Cape Breton University (CBU) is one of fifteen universities in Canada to be awarded an inaugural Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Institutional Capacity-Building Grant. A two-year program, CBU was awarded $191,800 for year one and $191,300 for year two. Announced last week, the program aims to foster EDI in the Canadian post-secondary research enterprise through a focus on the identification and elimination of systemic barriers that impede the career advancement, recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups.
“We want to create a truly inclusive place to work, study and research,” says David C. Dingwall, President and Vice-Chancellor, Cape Breton University. “Our strategic plan demands accountability to the globalized community that we host and the L’nu community that hosts Cape Breton University. Our commitment to EDI is one way that we’re delivering on those promises.”
CBU is committed to establishing a strong foundation for the development of policies and a culture that supports and fosters equity, diversity and inclusion in CBU’s research community. The project is guided by the understanding that identity is complex and true institutional change requires evidence-based policy and a commitment to developing relationships of trust with equity-seeking groups.
“This is such an important step forward for Canada. We know when equity, diversity and inclusion are priorities in research communities the result is research that is highly innovative, better reflective of the needs of people and communities and most likely to have the greatest impact. I am excited that CBU is a part of this transformative program and that we are committing to EDI in a meaningful way,” says Dr. Tanya Brann-Barrett, Associate Vice-President, Academic & Research.
For CBU, although in the early stages, focus will be on EDI education, in particular, L’nu knowledge and history; the development of an EDI action plan; and the building of capacity for community leadership in EDI.