Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice and Belonging

Our Mission

Our mission is to foster an anti-racist, diverse, inclusive, accessible, and equitable community where all our members are supported to reach their full potential. We acknowledge the inherent dignity and value of each person, and work toward establishing a community where all our members are free from discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, and systematic barriers. We achieve our mission through the engagement and empowerment of all members of our community. We coordinate our efforts across the institution through ongoing community engagement, education, programming, resource development, policy and process implementation. 

We acknowledge with humility that Pearson, founded on the UWC mission of bringing young people together from different lands and cultures in a place of inclusion and respect to support peace and understanding, has not always lived up to this foundational principle. Across our campus and throughout our worldwide community, we aspire collectively to uphold the principles and aspirations expressed by the Diversity, Equity, Inclusiong, Justice and Belonging (DEIJB) Working Group. 

Who We Are

The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice and Belonging (DEIJB) Working Group includes Pearson Board members, faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The group meets monthly to coordinate general diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and belonging programming, communications, and outreach efforts. You can get in touch with the DEIJB Working Group at DEIJB@pearsoncollege.ca.

DEIJB Working Group (2022-23) 

Alicja Siejka

Student

Angela Gatari

Staff/Dean of Students

Arvin Dang

Faculty

Bevan Springer

Alum/Board

Craig Davis

Head of College

Candice Hall

Staff/Indigenous Coordinator

Fin Nahome-Burgess

Student

Ifra Zaidi

Student

Iman Sadiku

Student

John Nsabimana

Alum

Julia Torreblanca

Student

Malaika Bunzigiye

Student

Melody Miu

Staff/Admissions

Michelle Moon

Faculty

Rebecca Beauchamp

Staff/Director of Indigenous Initiatives & Engagement 

Shelley Seysener

Staff/HR

Dr. Spencer Fowler

Faculty/VP of Education

Tomoka Ohmori

Student

What We Do

The group works in partnership with students, institutional leaders, faculty, staff, UWC National Committees, Pearson alumni, student families and the wider Victoria community to advance Pearson’s strategic priorities regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. The scope of this work is inclusive of the multiple learning environments at Pearson and reflects ongoing efforts to address and improve the climate, systems, and practices within our community. The Pearson DEIJB working group also collaborates with the UWC movement-wide Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ARDEI) Committee and the Council of International Schools (CIS) for resource sharing and accountability.  

The DEIJB Working Group recognizes Pearson College UWC’s limitations in accommodating full inclusion regarding physical disability and neurodiversity based on its current campus and program design. The working group will prioritize DEIJB efforts on attaining diversity on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability, and a conviction for which a pardon has been granted or a recorded suspended as aligned with the BC Human Rights Code.  

Diversity at Pearson also includes non-visible qualities such as diversity in thought, perspectives, education, social economic status and life experiences. 

DEIJB Framework

Campus Climate

Campus climate reflects the perceptions and attitudes between and among stakeholders at Pearson College UWC. Stakeholders at the College include students, faculty, staff, student families, national committees, alumni and the wider Victoria community.

On the most basic level, a healthy climate means respect for the experiences, needs, and potential of each community member and the ability for all to fully participate and feel included in the Pearson community. Indicators of success include:

  • Improvement in the campus climate demonstrated through regular assessment.
  • Development and implementation of strategies to improve the campus climate across all areas (i.e., academic, administrative, policy and program review, data collection, curriculum, resource updates, teacher recruitment, and professional development) and learning environments at Pearson.
  • Visibility of efforts across the entire Pearson community to improve and celebrate a more inclusive institution.

Existing Measures:

  • Established “Essential Agreements” to help generate effective community understanding and practice.
  • Protocols and dedicated anonymized email addresses (respect@pearsoncollege.ca) for community members to report any DEIJB-related concerns. Matters raised may be discussed by the working group and triaged for follow-up.
  • Establishment and implementation of the Indigenous Vision and Reconciliation Action Plan.
  • Dedicated training for all community members specifically addressing DEIJB agendas and concerns.

Three-Year Action Plan:

  • Create a baseline survey (an existing Wellness Survey collects limited information) to collect information on campus climate and stakeholder perceptions and experience based on the major subject headings below. The new survey will be distributed to the Pearson community on a bi-annual basis for tracking and evaluation.
  • Create tracking and evaluation metrics.
  • Improve communications to all stakeholders on past, current and future DEIJB initiatives and survey results.
  • Explore anonymous reporting mechanism.

Equity

Members of the Pearson community have the equitable right to fully participate in and contribute to our community free from discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence, regardless of their background or identity. To support this commitment, actions are taken to reduce and resolve such incidents. Indicators of success include:

  • Reduction of discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence at Pearson.
  • Increased understanding and use of processes and services to address allegations.
  • Demonstration that the institution is taking clear steps to eliminate, reduce, and resolve behaviors and actions that interfere with equitable participation.

Existing Measures:

  • Developed clear reporting procedure and repercussions for behaviors and actions that are not aligned with our strategies.
  • Established College Assembly (including DEIJB student representatives) for transparency, feedback and co-decision making.

Three-Year Action Plan:

  • Create baseline data for tracking and evaluation.
  • Ensure community and stakeholders are aware of reporting procedure and repercussions.
  • New student induction program on DEIJB policy and efforts.
  • Core program on harassment/discrimination policy/conflict resolution.

Inclusive Excellence in the Curriculum and Pedagogy

Diversity and inclusion must be integrated into the academic experience. Indicators of success include:

  • Infusion of diversity into the curriculum and pedagogy across all disciplines.
  • Effectiveness of faculty in working with diverse and underrepresented populations and resolving issues that may come up.
  • Incorporation of diversity into the review process for academic programs, courses, and student work.

Existing Measures:

  • Incorporation of translation pauses.
  • ESL support (pre-arrival language diagnostic, language buddy, early arrival language programs).
  • Peer tutoring.
  • Self-taught language support.
  • Offering IBDP and CALD curriculum programs to acknowledge differences in learning needs and styles.
  • Initial meetings with faculty and staff around “language issues.” This involved establishing a group working on a set of practices and understandings to help faculty and staff navigate the use of language in the most inclusive way. Part of this encompassed discussing how to create “classrooms of consent” by working with students to plan and pre-empt any adverse reactions to the introduction of texts, documents and historical records that might require confronting prejudicial language in the context of novels, films, biographies or media accounts.
  • Director of Indigenous Initiatives and Engagement-led audit of curriculum and opportunities for indigenization of course content.

Three-Year Action Plan:

  • Student co-construction of learning curriculum through IBDP/CALD/Global Affairs/Special Topics Days and other teaching/learning opportunities.
  • Work with broader UWC movement and UWC International Office (UWCIO) on the establishment of a UWC Global Diploma to allow for more flexibility in program design (e.g. four-course IB), review and development of curriculum to emphasize the need to eliminate systematic barriers.

Inclusive Spaces and Accessible Campus

The campus environment is complex and includes physical, technological, cognitive, and aesthetic dimensions. While there are spaces for gathering and experiencing a sense of community and connection, all members of the Pearson community should be able to access the spaces and resources on campus and find a sense of place and belonging. Indicators of success include:

  • Availability of accessible spaces and technologies on campus (e.g. athletic facilities, classroom modernization, media assistance program).
  • Inclusiveness in the aesthetics and physical spaces on campus (e.g., gender-inclusive restrooms, lactation rooms, cultural spaces, artwork, signage).
  • Elimination of related barriers to full participation and engagement within campus spaces.

Existing Measures:

  • Gender-inclusive bedrooms in all student residence houses.
  • Gender-inclusive bathrooms in four of five student residence houses.
  • Availability of the Spiritual Center.
  • Establishment of the College Assembly.
  • Trigger warnings in discussion spaces.
  • Screening committee (Host Family Coordinator, Dean of Students and Director of HR) and home visits to all host families for safeguarding.

Three-Year Action Plan:

  • Gender-inclusive bathrooms in all student residence houses and other spaces on campus.
  • Communication of the availability of such inclusive spaces on campus.
  • Establish facility booking/usage policy.
  • Ensure College trigger warning protocols and expectations are shared with visiting and external speakers.
  • Improve inclusivity of campus athletic facilities.
  • Survey to better understand existing barriers to full participation and engagement within campus spaces.

Recruitment, Hiring, Promotion and Retention

To provide the richest learning and engagement environment for students, Pearson’s faculty, staff and Board volunteers should reflect the diversity and backgrounds of our diverse student body and our aspirations for being a more diverse and inclusive campus. Indicators of success include:

  • An increase in the number of diverse and underrepresented faculty, staff, and Board volunteers who are recruited, hired, retained, and promoted into leadership positions across Pearson.
  • Provide the knowledge, tools and resources necessary to supporting hiring decisions that are equitable, transparent, merit-based and mitigate the impacts of unconscious bias.

Existing Measures:

  • Clear, measurable objective of having the faculty, board, and staff reflect the student body
  • Deliberate diversity-focused recruitment in faculty, staff and Board members
  • Student involvement in new staff hiring
  • Diversifying locations of job postings and intentional outreach to encourage diverse candidates to apply

Three-Year Action Plan:

  • Communicate current diversity of faculty & staff body.
  • Establish baseline and system for tracking and evaluation.
  • Aim to have at least one diverse candidate in short-listed employment candidate pools.
  • Discuss the possibility and protocol for employees observing religious holidays or periods of cultural significance.
  • Professional development plans and a performance evaluation program.
  • Adult training program prior to every school year.

Student Access, Engagement and Success

Pearson strives to welcome and develop the gifts and talents of students from many different backgrounds, identities, and experiences. Collectively, we are committed to the presence, and positive experiences, of students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds on campus. We ae committed to ensure students receive the resources and support to fully engage and succeed in academic and cocurricular life at Pearson. Indicators of success include:

  • Increased enrollment, retention and graduation rates of students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Greater usage and improved effectiveness of resources and services that support student engagement and success.
  • Increased student participation in academic and cocurricular opportunities.

Existing Measures:

  • Deliberate diversity in student recruitment.
  • Scholarship budget to ensure at least 50% of the student body receives full scholarship.
  • Financial aid budget to cover additional costs for 40 students per year.
  • Specific scholarship offers for Indigenous students.
  • University/career guidance for a variety of student pathways.
  • Counselling/wellness support.
  • Care/support groups.
  • CORE course for students and attending faculty based around conflict resolution, DEIJB, prejudice, peer support, mental health, relationships, Essential Agreements and UWC Values.
  • New positions established including Strategic Wellness Coordinator and Indigenous Wellness Coordinator.
  • Offering IBDP and CALD programs for students to choose according to their interests and learning styles.

Three-Year Action Planning:

  • Communicate current diversity of study body (e.g. gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, socio-economic background).
  • Allow greater student input in co-construction of narratives for student diversity.
  • Discuss the possibility for students to observe religious holidays or periods of cultural significance.
  • Ensure new opportunities (academic, extracurricular, leadership roles, etc.) are open and made known to all students to help ensure equality of opportunities.
  • Design and distribute surveys to allow student feedback on mental health, financial support and other areas of concern.

Training, Dialogue and Practice

Diversity, equity, and inclusion awareness, knowledge, skills and practices are cultivated and demonstrated across the Pearson community through a range of learning opportunities for students, employees and host family and other volunteers. While some tension and discomfort are to be expected as campus culture shifts, through ongoing training and development, mutual learning and intentional dialogue focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion we can move forward together as a community. Indicators of success include:

  • Acquisition of foundational diversity, equity, and inclusion awareness, knowledge, and skills across the Pearson community (e.g. student, faculty, staff, contracted Aramark staff, drivers, volunteers, host families).
  • Application and practice of the acquired knowledge and skills.
  • Acquisition of more advanced and specialized knowledge, skills, and practices by campus leaders (students and employees) and others interested in increasing their competency.

Existing Measures:

  • Completed training sessions and workshops consistently recorded and tracked.
  • College Assembly meets regularly and records minutes and action plans that are accessible and shared with the Pearson community.

Three-Year Action Plan:

  • Establish tracking and evaluation system for effectiveness of training.
  • Expand DEIJB training to contracted Aramark staff, volunteers and host families.

© Pearson College UWC 2018

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