This webpage is a living document. We welcome suggestions for additional resources that could be added to meet the needs and interests of those working to deepen equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization (EDID) in the Faculty of Social Science.

Our goal is to deepen the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization throughout all of our activities in the Faculty of Social Science. This requires changes at all levels to address historical barriers and inequities that brought us to where we are today. Systemic changes require resources and will, and we are heartened by the many commitments to EDID in Western’s new Strategic Plan.

Towards Western at 150: Western University Strategic Plan:

“We accept the challenge to lead in building a more inclusive world, and we understand that the work we do together towards greater equity and diversity will make Western better and stronger” (p. 1)

Read Towards Western at 150

As we work toward systemic and structural changes, there are also actions we can take, collectively and individually, to address the results of historical inequities and exclusion. We do not believe the burden of making change should rest primarily on the shoulders of members of equity-deserving groups, although we do want to know what deepening EDID would look like to them.  

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Decolonization

The following provide a starting point for a shared vocabulary of working definitions based on the approach taken at Western.


Equity involves recognizing and actively addressing disadvantages and systemic barriers that members of some groups have faced. The goal of equity programs is equality.

In Canada, the four federally designated groups targeted for formal equity programs are: women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and members of racialized groups. Western also recognizes additional equity-deserving groups, including persons of any sexual orientation, and persons of any gender identity and/or gender expression, among others

The Ontario Human Rights Code also prohibits discrimination against people based on a series of protected grounds.

Ask yourself: What am I doing to recognize barriers that people may have faced? How am I acting to address or correct for those barriers? Am I creating new barriers?

Resources to recognize barriers and deepen Equity


Diversity refers, as a starting point, to the demographic mix of a community. Increasing the diversity of our community, in addition to responding to principles of fairness and equity, also enriches knowledge production and provides opportunities for deepening cross-cultural understanding.

Learn more about the benefits of Diversity


Inclusion is the creation of an environment where people feel welcome, respected, and able to participate fully.

Resources to deepen Inclusion

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives intersect in important ways. Pursuing Equity can increase the Diversity of our community, so it looks more like the broader population. However, one can imagine a Diverse community which is not Inclusive and therefore does not enable people’s full participation – hence the need to advance on all of these fronts.

Some of the connections among these dimensions are evident in the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education: Principles, Actions, and Accountabilities, of which Western is a signatory.


Decolonization helps to deepen all of these elements. “Decolonization is a necessary and ongoing process of unlearning, uncovering, and transforming legacies of colonialism, as well as utilizing the educational and knowledge systems available to relearn and rebuild the social, cultural, and linguistic foundations that were lost, or eroded through colonialism.

Decolonization also requires making space, balancing, generating, and enabling diverse knowledge systems to thrive in the academy as well as in and through educational and knowledge transmitting places for Indigenous Peoples, the formerly colonized or continuing colonized nations, peoples, and cultural knowledge systems” (Igniting Change, p. 7)

Read more from Igniting Change: Final Report and Recommendations from the Congress Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization of the FHSS.

In Canada, education played a significant role in colonization, and has a role in the decolonization, truth, and reconciliation process.

Read the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Review 12 Ways to Engage in Truth and Reconciliation at Western.

Explore some resources for Decolonization.

Additional Links and Resources