Ottawa, July 7, 2021 – As part of its commitment to support equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), as well as promoting greater access to post-secondary education for all, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) has launched ImpAct-EDI. This new national initiative will facilitate the sharing of best practices and promote a coordinated approach to foster a culture of inclusion specific to the college and institute system.
ImpAct-EDI will be based on three main initiatives: a new National EDI Advisory Committee that will provide guidance to the association, a CICan Centre of Excellence on EDI, and the creation of a new community of practice that will spearhead national cross-sector partnerships and will lead on mobilization and calls for action to create a movement of stakeholders working together to advance EDI.
ImpAct-EDI was developed in close collaboration with four CICan member institutions (Sheridan College, Collège de Maisonneuve, NorQuest College and Vancouver Community College) well known for their expertise in the area and who have been instrumental in laying the ground work for this project.
As a next step, CICan is now issuing a call for action among all its members to join the ImpAct-EDI initiative and will also reach out to potential funders who would like to join forces with colleges and institutes to make a real difference and achieve EDI excellence across the country.
“Despite some progress, we know that post-secondary attainment rates across Canada still lag behind for many groups, including racialized and Indigenous communities. Given their unparalleled reach across the country, colleges and institutes have a critical role to play and can make a real difference in order to help bridge those gaps while promoting the values of EDI within our communities. This major new initiative will leverage the full capacity of a system that is already active in applied research, in social innovation, in training and in equipping students with the skills they need to succeed, while ensuring that nobody is left behind.”
Denise Amyot, President and CEO, Colleges and Institutes Canada
“When racialized Canadians have access to the opportunities of a post-secondary education, we all benefit. Canada’s colleges and institutes are learning that more can and must be done to support equity, diversity and inclusion. ImpACT-EDI will help us to engage with our communities, to understand our role in this work and to better support the communities we serve.”
Carolyn Campbell, President and CEO, NorQuest College
“Collège de Maisonneuve is proud to be associated with the launch of ImpAct-EDI. This national initiative is perfectly aligned with the values of our college and the actions we have undertaken over the years. In addition to activities with our staff and students, we are developing tools and resources though our research centre on immigration and intercultural and inclusive practices that can help organizations fight socio-economic inequalities and support vulnerable minorities. We are therefore incredibly pleased to have an opportunity to share that expertise with ImpAct-EDI to help reach our share goals on equity, diversity and inclusion.”
Malika Habel, Director General, Collège de Maisonneuve
“At Sheridan we are galvanized by the incredible possibilities that can be achieved by harnessing our collective experience and expertise to create inclusive educational environments. We look forward to playing a leadership role, together with partners through ImpAct-ED,I in ensuring that students in diverse communities across the country have equal opportunities to thrive and fully benefit from the transformative power of a postsecondary education.”
Dr. Jane Ngobia, Vice President, Inclusive Communities, Sheridan College
Vancouver Community College is pleased to be part of the CICan launch of ImpAct-EDI. This initiative is an extension of VCC’s values, ongoing work and our commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. Belonging is not a privilege, it is a right. At VCC, providing a safe and inclusive campus is a responsibility that all of our community members share. Although we have made progress, we must do more to create a culture where our learners, employees and the community feel a sense of belonging and can flourish.
Ajay Patel, President & CEO, Vancouver Community College (VCC)
About Colleges and Institutes Canada:
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, and an international leader in education for employment with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. CICan’s members add over $190B to Canada’s economy each year and contribute to inclusive economic growth by working with industry and community partners to offer more than 10,000 programs to learners in urban, rural, remote, and northern communities.
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