Algonquin becomes first Ontario college with Equity, Diversity and Inclusion policy
December 12th, 2019
Algonquin College is the first college in Ontario to have an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion policy
The new policy was announced Thursday by President Claude Brulé. It expresses Algonquin College’s beliefs, values and commitment regarding inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
“In Canada, our country aspires to equality and the protection of fundamental rights, building it into our own Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” Brulé said. “That belief in equality is also what we aspire to every day at Algonquin College. Not just because it is the law, but because it is the right thing to do.”
Brulé said the policy is the foundation upon which the College will build a “house for diversity,” and the plan to build this “house” is the new 2019-2022 Inclusion and Diversity Blueprint, a three-year action plan. “In real terms, these documents demonstrate how we will achieve the commitment I made to the Algonquin College community when I took the role of President: that we would be a place where everyone belongs.”
The policy announcement came on the heels of another landmark event, as Algonquin became the first post-secondary institution in the country to participate in the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s #CelebrateCitizenship Challenge, a program that is challenging business leaders and employers across Canada to provide employees with paid time off to attend their citizenship ceremonies.
Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and former Ontario Attorney General, Yasir Naqvi, applauded Algonquin for its participation in the #CelebrateCitizenship Challenge, as well as the College’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. “You should be commended for championing inclusivity where diverse staff at the College are equally valued,” Naqvi said.
The policy was created by the College’s Inclusion and Diversity Circle, which includes employees from across the school. “Citizenship and all it entails is another huge component of being fully included in society,” said Sarah Gauen, Algonquin’s Inclusion and Diversity Specialist. “It means you can vote, have your voice heard, and choose who will represent your ideas and your values in government.”