Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Two women working in a lab in the physiology department


Our Committment:

The Department of Physiology strives to be a diverse, equitable, and actively anti-racist department. It is our goal to welcome all of our students into an inclusive culture where everyone feels safe and supported to thrive. 

We acknowledge that significant, ongoing work is required to combat the systemic barriers and discrimination faced by Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour, LGTBQ+ people, disabled people, and women in the sciences.

Effectively recruiting both faculty and students from marginalized groups and creating an inclusive departmental culture are current strategic priorities.

As part of this initiative, I am pleased to announce the formation of a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee that will oversee future initiatives around anti-Black racism and other EDI-pertinent issues. I look forward to working with a broad cross-section of the department’s faculty, post-docs, students, and staff to identify and carry out meaningful initiatives that lead to real change. 

Our Action Plan:

We have formed a departmental Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee comprised of learners, faculty, postdocs, and staff. We will update this page with the committee's initiatives as they unfold. Email us to get involved! 

As detailed in our Chair's statement on racism, we aim to work on the following areas in the coming year:

1. Address systemic under-representation of Black and Indigenous faculty and learners in academia:

  • We will identify and support “Pathways” for under-represented high-school age students in the community who are interested in a career in Physiology.
  • We will establish a mentorship/sponsorship program for Black and Indigenous learners to assist in their career development and success.
  • We will continue to research best practices on recruiting Black and Indigenous faculty and apply these to our searches.
  • We will review our promotion and leadership appointment processes through an anti-racist and anti-oppression lens and make changes as needed.

2. Provide Anti-Racism Education to our Members:

  • We commit to educating our entire department about anti-racist practice and the value of diversity within the scientific community through platforms like our Annual Departmental Retreat and other Departmental Meetings.

3. Enhance wellbeing of under-represented faculty and learners:  

  • We will provide a safe and confidential reporting system for our members to bring forward their experiences with racism in the department, and, as needed, to provide culturally appropriate support mechanisms for affected individuals. 

Resources:

Click the links below for information on equity initiatives and resources at U of T, as well as places to learn more, network, and connect beyond the University. Have a resource you’d like to see here? Get in touch! 

Beyond the University:

Black in Neuro: Celebrating Black excellence in neuro-related fields

#shutdownstem: an anti-racist movement started in June, 2020

Indigesteam: Indigenous perspectives in STEM & STEAM

Pride in STEM: aims to showcase and support all LGBT+ people in STEM fields.

Trans in STEM: Twitter account for transgender people in STEM to connect, find representation, discuss science, and find mentors

Disabled in STEM:  Twitter account providing space for people with disabilities in STEM to connect.

Project Implicit: Non-profit organization of researchers aiming to educate the public about hidden biases