Dean's EDI Update - April 2022

As we come to the end of the academic year, I am pleased to share with you the Winter 2022 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Tracker. Prof. Lisa Cohen, Director of EDI, and her team have been hard at work this term and I am happy to report that there has been much progress.

Associate Director of EDI at Desautels

Last month, we welcomed the Faculty’s first-ever Associate Director of EDI, Karrie-Noelle Plohman. In collaboration with the BCom office, Karrie-Noelle has been working on some of the EDI-related aspects of our BCom review and redesign. She is currently focused on gathering information on how other faculties, schools of business and universities are creating special pathways for students from underrepresented groups. She is also participating in the curriculum review, with the goal of integrating EDI considerations into the core of our undergraduate curriculum.

Branches Program

Further to our goal of increasing enrolment of students from underrepresented groups, who often face greater barriers to entry to post-secondary education, Desautels has been working closely with McGill’s Branches program. The program aims to motivate and empower youth by reducing barriers and increasing access to higher education through workshops, mentorship, and internship programs. As part of these efforts this semester, two of our professors, Sabine Dhir and Matissa Hollister, ran sessions for students from local high schools as part of the Explore McGill initiative.

Proposals to address Anti-Black Racism

In February, we sent a call to the Faculty for proposals to address Anti-Black Racism (ABR). In total, five applications were received and both Lisa and Karrie-Noelle are currently working with the applicants to refine their proposals and explore possibilities for implementation. I have also asked Lisa and Karrie-Noelle to collaborate on a Faculty-wide EDI plan that will focus on preventing ABR and addressing Indigenous issues. We will present to students, faculty and staff in the Fall. This is a key priority at this time, as both groups are significantly underrepresented at both the Faculty and University level.

McGill Black Grad

Finally, with final exams wrapping up and convocation in view, I am honoured to have been invited to address this year’s graduating class at the McGill Black Grad being held this Sunday, May 1. I look forward to this opportunity to highlight the achievements of these bright, highly educated future Black professionals, and to celebrate Black excellence at McGill.

As always, if you have suggestions or questions about equity, diversity and inclusion at Desautels, please do not hesitate to contact me or reach out to Prof. Lisa Cohen or Karrie-Noelle Plohman. Remember, creating a welcoming environment is only possible with your collaboration. Thank you for your own contributions to equity and inclusion.


Yolande E. Chan, PhD
Dean and James McGill Professor

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