Dean's EDI Update - September 2022

Dear members of the Desautels community,

As the month of September draws to a close, so does the first month of the fall semester and the end of the summer season. I am pleased to welcome you all back for yet another excellent academic year with an update on our equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts at the Faculty.

As you know, EDI is a key strategic priority at McGill Desautels. We strive to improve each person’s experiences and feeling of belonging at Desautels, gain a greater understanding of best practices in EDI, and assist others in increasing their awareness of EDI issues. Later this fall, we will release our 2022-23 EDI action plan. In the interim, I am pleased to share with you a few EDI updates.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30 is recognized across Canada as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation; in the spirit of this important day, Desautels will be hosting several events to honour those whose lives have been impacted by residential schools and to engage, in a meaningful way, with the discourse of reconciliation work in response to the Call to Action 92.

In the spirit of continuing to foster understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people about the history of colonization and treaty making in Canada, Prof. Chantal Westgate and Ojibwe Elder Roger Twance, are hosting a series of Blanket Exercises for students in Prof. Westgate’s Introduction to Organizational Behaviour class, the first of which took place on Friday, September 16. 

Desautels will be hosting David Carrière-Acco, Co-Owner and President of Indigenous-led, Acosys Consulting. Mr. Carrière-Acco is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation in Saskatchewan and will be discussing reconciliation within the corporate sector. To obtain more information and participate in the Bronfman 422, 3pm event, register HERE.

JED Consulting: “Being Black in Consulting”

As part of Desautels’ commitment to the McGill Action Plan to address ABR, the EDI team and JED Consulting partnered to host the “Being Black in Consulting” workshop on September 13, 2022. The event introduced and connected Black students to established Black consultants as well as highlighted consulting as a potentially meaningful and rewarding career path. As the largest student-led consulting firm in Canada, JED demonstrated their commitment to the principles of EDI by hosting this successful, and well-received, event which celebrated Black excellence in business.

New EDI Teaching Award

Finally, I am pleased to announce that a new EDI Teaching Award is being introduced within our faculty this year. The award recognizes contributions to the advancement of EDI at Desautels and celebrates faculty who strive to teach with, and about, the values of EDI in business. I am grateful to those who worked diligently to craft this award which is a symbol of Desautels’ pledge to honour and promote EDI within our faculty and classrooms. More information about this award will be made available shortly.

As always, if you have suggestions or questions about EDI at Desautels, please do not hesitate to contact me or reach out to EDI Director, Prof. Lisa Cohen, or EDI Associate Director, Karrie-Noelle Plohman. Creating a welcoming environment is only made possible with your collaboration.


Yolande E. Chan, PhD
Dean and James McGill Professor

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