12 Nov 2021

DEI Task Group Meeting Highlights – October 28, 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.

    • Task Group member Charlene Crews, RSSW, read a Territorial Land Acknowledgement and provided reflections on her own experience, learnings and practices with respect to Reconciliation and DEI work.
    • Co-Chair Brian Seng-Low, RSSW welcomed the Task Group members to the meeting, indicating that he was chairing in the absence of Co-Chair Sanjay Govindaraj, who sent his regrets.
    • Task Group member Sandra Southwind set the intention for the meeting.
    • The minutes from the September 15, 2021, meeting of the Task Group were reviewed.
    • The consultants conducting the review of the College’s Standards of Practice, Dr. Beverley Freedman and ESC Consultants, and Christina Van Sickle, Director of Professional Practice, provided an overview of the project and discussed in more detail opportunities for the Task Group to provide its input into potential revisions as a focus group. The Task Group was also asked to share ideas regarding themes, questions, and areas of inquiry for the focus groups.
    • The Task Group reviewed and approved a draft recommendation to Council regarding the collection of race-based and other demographic data from members, on a voluntary basis, at renewal. The recommendation emphasized that the College should 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.
  • In its recommendation, the Task Group emphasized the importance of clear and proactive communication with stakeholders as to the reasons for the collection, as well as safeguards and ethical protocols in place with respect to the collection, retention and use of this data.
    • The Task Group discussed a draft action plan to increase engagement with Indigenous communities and provided input with respect to additions and revisions. It was agreed that a revised draft will be discussed further at the next meeting of the Task Group.
    • The Task Group was asked to provide input and recommendations regarding potential speakers and topics for the 2022 Annual Meeting and Education Day. It was suggested that an Indigenous member of the College be invited to open the meeting with a pipe ceremony, drumming and prayer.
    • As part of its review of its draft Work Plan, the Task Group discussed the work of the British Columbia College of Dietitians, including their statement of apology and commitment to action. It was agreed that the Task Group should leave this item on the Work Plan so that it could be considered at a later date.
    • Sandra Southwind closed the meeting with a smudging ceremony to purify the mind, spirit and physical surroundings.