Elliot and Amina Abdulle

BIDE Institute: Cultural Awareness & Belonging Speaker Series

BIDE is honored to highlight the honorable John Elliot and Amina Abdulle for an informative and enlightening evening of valuable perspectives from the Windsor-Essex Community.  

John Elliot (he/him), a descendant of Underground Railroad (John Freeman Walls family) and previous Windsor City Councilor (Ward 2), is the Executive Director of the Sandwich Teen Action Group (STAG). STAG is a community-based non-profit organization responding to the needs of youth in Windsor-Essex County that provides after-school programming for youth between the ages of 13 and 19 years old. STAG focuses on addressing poverty, racism and hunger in minority and at-risk youth while building self-esteem and motivation through life experiences and skills. Providing positive role models and mentors, STAG activates healthy relationships and respect for oneself and others. 

Amina Abdulle (she/her) is a Somali-born, Muslim Canadian educator, poet, and awareness builder. Amina has been working as an educator for over twelve years and she was a LINC Language Instructor before moving to the public-school board where she has taught English at the high school level, was the Department Head of ESL at Kennedy Collegiate, and is now the Teacher Consultant of Equity -- the first ever, for the GECDSB. She is the co-founder of an equity-based advocacy group called the Black Staff Equity Alliance as well as a member of various organizations within the city that focus on equity and justice. 

Please note: recording is not publically accessible.

Thursday March 24, 2022 

Sexual Violence Awareness Day 

Speaker: Anne Rudzinski

Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence

Anne Rudzinski is the Sexual Violence Education Specialist at the University of Windsor's Office of Sexual Violence Prevention, Resistance, and Support.
In this workshop,  ​Anne will be teaching how to support someone who discloses an experience of sexual violence. We'll walk you through our strategy - Recognize, Respond, Refer. We'll give you an overview of our Office and our current initiatives, and on- and off-campus resources.

2SLGBTQIA++ Awareness Day

Speaker: Dr. Michael Godfrey

Close Doesn’t Count: The Academic Climate for LGBTQ2S+ Students in STEM 

Dr. Michael Godfrey is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow within the Faculty of Science where he conducts research studies to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEM-related fields. To date, his studies have focused on improving the academic climate for students who belong to the LGBTQ2S+ community and better understanding the effects of ethnic diversity (or lack thereof) on the persistence of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) students. Prior to joining the University of Windsor in June 2020, Michael completed his PhD at Wilfrid Laurier University. His dissertation examined how cultural diversity influenced both group (e.g., team unity) and individual (e.g., satisfaction) outcomes in team sport contexts.

In this presentation, Dr. Godfrey will share the findings from his recent study that aimed to better understand how the academic climate in STEM disciplines influences the experiences of students who belong to the LGBTQ2S+ community. He will begin the presentation by discussing the positive aspects of the climate and highlighting key areas for improvement. Subsequently, he will discuss how this climate influences the experiences of LGBTQ2S+ students by providing example quotations from student, staff, and faculty participants. Finally, Dr. Godfrey will finish the presentation by providing key recommendations for how to make academic climates—in STEM and beyond—more inclusive.

Friday March 25, 2022 

The UN International Day of the Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Speaker: Dr. Isaac Saney 

Remembrance, Revelation, and Reparation: The Trans-Atlantic Slave System and Its Afterlife 

The Trans-Atlantic Slave System fundamentally altered not only the lives and destinies of millions of Africans and the African continent but also transformed the world. Its boundaries and reach extended into every dimension, facet and interstice of the new global society. Indeed, living in a world created by and through the sufferings and struggles of enslaved Africans presupposes that the creation of a more just and sustainable political, economic, social, and ecological order necessitates not only reckoning with this history but also demanding reparatory justice.

Isaac Saney is Director of the Transition Year Program at Dalhousie University, the ground-breaking program established in 1970 to redress the educational barriers and injustices that confront the Mi’kmaq Nation, other Indigenous peoples, and the African Nova Scotian community. His teaching and scholarship encompass Africa, the Caribbean, the U.S. Civil Rights Movement Cuba, and Black Nova Scotian history. He is the author of the acclaimed book, Cuba: A Revolution In Motion (Zed, 2004) and the forthcoming, Africa's Children Return! Cuba, Africa, and Apartheid's End (Lexington Books, 2022). He is also a recipient of the Dalhousie President’s Award for the Advancement of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusiveness (EDI). His roots lie in the Black Nova Scotian community and the Caribbean.

Saturday March 26, 2022 


A Fluid Frontier editor: Karolyn Smardz Frost 

Contributors: Kimberly Simmons, Roy Finkenbine, Carol Mull, and Irene Moore Davis

Student Researchers: Karleigh Kochaniec and Willow Key

Special Guests: Carol Mull and Adrienne Shadd

A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Resistance, the Underground Railroad, and the Detroit River Region

The Essex County Black Historical Research Society, in partnership with the University of Windsor Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Department of History, will offer a free virtual symposium Saturday, March 26th, 9:30 am-12:30 pm EDT. This event will mark the end of the University of Windsor's EDID Week, which spans the period from March 21st (International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination) to March 25th (International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.)

Hear from contributors to the groundbreaking volume A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Resistance, and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderlands as they explore the historical significance of transnational freedom networks spanning the Detroit River region and why the Detroit River deserves international recognition/designation today. We will hear about what community and academic historians have learned about slavery, resistance, and the Underground Railroad in these borderlands in the five years since the publication of A Fluid Frontier, as well as more recent stories of African-descended peoples in the region.

Kayla Hurst (she/her), BA
Executive Assistant, Vice-President People, Equity, & Inclusion
kayla@uwindsor.ca | vppei@uwindsor.ca
519-990-0061 | 519-253-3000 ext. 2642
For more information on this year's events, visit the EDID Week page.