Do McGill’s BSW and MSW programs adequately address LGBTQ2SIA+ Issues?

U1 student Miles Cooke invites you to participate in an anonymous survey regarding curricula content focused on LGBTQ2SIA+ issues across the McGill School of Social Work programs. Please click on the link below to participate in this survey.

Survey link:

The McGill School of Social Work stands in solidarity with the Wetʼsuwetʼen Mi'kmaw fishery

The protests over the Mi'kmaw fishery have escalated to indefensible racist acts of intimidation and violence by non-Indigenous community members against the Mi’kmaw fishers. The McGill School of Social Work denounces the racism, vandalism, and violence being used against the Mi’kmaw fishers of the Sipekne'katik First Nation and stands in support of their right to fish without intimidation. The rights of the Mi’kmaq to fish is established in the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1752 and upheld in the Marshall Decision of 1999. Indigenous rights must be acknowledged, honored, respected, and protected. The federal government must act immediately to protect the rights and lives of the people Sipekne'katik First Nation.

Click here to read the School's full response

The School of Social Work Responds to the Tragic Death of Joyce Echaquan

The tragic news of Joyce Echaquan’s death and the events leading up to this event have profoundly touched the hearts of those within the School of Social Work.

Click here to read the School's response.

McGill Releases Action Plan to Address Anti-Black Racism

On September 30th Principal Suzanne Fortier announced the release of McGill's Action Plan to Address Anti-Black Racism. To read Principal Fortier's statement click here.

Decolonization, indigenization, equity, diversity, and inclusion Strategic Plan for the School of Social Work 2020-22

We invite all members of the School of Social Work community to participate in brainstorming to develop a Strategic Plan for fostering decolonization, indigenization, equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout the school's policies and practices.

Participate by completing this survey

Reconceptualizing the McGill School of Social Work Equity Advisory Committee

School of Social Work faculty and staff, with informal consultation with students, have been meeting since April 2020 to develop a new concept for pursuing decolonization, indigenization, equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout the School in accordance with the School Council By-Laws (here).

The McGill School of Social Work recognizes that social justice is a core value within its profession and is committed to ensuring the full, meaningful and equitable engagement of all of its members. Recognizing that equity, diversity and inclusion requires shared commitment and leadership, the School holds equity, diversity and inclusion as guiding principles in the development of policy and practice within its governance structure.

The revised approach is intended to reflect the spirit of collective responsibility and collective action needed to enhance, develop, and promote equity, diversity, and inclusion principles throughout the School of Social Work, and beyond (e.g., within the university and our practice communities).

A new structure has been envisioned that is not hierarchical nor does it silo the work of decolonization and indigenization to a select few members of the School community. The new approach seeks to engage five constituencies of the School of Social Work - students, staff, faculty, community partners, and McGill University – across five domains – Student Engagement, Pedagogy, Research, Community, and Governance.

In order to operationalize the intent voiced in the School Council By-Laws, efforts are underway to develop a two year Strategic Plan comprised of objectives linked to actions and indicators of progress, link to each one of the five domains. A consultation process is underway to develop a proposed plan to be voted on at the School Council Meeting on October 28, 2020. Input is being solicited via an internet survey and a series of virtual town halls to discuss proposed objectives and an official name for this initiative. A web-page, accessible on the School’s website, is under construction and will contain background information and more on objectives already in place and underway.

The initiative will be holding monthly open meetings throughout the academic year, date TBA.

Please let us know your questions/concerns or interest in getting involved by emailing us at: edissw [at]

Decolonization, indigenization, equity, diversity, and inclusion Strategic Plan for the School of Social Work 2020-22

We invite all members of the School of Social Work community to participate in brainstorming to develop a Strategic Plan for fostering decolonization, indigenization, equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout the school's policies and practices.

Participate by completing this survey

Or join us in a drop-in brainstorm session on Thursday August 20th from 12:00 - 1:30 pm

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 951 0458 8554
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Oka Crisis Land Dispute - City News Interview Featuring Professor Wanda Gabriel

Professor Wanda Gabriel and other community members speak out about the unresolved land dispute at the centre of the Oka Crisis thirty years on.

Click here to watch the full interview.

National Indigenous People's Day 2020

On June 21st was National Indigenous Peoples Day.   We take this moment to acknowledge the ongoing harm and violence of colonization against First Nations, Indigenous, and Métis communities. We take this moment to honor First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples across Canada with special focus on our students and colleagues in the School of Social Work and at McGill.

To learn more, click here.

Response from the Virtual Collective Reflections on Anti-Black Racism

Following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis two weeks ago, there has been a global outcry against anti-Black racism, police brutality, and structural violence. Activism has been global from social media to fundraising to protests occurring across the world. The call to action is strong. The call for reflection, individually and collectively, is also strong. In social work, we use an ecological framework to understand and respond to social issues. To enact sustainable systemic change, action and reflection are needed daily and on an ongoing basis.

At the micro-level, engaging in examination and reflection of our individual complicity in perpetuating racism is fundamental to becoming an ally and to gain skills in order to have difficult conversations of race, racism, and structural violence. Here are some resources:

Robin Diangelo’s book White Fragility

Layala F. Saad’s 28-day structured journey to understanding one’s own white privilege and complicity in white supremacy to be a better ally to BIPOC:

Ibram X. Kendi’s book How to be an Anti-Racist

Additional Reading:

This is a Montreal-focused list of mezzo and macro action started by Ainsley Jenicek:

During the past week, the School of Social Work Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory hosted three virtual reflection sessions with students, staff, and faculty in the School of Social Work. There was much of sharing about what is transpiring beyond the walls of the school and how it loops back to our school community and our profession.

We learned that connection and community building is possible remotely…

Participants agreed that more spaces such as these are needed on an ongoing and regular basis as a place to engage in complex and challenging discussions of racism, decolonization, and anti-oppressive practice. These discussions should promote anti-racist and anti-structural violence discourse focusing on Black anti-racism as well as other oppressed groups.

In order to engage in anti-racist/anti-oppressive practice, we need space to engage in discussions in which we can collectively challenge the colonial structure of McGill, of social work, and the ways in which colonial racist practices are reproduced and harm students, staff, and faculty at the school.

We need collective spaces where we can engage in conversation about reimagining social structures, such as the calls for defunding police and prison systems, and critically examine how social work engages in activism for change.

Within the sessions, there was strong support for more training, workshops, and other opportunities to gain skills and knowledge to mobilize collectively in order to dislodge and dismantle colonial practices/systems and act against racist practices within our school – from curriculum to field placements - within the university, and in our communities.

At the same time, participants acknowledged that we need more opportunities for self-reflection and growth and knowledge acquisition for allies, specifically white allies, without burdening our colleagues and students who are members of oppressed groups.

Statement of Police Brutality and Structural Racial Violence

The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on racialized and Indigenous communities and other marginalized groups, including older adults, has once again exposed the burden black and brown people bear for the systemic inequities and violence of colonialism’s legacy. The intersection of structural racism and socioeconomic inequality has been a particularly painful aspect of the broader pandemic experience for many in our school community and beyond. The events unfolding around the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among others, have only served to deepen that pain. The anger, frustration, fear, disillusion, and grief that fuel the protests of those deaths is not new and they do not hit all in our community equally. While we stand in solidarity and empathy with our neighbours across U.S. cities protesting violence, we also recognize that these issues do not stop at our border.

The recent deaths of Régis Korchinski-Paquet and D’Andre Campbell, the missing and murdered Indigenous women, among many others, remind us that racialized violence and police brutality are not issues that are somehow foreign to Montréal, Québec, or Canada. We want to acknowledge the pain and fear being experienced by Black members of our community. We want to acknowledge that Black Lives Matter. We want to ensure that systemic and structural violence is not ignored or dismissed or explained away. These acknowledgments must be a beginning and not and end, a meeting place to engage our collective community responsibility to act for socially just change.

Just as these issues do not stop at our border, they do not stop at instances of police violence alone. We invite students, staff, and faculty to come together to reflect communally and collaboratively on these unfolding manifestations of oppression in our world, share resources, and to examine social work’s own relationship with and complicity in reproducing structural oppression and violence with a commitment to also reflect on the harm that happens within our school community.

School of Social Work Equity Committee Virtual Collective Reflection on Police Brutality and Racialized Structural Violence spaces this week for members of the School of Social Work:

Wednesday June 3rd 8:00 pm – Supportive space exclusively for Black students, staff, and faculty led by Alicia Boatswain-Kyte

Zoom link:

Wednesday June 3rd 8:00 pm – Space for students, staff, and faculty to reflect, process, and discuss active allyship led by Heather MacIntosh and Michael MacKenzie

Zoom link:

Friday June 5th 12:00 pm – Space for the broader school community to reflect on social work’s complicity in structural violence and oppression led by Kate Maurer and Wanda Gabriel

Zoom link:

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