As a pluralist philosophy department, we have an inclusive conception of what philosophy can be, and we also aim to support an inclusive conception of what practitioners and students of philosophy can be like. We aspire to promote equity and diversity in our community, in the University community at large, and within the profession of philosophy. We want all members of McGill Philosophy – staff and students alike – to have a voice, and we strive to introduce and welcome new voices and perspectives to our community. To help facilitate this goal, we have an Equity and Climate Committee, consisting of a mix of faculty and students, that aims to foster a culture marked by equity and inclusion, and to create and maintain opportunities for education and discourse related to the value of diversity in philosophy.
The Equity and Climate Committee and the Equity Liaison Officer
The Equity and Climate Committee (ECC) is a standing committee of the department. Its mandate includes the following: identify equity issues of concern to students and faculty, promote an inclusive climate in philosophy, keep a record of equity and climate issues brought to the attention of the ECC, facilitate equity education for our members (faculty and students), recognize diversity in philosophy, and develop procedures and guidelines that support equity, diversity, and inclusion in our department. The ECC comprises both faculty and student representatives (graduate and undergraduate).
On its formation, the ECC conducted a Climate Survey with the aim of identifying issues of concern among colleagues and students and subsequently drafted and implemented a set of Equity Guidelines intended to codify norms of equity and professionalism in the department. Among other things, the ECC also organizes workshops on the work of authors from underrepresented groups and schedules presentations by scholars whose work concerns the importance of equity and diversity in philosophy.
The Equity Liaison Officer is available to students, faculty, and staff who wish to voice a concern about equity or climate within the department or related to one of the university’s policies. The officer has received McGill University training as an equity “first responder” and will be available to provide confidential support and advice regarding relevant university policies and departmental guidelines to faculty and students who wish to contact the officer. The Equity Liaison Officer will normally also act as chair of the ECC.
The department takes students’ concerns about equity and climate seriously and we aim to provide safe avenues for students to voice them. In addition to the Equity Liaison Officer, students may also contact the ECC’s student representatives to bring their concerns to the ECC. To get in touch with the current ECC student representatives, please contact the Philosophy Students Association at mcgillpsa [at] gmail.com.