The Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism opens its doors

TRU continues its work towards growing a more inclusive and diverse learning institution

This Summer, TRU has taken a significant step in fostering its core values of inclusion and diversity by introducing a new office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism (EDI and AR).

The office, located on the fourth floor of the Clock Tower Building, is now home to Tristan Muhr, EDI research assistant, Connie Georget, EDI assistant, and Pauline Streete, executive director of the Office of EDI and Anti-Racism.

After identifying the need for an EDI office, Streete took on the director role in July 2023. Streete and her team are working on creating strategies for TRU that build on the university’s strength around EDI and AR.

“There have been various aspects of EDI that have been done through Thompson Rivers,” Streete, who previously worked at the University of Regina, told the Omega. “There was a conference in May of 2023 that would have been brought about through two individuals that started as part of the capacity building grant as well as some of the EDI fellows.”

The focus for the office this year is to compile data and develop an action plan and strategy to address the most pressing needs first. To Streete, it is important for students to be at the front of this work.

“So, one of the things is seeing how they [the students] fit within the equation of these strategies,” Streete said. “If students have concerns or wish to discuss any EDI matter, or even just EDI in general, they’re welcome to give me a phone call, send me an email, or reach out to me.”

In the months the office has been running, Streete has focused on establishing relationships with other TRU groups, deans, directors, vice presidents, TRUFA, and TRUSU.

“It’s looking at who is who at Thompson Rivers University. I know that TRUSU does a fabulous job of gathering student data. And we need data on the workforce, so faculty and staff. We need that data,” Streete said.

Streete has had the opportunity to speak with senior leaders in her field from universities across Canada to look for the best practices to implement at TRU.

The office is already working with TRUSU on an initiative for students, which is tentatively planned for May 2024.

“It’ll be an opportunity for faculty, staff, students, as well as community, so outside of Thompson Rivers University, to engage on a matter specific to equity, diversity, inclusion,” Streete said.

For any students wanting to become involved in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion-related initiatives, Streete asks them to connect first with TRUSU. After this, a collaboration may be established with the office.

For more information about the role of the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism, including how to get in contact with someone from the office, click here.