Martina Douglas has been named the first Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at the Faculty of Information effective June 17. She previously worked at World Vision Canada as the organization’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist, and at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, as Program Coordinator, for the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Office), which was also the first role of its kind at UTM.
“Martina has a wealth of experience working with students, faculty and staff. I have complete confidence in her ability to steward the Faculty as it works toward formulating and implementing a long-term EDI plan,” said Dean Wendy Duff.
At UTM, Douglas was responsible for building and maintaining key relationships with internal and external stakeholders, organizing EDI related events and guest speakers, and developing, implementing and delivering educational awareness programs and EDI training sessions. Some of the many initiatives she worked on and led included:
- Anti-O Convos: Hot Topics, a successful facilitated conversation series which she developed in 2018 at UTM and led in partnership with Hart House, convening brave spaces for different stakeholders to engage in anti-oppressive topics
- Connections and Conversation UTM, as co-chair of this group, she played a significant role in creating structure, developing terms of reference, and organizing and coordinating intentional programming for racialized UTM staff and their supporters
- Black and BIPOC Table Talks, brought students, staff and faculty together for conversations about wellness, self-care and to discuss relevant local and global events which impacted them personally, professionally and academically
- Tri-Campus Partnerships with the Sexual & Gender Diversity Office, Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office and UTSC’s EDI office on various initiatives
Moving forward, Douglas – who has a Master’s in Professional Education with a focus on equity, diversity and social justice as well as an Honours BA in Sociology – wants “to focus on systemic and structural pieces, and policy development,” she says. “Education is my passion; it has a huge influence on dictating one’s path in life.”
At the top of Douglas’s agenda is completing an environmental scan, which will involve consulting with different stakeholders both formally and informally. “Building relationships is key to this work, speaking to and hearing from community helps with building trust and learning. It also helps with identifying gaps and disparities, and with determining what’s already working well.”
In her last role, Douglas worked closely with the Student Union and supervised three students in work study roles. She’s looking forward to continuing that kind of collaboration at the Faculty of Information. “Students definitely bring a different lens,” she says. “They can see things that we as staff don’t always see. My students were extremely integral to the work I did at UTM.”
As she examines the Faculty’s different processes and policies that might create EDI roadblocks, Douglas, who did not study at UofT, would also like “to do some myth busting to show U of T is also a place for those who look like me.”
In her off hours, Douglas enjoys spending time with her partner and two young children. She is a fitness enthusiast, plays and teaches classical piano, and dabbles in astrology.