Dean's EDI Update - February 2023

Dear members of the McGill Desautels community,

As we settle into 2023, we are inspired and energized to continue making headway on our strategic goals in the areas of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).

I am very pleased to mark the beginning of Black History Month (BHM) with the Desautels family. February is an opportunity to recognize the legacy and celebrate the achievements of Black Canadians. In honour of this important month, I would like to share several notable initiatives taking place within our Faculty.

Black History Month Events

This year, our theme for BHM is "Black Flourishing: Nurturing Excellence in Business."

The EDI team has partnered with the Laidley Centre for Business Ethics (LCBE) to bring you a panel of human resources (HR) professionals who will discuss the effects of the death of George Floyd on today’s HR practices. The EDI and LCBE teams will also be hosting a film screening and discussion of “Remember Africville.”

The EDI team will be welcoming Dr. Wesley Crichlow, Professor in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities and former Associate Dean of Equity at Ontario Tech University, to discuss the intersection of critical race theory and the effectiveness of EDI efforts in strategic planning.

Lastly, the EDI team will host an event featuring Dr. Renee Cummings, Assistant Professor of the Practice in Data Science at the University of Virginia, to discuss the convergence of race, culture and identity when considering the implications of AI in the tech industry.

A full event calendar of BHM events can be found on the Desautels EDI Events and McGill ABR pages.

McGill Anti-Black Racism (ABR) Internal Internship Pilot Program (IIP)

The EDI team has had the privilege of hosting two talented Black interns through McGill’s pilot project, the Anti-Black Racism (ABR) Internal Internship Pilot Program (IIP), an initiative of the University’s ABR Working Group. Degane Sougal, a member of the Faculty of Education and Marie Boncoeur from the School of Population and Global Health, have contributed significantly to the review and assessment of the Desautels EDI First Responders Program.

The IIP was designed in response to the Action Plan to Address Anti-Black Racism to increase the representation of, and career opportunities for, Black administrative and support staff. Sougal and Boncoeur have conducted research, created a survey and are in the final stages of contributing to the First Responders program redesign and development.

Pick Your Path (PYP) for Black Students (High School and CEGEP)

As noted in previous EDI updates, Desautels has partnered with Branches, the Black Community Outreach Program at Enrolment Services, to offer a management stream in the Pick Your Path (PYP) program. Representatives from the Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management (MDIIM), the LCBE and Career Management have collaborated with the EDI team to provide two workshops in February to prospective Black students as means of demonstrating our commitment to enhancing our recruitment practices.

The PhD Project

Finally, I am pleased to highlight Desautels’ participation in The PhD Project, an initiative whose mission is to diversify the corporate world and higher education by supporting racialized doctoral candidates financially, by way of access to mentorship programs and networking opportunities. As an official university partner, Desautels pledges to continue to strive towards diversifying the community within our own Faculty and to reduce the barriers to access within higher education. We welcome the opportunity to nurture and celebrate the successes of Black PhD students.

I invite you to stay informed on and involved with our ongoing EDI activities and events at Desautels.

I look forward to celebrating Black History Month with you all.


Yolande E. Chan

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