Statement on Equity and Diversity
University of Toronto Department of History
For the graduate (tri-campus) and undergraduate Department of History, FAS, St. George
For the purposes of this statement, the term “Department of History” and/or “Department” shall refer to both the tri-campus graduate department and the undergraduate history department located on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto. The purpose of this statement is to express the Department’s core values in relationship to equity, diversity, integrity, and respect. These core values will contribute to creating a Departmental climate in which all members can participate fully in the life of the Department. This statement also reflects the University’s Mission and Purpose. The Department of History is committed to the following values in its research, teaching, workplace conduct, and collegial interactions.
At the Department of History at the University of Toronto, we strive to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community that protects the human rights of all persons. In our efforts to be an equitable community, we will work to eliminate, reduce, and mitigate barriers to full participation in Departmental life and the discipline of history. Our support for equity is grounded in a Departmental-wide commitment to achieving a working, teaching, and learning environment that is free of discrimination and harassment as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code.
The Department of History is committed to diversity in the historical profession. Diversity includes axes of race, Indigeneity, gender, sexuality, disability, economic status, national origin, and geography. Diversification is a necessary component of excellence in historical inquiry, and the profession is diminished without it. The Department’s commitment to diversity thus extends to hiring, graduate student admissions, curriculum development, and teaching. We recognize the need for our department to recruit, hire, and support members from groups that have been historically discriminated against.
The value of respect guides how we teach, learn, conduct research, collaborate, and administrate with one another. Respectful communication and treatment are necessary to facilitate the full contributions of every Departmental member. We are committed to respectful interactions at all levels of our community, including staff, sessional instructors, contract faculty, research assistants, students, and faculty regardless of campus affiliation. We strive to ensure that all of these members of our department feel welcome, included, and valued. Differing viewpoints exist: as the AHA’s Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct emphasizes, multiple, conflicting perspectives are among the truths of history. Department members, however, have a responsibility to behave with respect and sensitivity in all our interactions, including in the resolution of conflicts.
Equity and diversity cannot exist without integrity in our processes and conduct. We reinforce integrity through open and transparent communications in departmental activities, as well as clarity of procedures and policies. Department members strive to behave honestly, ethically, and responsibly. In all of our activities, as individuals and as an organization, we believe in maintaining the highest standards of professional conduct. The Department nurtures integrity by supporting all members of our community to contribute to the mission of the Department.
First Nations House STATEMENT ON ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF TRADITIONAL LAND
We would like to acknowledge this sacred land on which the University of Toronto operates. It has been a site of human activity for 15,000 years. This land is the territory of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. The territory was the subject of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and Confederacy of the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. Today, the meeting place of Toronto is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work in the community, on this territory.
Revised by the Elders Circle (Council of Aboriginal Initiatives) on November 6, 2014.
Documents we consulted in drafting:
Drafted: 17 April 2019, Revised: May 13, 2019 and July 27, 2019
Equity and Diversity Sub-Committee: Elspeth Brown, Michelle Murphy, Amy Ratelle