Mohawk College announced Friday (Mar. 12) it is undertaking a new initiative to “identify and overcome systemic barriers to career advancement, recruitment, and retention of underrepresented and disadvantaged groups.”
Mohawk is one of 12 post-secondary institutions across Canada to receive a two-year grant to help identify and overcome systemic barriers in their institutions.
The Hamilton college will receive $400,000 over the course of a two-year project.
“Mohawk College is committed to creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive environment for all students and employees,” said Ron McKerlie, President and CEO of Mohawk College.
“We have made significant progress in our efforts over the past several years but we know more can be done to ensure there is equitable access and equitable opportunity for everyone in our community. Today’s funding announcement allows us to do some important work toward achieving that goal.”
According to an official media release from Mohawk College, the goals of the project include:
- collecting and analyzing college demographic data, to examine issues of equity;
- supporting five task forces involved in barrier identification and elimination action planning and implementation;
- involving more underrepresented people meaningfully in research by eliminating gaps and barriers and enhancing proven pathways, including a revised curriculum for our training in applied research methodologies targeting inclusiveness for underrepresented groups; and
- increasing and elevating equity-focussed processes in all aspects of college operation and decision-making.
Mohawk says the funding will allow the college to hire an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) specialist to support the Director and Special Advisor for Equity and Diversity.
The money is also earmarked to support the work of five task forces, comprised of “underrepresented people with consideration for intersectionality to identify systemic barriers” and to support employee-wide demographic research of the college to establish a long-term scalable data collection process for the labour force.
Funding for this project is part of a larger announcement made today by François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, identifying 12 Canadian institutions that will share close to $4.8-million in funding as part of the 2020 competition of the EDI Institutional Capacity-Building grant.