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Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion

Welcome to the BCIT Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion (RDI) website. Here you will find:
Purpose

The RDI department helps BCIT foster a respectful and inclusive working and learning environment by creating awareness and belonging through education, events, and training.  The RDI team provides assistance and support to individuals with concerns of bullying, harassment, and discrimination and strives to help people resolve conflicts informally. We also assist individuals who have formal complaints and coordinate workplace investigations.

As a stand alone department the RDI office reports directly to the President’s office.

BCIT Standing in Solidarity Against Racism and Injustice

We have witnessed and heard about the many incidents of race-based violence within Canada and around the world. The civil unrest in the United States, and our own backyard, has highlighted the systemic racism that persists against Indigenous, Black, and other People of Colour (IBPoC). They are continually subjected to harassment, discrimination, and violence, rooted in white supremacy and racism.

The Anti-racism Framework was a collaboration of various people from across the BCIT community who committed to moving BCIT forward. This Framework aims to address racism against Indigenous people, Black and African Diaspora communities and all other racialized groups as well as intolerance based on the intersecting identities of ethnicity, country of origin, religion gender, sexual orientation, ability, and neurodiversity.

We strongly encourage our BCIT community to get involved and support this important work. BCIT offers many avenues to further increase your knowledge of anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion, such as online learning modules, a staff newsletter, and Diversity Circles events to name just a few. The priority actions are: Education and Raising Awareness; Data Collection, Analysis, and Utilization; Human Resources and Policy; and Inclusive Learning Environment.

BCIT takes the physical and psychological safety of our community very seriously, and has a zero-tolerance policy towards racism and injustice. We are committed to providing a learning and working environment that is inclusive and respectful to all, and as such, condemns any and all forms of discrimination and harassment.

As embedded in our BCIT values, we champion diversity of experiences, ideas, cultures, and perspectives, fostering a community permeated with equality and inclusivity. To that end, BCIT is committed to:

  • Ensuring all employees receive training on diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism.
  • Actively working to ensure employees come from diverse groups and represent the communities within which we live and work by creating equitable hiring practices to remove systemic barriers and unconscious bias.
  • Acknowledging that BCIT is located on the unceded territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nations.
  • Honouring all Indigenous peoples including the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit. And recognize that the relationship with Indigenous peoples in Canada has been troubled and must be reconciled.
  • Providing platforms and training to staff and students to address issues of racism, diversity, unconscious bias, and allyship.
  • Supporting Indigenous Initiatives, the Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion Department, and other community groups and ensuring these critical services continue to respond to racist behaviour.
  • Continuing to provide a complaint mechanism for anyone who is subjected to such behaviour within the BCIT learning or working environment through various channels, including the RDI department.

Everyone has a responsibility to oppose and challenge racism. We all have unconscious biases that affect the way we view and respond to our surroundings. From the most mild bias to the most extreme, we can objectively look at the impact we have on our world and try to make it better through self-awareness and action. We cannot fight racism with an attitude of complacency.

Educate yourself.

Self education is an ongoing process and we must work to recognize our own privilege, biases, and systemic discrimination. Understanding the role we all play is the first step in preventing and addressing racism. These books are a great starting point:

  • Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What we See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
  • Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji & Anthony G. Greenwald

Move from silent bystander to an active ally.

  • Remember, silence empowers the oppressor. Learn what you can do when you witness racism or other forms of bigotry.
  • Read – Subtle Act of Exclusion: How to understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions by Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran

If you have Privilege, acknowledge it.

  • Read – White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo
  • Take the  #DifferentTogether Pledge

Other Resources for education and understanding:

Do you need help?

Mental health and wellness supports are available for students through Counselling & Student Development and for staff and faculty through Homewood Health.

If you have experienced discrimination or harassment while studying or working at BCIT please contact the Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion office.

RDI Services and InitiativesBCIT staff and students walking in the Vancouver Pride parade holding up the letters B C I T
  • Diversity & Inclusion Awareness
  • Respectful Workplace Training
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Creating a culture of consent – Consent Tea Video
  • Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion (CCDI) membership
  • Pride at Work membership
  • Pride
  • Pink Shirt Day

 

The RDI Department also supports Diversity Circles.

Recognizing that more resources were needed to support and engage diverse groups in post-secondary education, the Diversity Circles project was founded in 2015. Diversity Circles supports staff, students, alumni, and the public with a series of panels, workshops, conversations, tools, and connections to support an effective model to engage with increasing diversity positively, sensitively, and strategically, by leveraging the power of community-based expertise, to drive responses to diversity and empower all participants in the diversity conversation. ASL interpreters are provided at every Diversity Circle event. Their latest contribution to the community is the “Moving Forward: Let’s Talk Anti-Racism” video. The Diversity Circles team has delivered over 100 workshops, launched mentoring and networking programs, and shared their findings across Canada.

Contact Us

Shereen Tayles, Associate Director 604-451-6721

Tanya Buschau, Advisor 604-432-8538

Wendy McLeod, Coordinator 604-432-8409

Office Telephone: 604-432-8409
Confidential Email: respect@bcit.ca
Office Location: SW01 1550 Burnaby campus

Please Note: Our voicemails and emails are only monitored by the RDI team. Your privacy and confidentiality is important to us.

We acknowledge that BCIT campuses are located on unceded Indigenous land belonging to the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.

a colourful logo that has CCDI in the middle it is for the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion

BCIT is a member of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI)