DEI Task Group Meeting Highlights for September 15, 2021

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Group was established to assist the College in moving forward on its commitment to increase diversity, equity and inclusion – a key priority in the College’s 2020-2023 Strategic Plan.

  • Non-Council Co-Chair Brian Seng-Low, RSSW read a Land Acknowledgement.
  • Co-Chairs Sanjay Govindaraj, RSW and Brian Seng-Low, RSSW welcomed the Task Group members to the meeting.
  • Task Group member Sandra Southwind set the intention for the meeting.
  • The minutes from the August 17, 2021 meeting of the Task Group were reviewed.
  • Uppala Chandrasekera, MSW, RSW, attended the meeting to share her expertise in the collection of race-based and other demographic data, and to assist the Task Group in identifying next steps in relation to this issue.   It was agreed that if the College were to recommend that the College begin to collect this data, it would need to ensure that:
    • the data was relevant to the College’s work, advanced its strategic priority to increase diversity, equity and inclusion, and could be justified on that basis;
    • the purpose for which the College was collecting the data was clearly communicated to members and other stakeholders;
    • the data was only reported in aggregate;
      there was careful and ongoing reflection as to how the data would be collected and used; and
    • members could provide the data on a voluntary basis only, at renewal, with a clear consent process.
  • The Task Group directed College staff to draft a summary of its recommendation to Council, including next steps, for consideration at the next Task Group meeting.
  • Beverley Freedman, the consultant who will be conducting the stakeholder consultations that are part of the first phase of the review of the Standards of Practice, attended the meeting to give an overview of the project and discuss the potential role for the DEI Task Group in the stakeholder consultation process.
    • It was agreed that the Task Group would be engaged as one of the key stakeholders who could give input as part of this process to ensure that a DEI lens is applied to the review in alignment with the College’s strategic priority to increase diversity, equity and inclusion.
    • The Task Group noted the importance of ensuring a coordinated approach, including the consultant, the Co-Chairs of the DEI Task Group, and the Chair of the Standards of Practice Committee.
  • The Task Group discussed the use of an equity tool in relation to the review of the Standards of Practice, but also in its overall work.
  • Sandra Southwind closed the intention for the meeting with a smudging ceremony to purify the mind, spirit and physical surroundings.