Making Diversity and Equity a Priority
The University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education and the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS) are pleased to announce that they have been selected as hosts for the Réseau de Savoir sur l’Équité / Equity Knowledge Network (RSEKN), a provincial multi-stakeholder bilingual knowledge mobilization network funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education.
As part of the Ontario government’s Education Equity Action Plan, the Ministry of Education called on teams of leading experts across the province to submit bids to establish a learning and leading for equity knowledge network. A team of educational researchers at the University of Ottawa and various provincial community partners were selected to host the new Réseau de Savoir sur l’Équité / Equity Knowledge Network (RSEKN).
“This is a wonderful opportunity to move research into practice. It builds on strong partnerships with the University of Ottawa - an organization uniquely positioned to lead this network - and will use our collective experience and knowledge on equity to reduce systemic barriers so that all students in Ontario can reach their full potential.”
—The Honourable Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education
“In establishing the Education Equity Secretariat, the Ministry of Education has redoubled its commitment to both defending and extending equity throughout the K-12 sector. The recently announced Education Equity Plan is testament to that commitment and to the ministry’s determination to work with all partners in education to achieving excellence for all students.”
—Patrick Case, Assistant Deputy Minister, Education Equity Secretariat, Ministry of Education
The RSEKN team will create, facilitate and support face-to-face and virtual communities of practice (CoPs) that bring together students, researchers, teacher candidates, educators, administrators, school board staff, policy makers and community agencies who seek to address systemic educational inequities across Ontario. The team will establish and support CoPs in the following five priority areas:
- Anti-racist education
- Refugee and newcomer education
- Inclusive education for students with disabilities
- Gender and sexuality education
- Minority languages education in pluralist contexts
“An educational system that challenges systemic barriers must counter all forms of intolerance, reframe the way we think about social issues and embrace the challenge of moving beyond talk and walking together into action. I am really excited to play a role in this new network.”
— Noor El-Husseini, Network Coordinator
“Members of the RSEKN are committed to working together to build upon networks and activities already in existence in universities, schools and communities across Ontario. Our job as the host to RSEKN is primarily to connect people, to support and facilitate the spread of the creative and challenging work already happening.”
—Ruth Kane, Co-chair, RSEKN
RSEKN seeks to create an innovative space for our community and institutional partners to mobilize and leverage research that can make a difference in the lives of marginalized children and youth. I am honoured to be part of a network that strives to address inequities both inside and outside of the public schooling system.
—Nicholas Ng-A-Fook, Co-chair, RSEKN
One key area of focus of the network will be student voice and participation, allowing children and youth to become active agents in identifying ways to address inequities.
RSEKN will provide a crucial site for teachers and their students to connect with community organizations like Project of Heart, which is recognized for its advocacy work with Indigenous children and youth by the Museum of Human Rights and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
“Experiences of marginalization have left too many children and youth in Ontario, struggling in an environment where all should be thriving. Project of Heart is committed to helping unleash the potential of all children and youth through privileging the knowledge of those who are ‘different.’ POH is honoured to be involved!”
—Sylvia Smith, founder, Project of Heart