The Diversity and Equity office (DEO) is an office that offers diversity-related supports to students and diversity initiatives. It promotes acceptance and empowerment, and inclusiveness of creating an accepting life for all staff, faculty and students.
The DEO “works to educate, advocate and celebrate the uniqueness of every individual at Laurier,” said Lauren Burrows, the Education and Inclusion Coordinator.
Adam Lawrence, Dean of Students for Laurier Brantford, said that, “One of my roles as the Dean of Students is to work with students to advocate for change, and to continue to build a community where all students feel safe, supported, and engaged.”
“The Diversity and Equity office [Waterloo] offers several programs to promote support, diversity, inclusion-related programming and advocacy. These include the Student Diversity Committee, Rainbow Centre, Association of Black Students, Centre for Women and Trans People, and Multi-Faith Resource Team,” stated Lawrence.
On the Brantford campus, the DEO office has five student led groups which are SOUL, Rainbow Alliance, My Respect, Laurier Brantford Women’s Centre (LBWC), and Muslim Students’ Association. They also have provide students with spiritual support through the The Multi-Faith Resource Team.
“Students may access the DEO if they wish to volunteer in those initiatives, if they are seeking support for types of marginalization including but not limited to sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexual assault etc,” said Burrows.
Training is also available from the DEO for faculty, students and staff on diversity-related issues, such disclosure training and pro-social bystander training.
There is a Diversity and Equity office in the Waterloo campus, and it was decided to build one in Brantford because, “Students expressed a need for more diversity-related support and programming, and this evolution makes sense,” said Lawrence.
“My role is to support the WLU Brantford community through the development and execution of a diversity education strategy that includes elements such as educational programming and events, training sessions and the development of awareness campaigns,” said Burrows.
The office has been an ongoing process since March. The Diversity and Equity Office will be having a large recruitment campaign for students interested in volunteering for the DEO.
“The DEO is also a social space for social justice oriented folks who wish to spend time with those who share similar lived experiences, and allies,” said Burrows.