The Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KPE) has a strong history of leadership in areas of equity and inequity in sport, recreational and curricular programs. From implementing campaigns such as the Change Room Project for a more inclusive locker-room culture, to running SOAR, a March Break program for Indigenous teens, KPE has worked steadily to deliver on its commitment to equity and diversity in its programs and services.
Although significant progress has been made on several equity-related fronts, however, challenges remain.
In 2017, KPE created the Task Force on Race & Indigeneity to improve equity and diversity in all its programming, including sports, recreation, intramurals, curricula and research.
The task force examined multiple aspects of the institutional, work, academic and co-curricular environments at KPE as well as systemic barriers to access in admissions, curriculum, retention, employment, and participation in the Faculty’s programs.
The Task Force on Race & Indigeneity was composed of students, faculty and staff members from KPE, as well as an Indigenous Elder and members of the wider U of T community.
The task force was chaired by Lamia Aganagic, Simon Darnell and Sharon Grandison.
Task force membership was comprised of those with relevant knowledge and expertise across various portfolios:
|Simon Darnell||Assistant Professor, KPE|
|Sharon Grandison||Director of Human Resources, KPE|
|Lamia Aganagic||Former undergraduate student, KPE|
|Ernie Sandy||Member of the Indigenous Elders' Circle, U of T|
|Shannon Simpson||Director of First Nations House, U of T|
Former Varsity Blues football head coach and Special Projects Officer, KPE
Recent U of T graduate and peer mentor in KPE’s SOAR program
Anti-racism and Cultural Diversity Officer, U of T
|Debra Kriger||Graduate Student, KPE|
|John Leung||Undergraduate Student, New College|
|Catherine Amara||Assistant Professor, KPE|
|Sophie Harding||Recruitment, Events and Communications Coordinator, KPE|
The task force presented two reports: an interim report and a final report.
The final report included substantive recommendations, monitoring and accountability processes, anti-racism and Indigenous inclusion practices and an implementation framework involving measurable outcomes and timelines for implementation.
In 2018, the task force submitted the final report to Dean Ira Jacobs and presented it to Faculty Council for consideration.
To achieve the objectives listed in the terms of reference, the Task Force on Race & Indigeneity consulted widely within the University and with experts in the area of anti-racism and Indigenous inclusion in higher education, athletics and recreation including students, faculty, staff and the broader U of T community. The Task Force also conducted an environmental scan of relevant research and practices.
The Task Force established smaller working groups to gather data, solicit input and make recommendations on the various aspects of the Faculty’s processes and programs. The groups focused on the following areas:
- Student recruitment, admissions, success and retention
- Staff and faculty recruitment, retention and advancement
- Curriculum, research, pedagogy and learning
- Recreation and sport, community outreach and recruitment
In order for the KPE Task Force on Race and Indigeneity to make progress on its many goals, it opened up the lines of communication. The task force asked everyone in the community, including including current and former undergraduate and graduate students, community users of the facilities, current and former varsity athletes and current and former staff to share how they experienced issues related to race and Indigeneity at KPE using an anonymous feedback tool.
Input received by the Task Force was anonymized and kept confidential and was used to inform the recommendations that were developed.
Terms of Reference
More information about the task force's development, mandate and working groups is available in the Terms of Reference document linked below.