By Kallandra Weatherbee
NAIT recently launched their new Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) strategy.
The EDI strategy will help bring awareness and inclusion to NAIT and its staff and students.
Madlen Christianson, manager of diversity and inclusion at NAIT, believes this strategy will help create safe and inclusive work spaces for staff and students.
“The intention of this strategy is to guide actions we take to advance equity, inclusion and diversity here at NAIT for the entire institution,” said Christianson.
Christianson believes this is the launching point of more to come for diversity inclusion in the future.
“The goal of the strategy is to create safe and inclusive working environments where all people are welcomed, valued and treated equitably and with fairness at every level of the institution. So that’s what our future goal is,” said Christianson.
Christianson said NAIT is aware of some of the diversity challenges that NAIT students are facing around campus.
“We know that members of our community within NAIT do experience barriers, do experience racism and they do experience discrimination. It’s important for us to acknowledge that, to do what we can to address it and create those safe and inclusive learning environments,” said Christianson.
Currently, Christianson said NAIT is trying to engage students and train staff about the EDI strategy.
“As we begin to implement, we will be engaging with staff and students to help develop EDI. So we’re doing some educational sessions for staff right now, trying to help them understand what the strategy is about and provide some resources for them to infuse into their practice with equity and inclusion,” he said.
Christianson said NAIT will also be reviewing its policies to see if changes need to be made.
“We’re looking at some of our policies and looking at how we can make them more equitable, inclusive and remove barriers, so there’s a lot of work to do,” said Christianson.
As well as working on EDI on campus, Christianson says NAIT’s industry partners are also working on diversity.
“I’ve been part of a number of conversations with industry partners looking for support to increase their EDI within their own institutions, so that’s a big priority for them. I think creating that inclusive learning environment for students that are at NAIT is important, but we also believe in supporting students to develop their own competencies in EDI that will support them in finding meaningful jobs once they graduate as well,” he said.
New diversity plans will be implemented around NAIT in the upcoming year. If any staff or students want to give feedback or make suggestions to the EDI strategy, they can do so here.