Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization


 The Department of Physiology and Pharmacology is committed to providing all students, post-doctoral fellows, staff, and faculty with a safe, equitable, diverse, and inclusive learning and working environment. The department established an EDI-D committee in 2021 to implement and promote best EDI-D practices and to ensure your EDI-D concerns are addressed through meaningful change. The Department acknowledges that much remains to be done towards these goals.

What is Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization?

      • Equity: Equity is concerned with justice and fairness. Equity is a state of being, a process, and a condition that is rooted in fundamental human rights, and, therefore, is not reliant on individual choice or voluntarism. Whereas equality may lead to an assumption of an even playing field, and may shape individual and institutional efforts to treat people the same, equity requires more; it is about understanding and accommodating difference and providing people with what they need to enter and thrive within the academy. Equity requires proactively identifying and combatting discriminatory ideas, attitudes, behaviours, as well as systems, policies, processes, and practices that lead to disadvantage. It is concerned with a legal and ethical commitment to doing what is right and necessary to achieve such a state through proactive measures to identify root causes, and design interventions to remove obstacles to fair opportunities and experiences in all spheres of academic life.
      • Diversity: Diversity is about the individual. It is about the variety of unique dimensions, qualities, and characteristics we all possess, and the mix that occurs in any group of people. Race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, economic status, physical abilities, life experiences, and other perspectives can make up individual diversity. Diversity is a fact, and inclusion is a choice.
      • Inclusion: Inclusion is a skillset and a condition that must be cultivated and that require resources to advance an equitable and fairer academy. Inclusion entails interconnected actions to dismantle barriers that impede participation, engagement, representation, and empowerment of members of diverse social identities and from various backgrounds in the life of the academy. Inclusion means that we design our educational and cultural spaces from the beginning so that they can be used fully by all peoples and all communities. Inclusion foregrounds the social and institutional relations of power and privilege, drawing necessary attention to who gets a seat and voice at the decision-making tables, and who is empowered by institutional processes, policies, systems, and structures.
      • Decolonization: Decolonization is a necessary and ongoing process of unlearning, uncovering, and transforming legacies of colonialism, as well as utilizing the educational and knowledge systems available to relearn and rebuild the social, cultural, and linguistic foundations that were lost, or eroded through colonialism. Decolonization also requires making space, balancing, generating, and enabling diverse knowledge systems to thrive in the academy as well as in and through educational and knowledge transmitting places for Indigenous Peoples, the formerly colonized or continuing colonized nations, peoples, and cultural knowledge systems.  
      • Sources: Western Equity Diversity and Inclusion Glossary of Terms, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion Glossary of Terms.



Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Chonnonton Nations, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. This land continues to be home to diverse Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) whom we recognize as contemporary stewards of the land and vital contributors of our society.

Western's Indigenous Initiatives Website



Our EDI-D Committee


The mandate of the EDI-D committee is to systematically and comprehensively review and advise on departmental policies, to ensure they are consistent with appropriate and effective EDI-D practices.


  • L. Dagnino (Co-Chair)
  • W. Inoue (Co-Chair)
  • F. Beier [Ex-Officio]
  • F. Crowley
  • M. Grol
  • C. Pin
  • L. Saksida
  • O. Birceanu
  • R. Wang
  • Nicole Sidor - Grad Rep
  • Jennifer Carleton - Grad Rep
  • Kendrick Lee - Grad Rep
  • Jonathan Michaels - Postdoc Rep
  • Hailey Hunter - Admin Rep

Current Focus and Timeline

  • Fall 2023/ Winter 2023- Collaborate with other Departments to develop a multi-faith room. 


  • Winter 2021/Spring 2022- Created a department specific EDI-D survey and distributed to the department.
  • Spring 2022- Compiled and analysed the data collected from the EDI-D survey.
  • Fall 2022- Departmental EDID Seminar scheduled for November 7th at 3 pm in MSB 384.
  • Winter 2023- EDI-D survey summary report made available on website.
  • Spring 2023- Co-hosted an EDI-D seminar in collaboration with the University of Guelph (Resources from this talk can be found in the Indigenous Information tab under the EDI-D Recourses tab below).
  • Spring 2023- Posted easily accessible harrassment and discrimination reporting and support resources.
  • Summer/Fall 2023- Updated EDI-D Website
  • Fall 2023- Hosted another EDI-D focussed seminar in our Departmental Seminar Series- Sept 25, 2023- Dr. Coe


  • Lina Dagnino (Co-Chair) Email: ldagnino@uwo.ca      Phone: 519.661.2111 x. 84264.
  • Wataru Inoue (Co-Chair) Email: winoue@uwo.ca       Phone: 519.931.5777 x. 24373
  • Reach out to our committee contacts if you have any questions, comments or concerns related to the department's EDI-D committee or its initiatives.

Ongoing Departmental and Western Initiatives

Departmental News:

Available Departmental Scholarships and Awards

2021/2022 Departmental EDI-D Survey Report: password protected results here.

Click here for information on SGPS EDI-D work progress

General Western News:

Western Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (WIDE) Survey- Click here for more information and to participate.

Western Engineering launches women-only training for advanced machining.

Western grad, student elevate youth voices at UN Commission on the Status of Women. 

Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion- 2024 Diversity Calendar.

Schulich EDID Website has been updated, click Here to view. 

Pioneering program exposes high-school students to STEM education- Students from diverse backgrounds mentored by faculty members in immersive experience.

Equity practice sessions help Ivy Business School students to bridge differences. 

Western News: Inclusive leadership program helps leaders develop, model EDI lens- A New Workshop.

"Reminding us we're not alone": Q & A with Western's Queer Caucus- Co-founder reflects on the importance of building connections across 2SLGBTQ+ Community.

Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry Feature: Students embed EDI into MD Research.

New first year indigenous studies course focuses on "resilience and resistance".

New Western program aims to empower women innovators (WE-Empower)

Learning bundles a gift of Indigenous knowledge- Indigenous peoples affiliated with Western have created six teaching modules instructors can use to share Indigenous knowledge and world views in their classrooms 

Talks and workshops:

Asian Heritage Month 2024- May: Click here for more information on events. 

Jewish Heritage Month 2024- May: Click here for more information.

Western University: Indigenous Learning Space- Online Learning Modules

Journey Together: Sharing Our Lived Experiences. A Support Group For Black and Racialized Students- Runs Bi-Weekly on Thursdays from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm.

Western Health and Wellness Workshops

Human Rights Office EDI-Related Online Learning Modules

Western Indigenous Student Centre Events

Anti-Racism Foundations Certificate Program

Anti-Oppression Certificate Program

Global Skills Opportunity EDIDI Certificate- OWL Course

Have You Experienced or Witnessed an EDI-D Related Issue?

If you have experienced or witnessed an EDI-D related issue, click the link below that applies to you and read more about available resources and options.

We want to thank the Physiology and Pharmacology Digital Media Interns for their assistance in creating these resources.


Reporting Harassment and/or Discrimination to the Western Human Rights Office

The Western Human Rights Office (HRO) is here to help and provide advice and support to all members of Western's campus community (i.e., including undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, staff, and faculty of the Dept. of Physiology and Pharmacology). The following desribes the options available to you for reporting harassment and discrimination through the HRO.

  • What Can I Report?
  • The HRO can be contacted to report both Human Rights-based harassment and discrimination (sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia, islamophobia, xenophobia, antisemitism, and ableism) and non-Human Rights-based harassment (personal harassment and workplace harassment). The HRO can be contacted for both experienced and/or witnessed harassment and discrimination.
  • What Happens Next?
  • The HRO will be in touch with you to offer information and support.  In most cases, the HRO will offer you a confidential consultation meeting.  You should hear from the HRO within 48 hours. It is important to note that contacting the HRO does NOT mean you have to file a formal compaint.  The HRO will go over all options with you.
  • What Options will I Have?
  • The HRO will explain the options and resources available to you:
    • Choose an alternate resolution: the HRO will help you explore other ideas and options for support.
    • File a formal complaint and request an investigation.
  • For more information on the HRO reporting system Click Here.
  • Contact the Human Rights Office: Email- humanrights@uwo.ca
  • Click the button below to report harassment and/or discrimination to the Human Rights Office.

EDI-D Resources


2SLGBTQIA+ = Two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual, +.



Indigenous Information

Women's Issues

Western EDI Offices

Additional Resources


Reporting Discrimination: For all members of the Western Community.