September 28, 2021
Approved by SCAS Board of Directors, Dec 9, 2021
Name: Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Indigeneity Committee (JEDII)
Purpose: To provide JEDII guidance and best practices for SCAS governance, activities, and associated conferences.
To develop JEDII best practices for SCAS and ensure that JEDII principles are integrated into all SCAS policies, initiatives, and conferences. JEDII best practices will be used when selecting, appointing, mentoring, and recruiting participants for i) SCAS membership and the Board of Directors;
ii) SCAS conferences;
To budget for JEDII Keynote speakers and “JEDII Trailblazers in Aquatic Sciences” honorariums: $2,500 per annum.
Canadian fisheries and the aquatic sciences, like other scientific disciplines, are and have been dominated by white, able-bodied faces and voices. Racism, harassment, and discrimination remain pervasive, and continue to harm the lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour. Additionally, members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ and Disabled communities continue to be marginalized and under-represented. This Committee has been formed to guide SCAS to actively dismantle and abolish intolerance experienced by Black, Indigenous, and other Underrepresented colleagues by listening, learning, and using privilege to create inclusive spaces. Part of the active work to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion in SCAS will require addressing barriers to fair and equitable treatment. Promoting JEDII principles throughout this Society will and should be disruptive, and with that disruption, will come discomfort and mistakes made by those of us trying to enact change. We pledge to listen to diverse views, learn, and self-correct so that JEDII becomes normalized in SCAS. We commit to identifying and implementing actions that will help to achieve this goal.
Frequency of Meetings:
Biannually – (1) Once before the annual conference to update “Recommendations & Best Practices” and plan new initiatives for the conference/ society; and (2) One meeting following the conference to review exit-survey results, reflect on conference success, discuss Board meeting topics.
Duties of Members:
The JEDII Committee will be composed of at minimum:
● 1 Chair
● 2 regular members
● 1 student member
Duties of the Chair
● Arrange committee meetings
● Set the meeting agenda (with consensus from the whole committee)
● Liaise with other committees and the Board/serve on the Society Steering or Executive Committee
● Delegate actions to other committee members when warranted (based on committee consensus)
● Point of contact with SCAS staff
Duties of all members:
● Attend meetings regularly
● Participate in drafting new and refining original recommendations for JEDII best practices
● Be available to consult with local organizers of the annual conference/special events
● Contribute to summarizing conference participant surveys (pre-conference / exit)
● Assist other SCAS committees and the Board with any events, awards, etc. that require an inclusive lens and follow JEDII best practices. Membership should ideally have anglophone and francophone SCAS members from all career stages. Representation should strive to comprise the gender-identity spectrum. Given the extra emotional and work toll on individuals from Underrepresented groups, joining the JEDII committee will be at their discretion. Instead, participation of members from privileged groups is encouraged to do the labour, with continual opportunities for feedback from the membership and broader aquatic science community.
Outputs comprise ways to improve SCAS commitment to JEDII principles in the form of recommendations and guiding best practices for (1) the Society itself: e.g., website, student awards for prioritized underrepresented groups, JEDI awards for trailblazers, representation on Board of Directors, funds for spotlight initiatives to boost BIPOC voices in Aquatic Sciences. (2) Annual Conferences: e.g., conference format, representative attendance, conference mentorship. (3) Conference Membership: e.g., registration fees, caregiver support, relationship building. (4) Conference Accessibility: e.g., conference website, registration survey / exit survey, code of conduct, availability of rooms for specific functions, ECR family support, presentation and posters, events.
Deliverables and the Target dates:
Commitment to JEDII principles will take time, and is an ever-evolving journey. We expect some initiatives to be readily enacted with ease within the year (2022-2023): e.g., implementation of conference surveys, accessibility actions. Other initiatives will take more effort and budgetary commitment (new awards for prioritized underrepresented groups; hybrid conference formats; Indigenous representation at conferences and on the Board of Directors; conference mentorship programs). The Committee will set deadlines after discussions with Board members and local conference organizers to ascertain the challenges faced in attempts at implementation.