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DLSPH Open: Equity, Diversity, and Excellence

October 6/2017

Dear colleagues,

The University of Toronto is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion and has a variety of services and people dedicated to removing barriers and supporting the University community in fulfilling their academic, research and employment goals.

As a world-leading school of public health, DLSPH has reaffirmed its commitment to equity, dignity and social justice — values that are deeply embedded in the Faculty — and gone a step further to critically examine our shared vision for diversity and equity within the School.

Last fall, the DLSPH Diversity and Equity Committee was established and led by co-chairs Rhonda Cockerill, Arjumand Siddiqi and Uttam Bajwa. With significant interest and support across the School, they spearheaded sub-committees to pursue five major tasks: creating a DLSPH diversity and equity statement; reviewing initiatives at other institutions; assessing diversity and equity at the DLSPH; identifying targets and benchmarks; and considering an implementation strategy.

This summer, the committee shared DLSPH’s first equity, diversity and excellence statement that fully embraces U of T’s statement and explains additional areas of focus. The statement acknowledges the traditional Indigenous land on which the School operates, it frames equity and human rights in a relational nature, and critically examines the links between rights, diversity, inclusiveness and health.

I strongly encourage you to read the DLSPH Statement on Equity, Diversity and Excellence because it is all of our responsibility to promote greater equity, diversity and inclusiveness in our shared environment.

I also urge you to read the latest DLSPH Blog by Rhonda Cockerill, in collaboration with committee co-chairs Arjumand Siddiqi, Uttam Bajwa and Stephanie Nixon, for a glimpse at how the committee approached the exercise and their lessons learned.

The next step is to ensure the statement’s principles are embedded in the teaching, learning, research, and service activities across the Faculty. I am fully committed to working with this committee and beyond to create a model environment that supports health and equity for learners, staff and faculty.

Creating a culture of inclusion that acknowledges the way diversity strengthens us is fundamental to creating an optimal environment for our learners, faculty, researchers, and staff. DLSPH can be a role model in this area and we will get there with your continued engagement.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend,

Adalsteinn Brown

Interim Dean
Dalla Lana Chair in Public Health Policy
Dalla Lana School of Public Health