Creating Inclusive Communities for German Studies (in) Canada

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How do we create a more inclusive community in our academic institutions and with the communities we serve?

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How do we create a more inclusive community in our academic institutions and with the communities we serve? Diversity and equity have become buzzwords in business, NGO and government sectors but in reality, organizations, including post-secondary institutions, have fallen short of reflecting and representing the broader population within which they work. Research shows that a 'sense of belonging' is key to a sense of job satisfaction and to academic success of students. Feeling like you belong, knowing that you will be included, seeing your work community as "your" community - matters. How do we achieve this sense of community and belonging? What may we be doing that hinders it?

This session will examine some of the ways in which we consciously and unconsciously include/exclude others. It will also examine the ways in which German Studies Canada as an association and German Studies in Canada can engage meaningfully to integrate learning and connection to Black and Indigenous communities in Canada and abroad. Through this interactive session, participants will better understand some of the biases they may be holding that affects their decisions, their team choices and dynamic and who they select. This will be an introspective and challenging session. You will not leave with a sheet of answers and 'how tos'.

Bio of the Presenter:

Dr. Tanya (Toni) De Mello

With a background comprising finance, management consulting, and law, Tanya (who we call "Toni") De Mello has spent much of her career focusing on, and researching, equity, diversity and inclusion, with a recent focus on unconscious bias. She is a human rights lawyer and a certified coach and mediator. She teaches at Ryerson University and was the Director of Human Rights there for four years. She is currently opening Ryerson's Faculty of Law, Canada's newest law school, as the Assistant Dean of Students and has been working in the post-secondary sector for over two decades. She has delivered training at over 1500 organizations in North America and Europe.

In addition to founding two NGOs, Toni has served in the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the World Food Programme in Geneva (Switzerland), Senegal (West Africa) and Columbia (South America). Toni holds a dual Bachelor of Economics and Political Science from the University of Waterloo; a double Master in Public Policy and Urban and Regional Planning from Princeton University; and a dual law degree from McGill University. She recently completed her doctors at the University of Toronto, where she was looking at bias in hiring in Canada.

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