Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Justice in the Classroom

Under the rubric of EDI: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (sometimes also listed as JEDI: Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion or EDID: Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization), many post-secondary institutions have begun taking steps to address longstanding structural and systemic inequalities in their educational settings, including:

  1. Disproportionately small numbers of Indigenous, Black, and other racialized faculty and staff in most departments;
  2. Lack of representation among upper administrators;
  3. Pay inequities;
  4. Uneven recognition of what constitutes “work”
    (e.g. community-based research, mentorship, supporting marginalized students),
  5. Workplace microaggressions;
  6. Backlash against faculty and students who try to bring about institutional accountability and change; and
  7. Failure to recruit and retain a diverse student body.

More troubling, debates about “woke” culture, political correctness, and other forms of backlash against attempts to make institutions more inclusive risk eliding the continued systemic violence within post-secondary education (Curtis 2021).

The following examines how institutional policies around EDI, anti-racist praxis, and racial justice emerge in the classroom and offers insights and strategies for integrating meaningful actions in our teaching to resist tokenism.

Self-Assessment Quiz

Want to test your familiarity with this section’s content? The following self-assessment quiz (available below) offers scenarios to help you test your knowledge and identify how best to use and engage with the material introduced in this section:


Self-assessment questions for this section are available in the Appendix.


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Better Practices in the Classroom by Natalie Kouri-Towe and Myloe Martel-Perry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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