Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, & Anti-Racism Policy
SMILE Canada - Support Services (SMILE) is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion (henceforth, EDI), and anti-racism for all members of our community. The organization recognizes the collective value of our individual differences, life experiences, gathered knowledge, and unique capabilities as they represent a significant achievement in our work together.
SMILE is determined to foster a work environment that promotes equitable opportunities through dignity and respect.
SMILE’s diversity initiatives are applicable – but not limited – to our practices and policies on recruitment and selection; professional training and development; compensation and benefits; promotions; social and recreational programs; layoffs and terminations; and the ongoing development of an environment built on the premise of equity, diversity, and inclusion that enforces:
Respectful communication, cooperation, and teamwork between all employees;
The broader participation and representation of diverse varying perspectives; and
Employer and employee contributions to the marginalized communities SMILE serves to promote a greater understanding of EDI & anti-discriminatory practices.
This Policy applies to all current employees of SMILE including administrative and support staff, board members, students, volunteers, clients, and community partners. Moreover, the application of this is in compliance with relevant legislation (Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human rights Code).
Terms and Definitions
For the purpose of this Policy and for interpretation by our employees:
Equity, unlike the notion of equality, is not about sameness of treatment. It denotes fairness and justice in process and in results. Equitable outcomes often require differential treatment and resource redistribution to achieve a level playing field among all individuals and communities. This requires recognizing power dynamics and addressing barriers that prevent opportunities for all to thrive in our Faculty environment.
Diversity describes the presence of difference within any collection of people. In discussions of social equity, diversity addresses differences in social group membership related, for example, to race, Indigenous identity, class, age, gender identity or expression, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, language, and religion, and any combination of these variables. Discussions about diversity linked to access and equity requires knowledge and understanding of historical and contemporary experiences of oppression and exclusion. Diversity should be understood as uniting rather than dividing. The term calls upon us to appreciate both differences and interconnectedness, and to recognize and respond to systemic and institutionalized discrimination.
Inclusion refers to the notion of belonging, feeling welcome and valued, and having a sense of citizenship. It also speaks to engaging and succeeding in a given institution, program, or setting. Inclusion calls for recognizing, reducing, and removing barriers to participation created by social disadvantage or oppression, and can result in the reimagining of an institution, program, or setting.
Anti-Racism encompasses the perceptions, attitudes, policies, discourses, procedures, and practices of opposing and ending anti-Indigenous, anti-Black and other people of colour racisms as well as promoting racial equity, which requires incessantly recognizing power dynamic and addressing systemic and individual barriers that prevent opportunities for racialized members of our community to succeed in our work environment.
Anti-Black Racism refers to systemic policies and practices rooted in Canadian institutions such as education, healthcare, and justice that mirror and reinforce beliefs, prejudice, stereotyping, and/or discrimination towards people of Black-African descent. Moreover, it is a system of inequities in power, resources, and opportunities that discriminates against Black individuals.
Ableism is the discrimination and social prejudice formed against individuals and/or groups of people with physical and/or mental disabilities or those who perceive themselves as disabled.
Islamophobia describes the fear, hatred, and/or prejudice against the religion of Islam and the practicing population of the religion, Muslims, especially as a political force.
Xenophobia is the fear, dislike, prejudice, and discrimination of individuals and people from different countries and are perceived as different, strange, or foreign.
SMILE’s EDI and Anti-Racism Policy is based and founded on the following principles:
SMILE confirms that human diversity is a source of knowledge and strength; in addition to being treated with dignity and respect, all people have the right to equitable access and participation in all activities;
Recognizes the importance of naming the factors that continue to cause exclusion, to create lasting and meaningful changes;
Will continue to envision an inclusive culture that is capable of change and relevancy to diverse populations through program development and staff, student, and client services;
Acknowledges that white supremacy is built within settler colonial institutions resulting in ongoing harm, exclusions, and marginalization for all identities that do not conform to the settler colonial normative body, abilities, cultures, or languages.
Commits to take responsibility for EDI regarding the following groups and peoples: BIPOC communities including Indigenous peoples (including First Nations, Inuit, *Métis peoples) and Black communities, racialized peoples, Muslim communities, 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, people with disabilities, and those at the intersections of these identities.
1. EDI Policy
1.1. All staff, board, committee members, and volunteers will ensure that all members of its community are treated with fairness, dignity, and respect.
1.2. All staff, board, committee members, and volunteers will not discriminate on grounds, including, but not limited to, race, Indigenous ancestry, ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual gender identity or expression, age, marital or family status, language, or visible and invisible disability in any decision concerning SMILE’s activities or support.
1.3. SMILE will not discriminate against any person on grounds of race, Indigenous ancestry, ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual gender identity or expression, age, marital or family status, language, or visible and invisible disability, in the provision of facilities or services, or in the exercise of public functions.
1.4. SMILE will not discriminate negatively on grounds of race, Indigenous ancestry, ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual gender identity or expression, age, marital or family status, language, or visible and invisible disability in decisions concerning staff recruitment and selection, career development, promotion, staff development opportunities, pay and remuneration, or reward and recognition. Therefore,
Under-represented groups are encouraged to apply to work and volunteer at SMILE;
SMILE will carry out consistent, transparent, and timely monitoring, where practicable, to ensure that all job applicants, and/or promotion are being fairly and equitably treated.
1.5. SMILE will consider the impact of its policies and practices to identify and mitigate any disadvantages to the aforementioned groups.
2. Anti-Racism Policy
2.1. Every member of the SMILE community has the right to engage with SMILE, work with SMILE and volunteer with SMILE free of racial discrimination and harassment.
2.2. SMILE denounces racism or any manifestations of racial intolerance or discrimination and does not tolerate or condone racism or negative racial stereotyping between racialized and non-racialized groups or between racialized groups. SMILE is committed to preventing such behaviours and practices and promoting an anti-racist culture by ensuring that racial diversity, equity, and inclusion is considered in decision making; addressing policies and practices that, while not intentionally discriminatory, have a discriminatory effect; and educating and informing all members of SMILE on issues associated with race and ethnocultural relations, racism and racial harassment.
2.3. SMILE prohibits discrimination and harassment, including conduct on the basis of race, creed, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin and citizenship