• Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group

    The new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group (DEI WG) was established in Summer 2020 to address anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism. The DEI WG is working to establish a strategic plan that identifies actions to cultivate a vibrant and inclusive academic and work environment at the Schulich School of Business. Doing so requires addressing systemic barriers to inclusion, changing the culture of the school, re-thinking curriculum, and increasing the representation of Black and Indigenous students, staff, instructors, and faculty. The DEI WG is mandated to address the following priority areas.

    1. Identify ways to create greater Black and Indigenous representation among our students;
    2. Identify ways to create greater Black and Indigenous representation among staff, instructors, and faculty;
    3. Integrate Black and Indigenous perspectives into our curriculum and learning;
    4. Strengthen our engagement with external stakeholders, within and outside York University, aimed at developing careers of Black and Indigenous people;
    5. Foster a culture of inclusion of Black and Indigenous staff, students, instructors, and faculty that involves safety around having conversations about race and racism, active allyship, and being your authentic self.

    Share Your Input ›
    Preliminary Issues and Recommendations ›
    Ongoing Initiatives ›
    Meet the Members ›

 

Share your Input

We are listening. If you have comments, ideas, stories, or feedback please share them here. We will integrate your feedback and anecdotes into the working recommendations. All comments will be treated confidentially and will only be read by members of the DEI WG.

 

Preliminary Issues and Recommendations

In August and September 2020 members of the DEI WG began collecting anecdotal stories from students, staff, instructors, faculty, and alumni about their experiences at the Schulich School of Business. The anecdotal evidence helped the DEI WG craft preliminary issues and recommendations. The preliminary issues and recommendations described below will change as the DEI WG continues its work, collecting more data, soliciting feedback, and continuing dialogue. In finalizing the issues and recommendations, short-medium-, and long-term objectives will be identified. The DEI WG plans to create a full report by Spring 2021. 

Identify ways to create greater Black and Indigenous representation among our students

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Issues: We heard about how Black and Indigenous students do not see themselves fitting in at Schulich or pursuing business education as a career path; a lack of infrastructure to support Black and Indigenous students (e.g., financial support); and anti-Black and anti-Indigenous bias in student admission decisions.

Recommendations: Ideas so far involve enhancing educational engagement with Black and Indigenous high school students to show that business education is a possibility; scholarships for Black and Indigenous students; and planned and continued education about race and racism for all people involved in admissions decisions. One-off anti-racism training is not enough.

Identify ways to create greater Black and Indigenous representation among staff, instructors, and faculty

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Issues: We heard about how Black and Indigenous students do not seem themselves represented in our educational and work environment; and that Black and Indigenous staff and instructors do not know where to turn for support when experiencing racism.

Recommendations: Ideas so far involve creating a DEI advisory committee that is a part of the governance structure of Schulich; communicating an aim, and formalizing a process, of hiring more Black and Indigenous instructors; and creating chaired professorships for Black and Indigenous faculty.

Integrate Black and Indigenous perspectives into our curriculum and learning

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Issues: We heard about how racist ideas are taught in courses; students are unaware of safe reporting structures when witnessing acts of racism; classroom environments are not inclusive and favour White and male students; and instructors and faculty feel uncomfortable addressing topics of race and racism.

Recommendations: Ideas so far involve changes to curriculum to incorporate race, racism, and colonialism into core courses and related electives; all new students to receive education on DEI during orientation; all instructors and faculty to partake in planned and continued education about race, racism, and colonialism; and changing instructor evaluations to incorporate DEI criteria.

Strengthening our engagement with external stakeholders, within and outside York University, aimed at developing careers and entrepreneurship of Black and Indigenous people

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Issues: We heard about how business schools are not doing enough to support the careers and entrepreneurial endeavours of Black and Indigenous people in our local communities.

Recommendations: Ideas so far involve building partnerships with local organizations dedicated to supporting entrepreneurial endeavours of Black and Indigenous people.

Foster a culture of inclusion of Black and Indigenous staff, students, instructors, and faculty that involves safety around having conversations about race and racism, allyship, and being your authentic self

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Issues: We heard about daily experiences of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism at Schulich; mental health challenges faced by Black and Indigenous staff, students, instructors, and faculty; a lack of a collective understanding about race, racism, and colonialism; and collective discomfort in talking about race and racism.

Recommendations: Ideas so far involve formulating a Schulich anti-racism policy; implementing a safe reporting structure that is under the purview of a DEI advisory committee; a dedicated staff position for supporting DEI initiatives and mental health; and naturalizing conversations about race, racism, and colonialism as a part of our every day.

 

Ongoing Initiatives

Although much work needs to be done, there are also initiatives underway. Below is a list of ongoing initiatives. 

  • Schulich School of Business co-sponsors special event, “Living in Reciprocity: Black, Brown, and Indigenous Solidarities.” Find out more information here.  
  • Black Graduate Business Network (BGBN) for graduate students. More information can be found at their website.
  • Black Student Association (BSA) for undergraduate students. They can be reached by email at: schulichbsa@gmail.com
  • Business Certificate Program with A Different Booklist Cultural Centre (ADBCC) headed by Ashwin Joshi (Associate Professor of Marketing). This partnership involves webinars about marketing, human resource management, and operations management for Canadians of African and Caribbean ancestry.
    • More information can be found at the ADBCC webpage
    • See the announcement of the program with Ashwin Joshi and Itah Sadu here
 

Meet the Members

Brent Lyons
blyons@schulich.yorku.ca

Chair

Associate Professor of Organization Studies
York Research Chair in Stigmatization and Social Identity

Marcia Annisette

Advisor

Professor of Accounting
Associate Dean, Academic

Carl James

Advisor

Professor of Education
Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community, & Diaspora
Senior Advisor on Equity and Representation at York University

Reni Odetoyinbo

Alumni Representative

BBA ‘18
Marketing Manager, BMO Private Wealth

David Griffiths

Alumni Representative

MBA ‘09
Sr. Managing Consultant, IBM Canada

Dennis Mitchell

Alumni Representative

MBA ‘03
CEO & CIO
Starlight Capital

Kikeloye Oyerinde

Alumni Representative

IMBA '20
(Former GBC President 2019-2020)
Wealth Management Generalist
RBC Global Asset Management

Ivona Hideg

Faculty Representative

Associate Professor of Organization Studies
Ann Brown Chair in Organization Studies

Ela Veresiu

Faculty Representative

Associate Professor of Marketing

Mike Valente

Faculty Representative

Associate Professor of Organization Studies and Business Sustainability
Director BBA/iBBA programs

Cynthia Loch-Drake

Instructor Representative

Course Instructor
History of Capitalism

Ushnish Sengupta

Instructor Representative

Course Instructor
Project Management and Information Systems

Michelle Hughes

Staff Representative

Recruitment & Communication Coordinator

Paula Gowdie Rose

Staff Representative

Administrative Assistant

April J. Walker

Staff Representative

Student Success Coordinator

Balaaj Durrani

Student Representative

BBA Candidate
President at Undergraduate Business Society

Benita Munzundu

Student Representative

BBA Candidate
Founding President at Schulich Black Student Association

Shirin Dinyarian

Student Representative

BBA Candidate
Vice President of Operations at Undergraduate Business Society

Sara Reza

Student Representative

BBA Candidate

Daniela Espitia Garcia

Student Representative

MMKG Candidate '21
Student Representative

Sydney Sebro

Student Representative

MBA Candidate
Social Director at Graduate Business Council

Mathuri Mayakrishnan

Student Representative
MBA Candidate
Corporate Relations Manager at Graduate Business Council

Jessica Harry

Student Representative
MMgt Candidate
Digital Social Events Manager at Graduate Business Council

Camellia Bryan

Research Assistant

PhD Candidate