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Statement on Diversity

ADLER Diversity Statement

Our school exists on the traditional lands of the First Nations Peoples, and we acknowledge our gratitude for the opportunity to work and study in this place. Previously, Davenport, the road to the south of ADLER, was the shoreline of Lake Ontario, and was the location of a trail connecting the Humber and Don rivers. The parkette at Yonge and Davenport was renamed Gete-Onigaming (Ge-de-oh-ni-guh-ming), meaning “at the old portage”, indicating the continuing indigenous presence in Toronto. We honour the wisdom of elders from traditions here and around the world.

Guiding Principles

People are simultaneously alike, different, and unique.

All people have the right to live free of oppression and deprivation.

At ADLER, we share a present that is informed by the near and historical past of the First Peoples and of Immigrants who have come to Canada beginning before Confederation and continuing today. This is a continuing history of both creation and oppression.

Society chooses which differences to focus on and to create narratives around. We recognize the common experiences and shared understandings which bind communities but are not solely guided by these socially constructed categories.

Our strength lies in building on the diversity in our community and resisting influences that would use that diversity to divide.

We are bound by a commitment to universal human rights, to Canadian law as laid out in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We demonstrate commitment to these guiding principles by 

  1. Acknowledging that resolving First Nations sovereignty issues is fundamental to pursuing equity and social justice within Canada. Historical inequalities continue to exist and impact the current reality of our First Peoples. 
  2. Believing that the principles and practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion strengthen the social fabric of society and that of our school, including the growth and well-being of our student population, our employees, faculty, and our local and international communities.
  3. Upholding our social responsibility to contribute to a society that is equitable, fair, and just by demonstrating leadership in eliminating barriers and implementing and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion through all our policies and practices.
  4. Eliminating all forms of harassment and discrimination, including sexual violence, by creating an environment of inclusion in teaching, learning, and employment so we can fully serve our communities and prepare all our students to excel in their relationships, communities, workplaces, and society.
  5. Ensuring an inclusive and accessible learning, teaching, and working environment by fully supporting the right of everyone to study, participate, and work with dignity in an environment of mutual respect. We will include and respect the abilities, experiences, perspectives, and contributions of all our students, employees, partners, and communities. We are committed to engaging in dialogue that supports and respects our similarities as well as our differences. 
  6. Enhancing curriculum and instruction so as to reflect the diversity of our student population and the communities we serve by drawing on a variety of knowledges, perspectives, and experiences. We will strive to prepare students with the skills and knowledges to challenge unjust practices and build positive human relationships in an increasingly diverse society.
  7. Supporting Human Resource Management systems, policies and practices that reflect diversity and promote equity and inclusion by implementing bias- and barrier-free recruitment, selection, hiring, and promotion at all levels. We will ensure a commitment to academic excellence while also creating opportunities in employment by addressing and remedying the historic and current disadvantages in employment for under-represented groups.

Definitions

Diversity denotes the fact that any society or community is made up of individuals and groups coming from a broad spectrum of demographic and philosophical realities. These include, but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, class, gender, physical and intellectual abilities/qualities, sexual orientation, religious or spiritual affiliations or values, gender expression, educational background, and geographic and political history. These categories are a) not exhaustive, and b) not always fixed. We recognize the ultimate right of the individual to self-identify and affirm that no person or community is intrinsically more or less valuable to the whole. As a school, we are in a position to lead in building an equitable and fair society, based on our values of respect for diversity.

Equity is the recognition that disparities which exist between individuals should be eliminated in a way that is based on the principles of fairness and justice. This is rooted in the fact that everyone has needs that are different and may need different supports to access the same levels of opportunity. 

Inclusion is an active process whereby the community consciously ensures the involvement and empowerment of all its members and those with whom we interact. It means working to provide an environment where there is a sense of belonging and ownership, and where we value and practice respect for all talents, beliefs, backgrounds, vulnerabilities, and ways of living of our members. 

This is a statement of “doing”. We expect that all members of the community will work to engage in mindful, meaningful, and respectful practice, both in the school and as part of the community. This statement applies to our academic as well as administrative practices, from admissions and hiring, to teaching and curriculum, to ongoing contacts and representation at all levels of the organization.

As a school, we encourage intellectual questioning and critical thinking. All members of the ADLER community are expected to welcome challenges to our ways of doing and being that are based on the principles of academic honesty and intellectual freedom we expect in all work done at the school. Change and difference can produce discomfort, but we believe learning is most effective even when it is not comfortable or passive.

Because we acknowledge our fundamental humanity and fallibility, and that of all members of the community, ADLER provides the space and support to resolve issues stemming from lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion, in a way that is just and respectful.