2016 – Descriptions of the Break-Out Sessions

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High
(Stacy Nelson)
A powerful one day training opportunity to enhance skills in fostering open-dialogues around sensitive, high-stakes and emotionally charged issues in your organization: Must have skills for diversity, equity and inclusion practitioners! Training led by Senior Master Certified Trainer Stacy Nelson, Ed. D.

Deep Diversity: Uncovering Our Bias and Blind Spots
(Shakil Choudhury)
Non-threatening as well as challenging, this training will serve as the foundation for understanding diversity and inclusion in the workplace using the Deep Diversity framework. Participants will learn how predominant the unconscious mind is in human interactions and how it results in micro-inequities in the workplace. Implicit bias theory will also be covered along with bias-reduction strategies. This training also explores the concept of emotional intelligence and its critical application in diversity leadership.

Human Rights and the Law: Implications for Post-Secondary
(Angela Jackson, Derrick Cranna and Janice Ashcroft)
Three legal specialists in human rights legislation will provide an overview of some of the big human rights cases in the past year that have implications for post-secondary environment, and present scenarios for discussion on topics such as disability and religious accommodation, and gender harassment.

Black Lives Matter: Psychosocial Implications on Racial Identity Development
(Derrick Shirley)
The 2012 Black Lives Matter movement, characterized as restorative justice, began as a United States social media campaign opposing racial injustices in policing and racial bias in judicial proceedings. The movement has attracted international attention, controversy, and multiracial and multi-generational support, and continues to serve as a uniting focal point to expose continuing anti-black racism and racial injustice. This interactive session begins with a review of the racial identity development frameworks charting the identity processes related to negative racial experience and explores the psychosocial implications of the Black Lives Matter movement on student and faculty populations, and Canadian communities as a whole.

Creating a Campus Culture of Consent
(Rebecca Sullivan, Troy Brooks, Nanako Furuyama, Hilary Jahleka, and Ashley Morrison)
Consent to Sex and Bystander Intervention programs have been widely adopted by campuses across the country, but how to effectively implement them and rigorously assess them is not yet well understood. A recent study revealed that 18% of male students did not define "sex without consent" as rape, and over 30% would force sex "if nobody would ever know and there wouldn’t be any consequences" (Edwards 2014). This panel introduces some of the initiatives in place at the University of Calgary, framed by evidence-based scholarship on best practices for delivery and evaluation.

From Paper to Process: Bringing Dating, Domestic and Sexual Violence Policy into Practice on Campus
(Cari Ionson, Amy Nixon, Stephanie Stone, Peter Davison)
The prevalence of sexual violence on campus is a concern that post-secondary institutions are becoming increasingly aware of and a society shift is underway where institutions are developing policies and procedures to respond effectively to instances of sexual violence. Mount Royal University has developed a sexual violence protocol to focus on effective responses to disclosures of dating, domestic and sexual violence, including harassment, stalking, exploitation and sexual assault involving members of our campus community including students, faculty and staff. In this session, a panel of key individuals from Legal Services, Security Services and Diversity and Human Rights will discuss what is involved in creating and implementing a sexual violence protocol that is victim-centric and trauma- informed.

Presentation of a response protocol on sexual violence
(Pascale Poudrette; Presentation in French)
For a person who has experienced harassment or sexual assault, it can be very difficult to uncover what the person has experienced. Are people going to believe me? Are people going to judge me? What will be the abuser’s reaction if I denounce the abuser? Many reasons can hinder a victim from seeking help. This is why it is essential that victims who dare to report must be supported. The procedure cannot be improvised and institutions need to be prepared to intervene quickly and effectively when a crime is reported. As a guide, this session presents an example of a response protocol that can be applied in the academic context. 

Confronting Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia on Our Campuses
(Constance Backhouse)
Professor Backhouse will review the problems that universities in Canada have experienced over the past years with respect to discrimination, harassment and violence based upon gender, sexual identity, and race. What are the lessons we have learned?  Do postsecondary institutions have a special role and expertise here?  How can we meet the increasing expectations that postsecondary institutions are facing to resolve these pervasive problems on campus?  

Peer Diversity Education: An effective student-centered model for fostering a safe, inclusive, and respectful community
(Monique Verhoef)
Hear about how a peer-to-peer program at Mount Royal University is working to foster a safe, respectful, and inclusive campus.  Through in-depth and on-going training student leaders (Peer Diversity Educators (PDE's)) are equipped to create high impact educational programs for their peers aimed at reducing barriers to belonging. In this session you will be introduced to the PDE program, learn about the peer-to-peer program model as an effective model for engaging students, and explore how programs like this, contribute to capacity building, best practices in higher education, and connect to student development theory.

The EAAA Sexual Assault Resistance program for 1st year women: Philosophy, content, and how it works
(Charlene Senn)
The Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) resistance program for young women in university was developed based on theory and research evidence and evaluated over 10 years. In 2015, the results of a randomized controlled trial at three Canadian university campuses were published (in NEJM) and showed definitively that the program worked to reduce the rapes and attempted rapes that women experienced by 50% across one year. Find out more about the program's content and philosophy and what the evidence shows the program does and doesn't do. A UCalgary student facilitator and participant will also describe and discuss their experiences.

Racial consciousness and the White post-secondary administrator
(Greg Veltman)
The experience of administrators within post-secondary education who are dedicated to the work of anti-racism is an understudied subject. We will give voice to the experiences of White higher education administrators who have a strong commitment to anti-racism work and who choose to engage in advocacy initiatives. Using this narrative inquiry study along with the conceptual lens of Critical Race Theory and Critical White Studies, we will present the cycle of racial consciousness and process of awareness and engagement we have constructed through this research. 

Challenging Islamophobia on Campus
(Khadijeh Rakie, Raihanna Hirji-Khalfan)
The Challenging Islamophobia on Campus session will focus on how McMaster University is engaging its campus community on Islamophobia. This workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to hear from Muslim-identified staff in the McMaster University Office of Human Rights & Equity Services. They will share insights and perspectives and will facilitate a dialogue on what Islamophobia is, what it looks like in Canada and what campuses should be doing to challenge it.

Competing Rights: A Framework for resolving claims
(Cory Boyd)
As campuses become increasingly diverse, human rights issues often arise as competing rights claims rather than as one-way complaints of a policy violation. When faced with this evolving presentation of human rights matters, it is important that institutions similarly evolve and expand their human rights response repertoire. By focusing on an analytical framework, illustrated with real-world examples, this practical session will provide human rights professionals with a clear and transparent process for receiving, assessing, resolving and adjudicating competing rights claims on their campuses. 

Campus Safety Reviews: A participatory tool to prevent and respond to sexual violence, harassment and discrimination on campuses
(Michelle V. Davis)
This session explores the Campus Safety Review, a participatory process that engages students, staff and faculty to assess safety on their college and university campuses. The goal of the Campus Safety Review is to create safer and more inclusive campuses. This is achieved by supporting students, staff and faculty to identify who and what makes them feel both safe and unsafe on campus and suggest improvements. Using a diversity and inclusion approach, the Campus Safety Review evaluates safety for persons who may feel most unsafe due to experiences of violence, discrimination and harassment. 

Trans Inclusive Practices
(Group Discussion; Guests: Saul Templeton, Dexter Martin Bates)
Members of the trans community will share their experiences as they moved through the transition process in the post-secondary environment. What institutional practices supported their transition? What gaps and barriers did they encounter? How were barriers resolved? Conference participants attending this workshop will also be invited to discuss trans inclusive practices and challenges at their home institutions.  

Kaleidoscope Project
(Paul Verhoef)
We live in a diverse world, where the possibilities are endless. Just like the turning of a kaleidoscope the facets of life that shape and color our perspectives are limitless and unique. Everyone views the world through a different lens. The Kaleidoscope project envisions a more pluralistic and inclusive campus community and invited students from all religious and spiritual backgrounds to engage in learning, conversation and action with others who may have a different background or viewpoint. The goal of this project is to begin to build a more engaged and diverse community on campus and in Calgary – a community that works together, regardless of religious tradition, spirituality, culture, identity, sexual orientation, gender, and personal or political views. Learn how this project was put together and its success in fostering dialogue and understanding. 

Phobias Unveiled
(Rahat Naqvi, Tonya Callaghan, Ghada Alatrash)
How do we address the notion of phobia within the context of post-secondary education? The world is currently experiencing a prime example of social phobia. Although phobic reactions toward different cultural groups have occurred in the past this presentation will establish the Muslim example as demonstrative of a unique, as-of-yet unresolved concern in our society. Through examples of curriculum designed for mainstream schools, works of poetry in English and Arabic we will discuss how students can be challenged to examine questions of identity, critical pedagogy and to explore the notion of a universal culture through active critical participation.

Just How Unconscious is "Unconscious Bias"?: Obstacles to teaching about racial oppression in Canadian higher education settings
(Rosalee Averin)
This lecture and facilitated small group discussion aims to center the experience of higher education professionals (faculty, staff, contractors) who teach about racial oppression at Canadian institutions. We will focus on sharing the possibilities for and obstacles to teaching about racial oppression with an intersectional approach, debate about just how unconscious the bias we encounter truly is, and discuss tools and strategies both currently practiced and theoretical. We will also discuss how our own identities, subject positions, and privileges inform our methodologies, successes, and challenges in this field. The main goal of this session is to create a safe, respectful, yet challenging and interrogative discussion about how possible it is to conduct frank, meaningful conversations about the realities of racial oppression in Canadian higher education settings.

Preventing Violence in Young Adult Relationships on a University Campus
(Dr. Gaye Warthe)
Violence and abuse in young adult relationships in higher education is an important issue. In 2013 at a Canadian university, one-third of students reported emotional, physical or sexual abuse in one or more dating relationships and fifteen percent of students reported stalking by a current or former romantic or sexual partner. Incidence and prevalence data supported the development of a peer facilitated dating violence prevention project, Stepping Up. This presentation will discuss the results of pre- and post data collected immediately and eight months following a prevention weekend and focus groups with peer facilitators and participants. The results of the project have had an impact on the development of policy and protocols. 

Marketing Diversity and Inclusion: Pitfalls and opportunities
(Jason Kim)
The purpose of this research was to analyze visual images and texts from the 2015 Mini U brochure. An exploratory mixed method was chosen; qualitative data of visual images and texts (semiotics) were analyzed first and quantitative content analysis followed. The Mini U brochure featured pre-demonically white leaders (100%), children and youth (90%) while only 10% of images were of young non-White people. The publication practice of Mini U seemingly reproduces some of the racial inequalities experienced on our campuses and provides a critical medium through which we can explore how we communicate and reproduce whiteness and racial exclusion in our communication and marketing strategies in post-secondary institutions. 

Education: An Instrument for reconciliation
(Monique Fry)
This facilitated talk will include knowledge sharing and gathering via oral presentation and sharing circles. The purpose of this learning opportunity is to provide an ethical space for contemplation of the TRC Calls to Action as they relate to education and what role might universities take as they fit the recommendations into their internal and external strategies.
At the end of this session, participants will come away with: (1) an understanding of the holistic, cultural and reflexive approach to these important calls; (2) the ability to identify where the parallels exist between the calls and their university principles or strategies; (3) a better understanding of what is needed to move these calls into action; and (4) a commitment to a “give away”.