Equity, Diversity and Inclusion on Campus

Inclusion Week 2024

January 29, 2024

RRC Polytech’s second annual Inclusion Week is February 26 to March 1, 2024! The week-long event is filled with in-person and virtual opportunities for students, staff and faculty to learn how to embody equity, diversity, and inclusion at work, in class, and in our personal lives.

We strive to host accessible events. If you require an accommodation, please email diversity@rrc.ca.

Diversity counts on our campuses. At RRC Polytech, we are committed to pursuing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in everything we do – and to do this, we need to know who’s here at the College. By completing the Student and Employee Diversity Self-Identification Survey, you will help us assess our current EDI initiatives, programs and policies and help us make meaningful progress in our shared priorities


Schedule of Events

Monday, February 26

Queer Voices, Inclusive Choices: Transforming Academic Spaces
Keynote with Dr. Robert Mizzi
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | In-person and virtual
Roundhouse Auditorium, Manitou a bi Bii daziigae

Inclusion Week is an opportunity to celebrate and promote everyday inclusion in all its forms at RRC Polytech and to support our commitment to pursue equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in everything that we do.

This opening event will kick off with opening remarks from Dr. Christine Watson, Vice President, Academic, followed by a keynote presentation from Dr. Robert Mizzi. Dr. Mizzi will speak on inclusion strategies, respectful work and learning spaces, and affirming and amplifying queer identities and knowledge.

Light Refreshments will be provided for in-person attendees. Space is limited so be sure to register early.

Dr. Robert Mizzi is the Canada Research Chair in Queer, Community and Diversity Education and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Mizzi is a member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame and the Royal Society of Canada.

He has produced over 200 publications and presentations. His most recent book is Queer Studies and Education: An International Reader (Oxford University Press, 2023).

Gratitude in the Workplace (for Faculty and Staff)
With Homewood Health
1:00 to 2:00 p.m. | Online via MS Teams

Over the past two decades, the field of positive psychology has expanded rapidly, and one of the most discussed areas has been gratitude. We know that people who practice gratitude lead healthier lives both physically and emotionally. Expressing and receiving gratitude at work directly and indirectly contributes to a culture of cooperative, motivated, and effective employees who give back and feel supported, appreciated, and recognized. By attending, participants will gain awareness on research-based strategies to improve the well-being of employees and the culture or organizations.


Please note that this session will not be recorded.

Tuesday, February 27

Read&Write – A Literacy Support Toolbar Now Available at RRC Polytech
With Erica Ament
10:00 to 11:00 a.m. | Virtual via MS Teams

Join Erica Ament, Assistive Technologist with RRC Polytech, to explore an exciting new software available for all staff and students to use. Read&Write has digital tools with supports for reading, writing, notetaking, studying, comprehension, translation, and more! Learn how Read&Write reads digital text aloud, highlights information and collects your highlights, provides definitions, creates vocabulary lists, and translates text! Plus, these amazing supports are available for both your desktop, and web content! …and did we mention Read&Write is free?! You get all the above supports, and more, in a very user-friendly package, for the low cost of, free!


Please note that this session will be recorded.

About the Presenter
Erica Ament has been with the College for five years in our Student Accessibility Services department. Erica has worked with individuals with disabilities for over 15 years in various settings including: coordinating multiple after school recreation programs and summer camps for youth; as an Educational Assistant in the K-12 school system; in group homes; in daycares/summer camps; and even spent time volunteering to support elementary school students with disabilities in Central America. Erica holds a BA in Sociology and Conflict Resolution Studies, and during her studies explored and wrote about the education of individuals with disabilities. Erica strongly believes in I/UDL and is passionate about sharing how technology can support all learners.

Movie Screening: Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia
12:00 to 1:00 p.m. | In-person
Screening at EDC (Roundhouse Auditorium) and NDC (White Lecture Theatre, GM42)

Screening Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia by Josiane Blanc (24 min, 2019.) A powerful collection of testimonies from teenage girls who have been victimized by fatphobia, a social phenomenon that stigmatizes and discriminates against individuals because of their weight. 

What is fatphobia and what can be done to overcome it? With poetic illustrations and painful, compelling testimony, Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia offers multiple examples of the psychological effects of weight-based discrimination and bullying on adolescent girls.

Drop in; registration is not required.

Wednesday, February 28

The Inclusive Library: From Searches to Collections
Presented by Library and Academic Services
Facilitated by Fatima DeMelo
10:00 to 11:00 a.m. | Virtual through MS Teams

While the library as an inclusive, physical space facilitates discussions relating to inclusion and libraries, factors like resource collection and changing keywords also play a role in silently fostering or limiting inclusion. In this session, participants will learn about inclusive searching of library resources and how access to information, in order to counter ignorance and foster allyship.

Outcomes/Key Takeaways:

  • Recognize libraries are part of a larger discussion of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).
  • Describe RRC Polytech’s library’s evolution as a more inclusive library to include staff development, curated collections through our LibGuides, and indigenous subject headings.

About the Presenter
Fatima DeMelo has worked for the RRC Polytech library for 13 years and currently works as a Reference Technician doing everything from troubleshooting printers to answering student questions on chat or in person. When not on campus, she enjoys reading and goes from yoga namaste to boxing knock-out at the gym when not taking walks. 

Finding your voice and advocating for change
With Isha Khan
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | In-person and virtual
Roundhouse Auditorium, Manitou a bi Bii daziigae

In this featured speaker presentation, Isha Khan, CEO, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, will talk about finding our voice and advocating for change. This presentation will provide ideas and strategies for students and staff to create an inclusive work and learning environment. A question-and-answer period will be available at the end of the session.

Light refreshments will be provided for in-person attendees. Space is limited so be sure to register early!

About the Presenter
Isha Khan (she/her) is a lawyer, educator and community leader dedicated to building a culture of human rights in Canada and beyond. She has led the Canadian Museum for Human Rights as its CEO since August 2020.  

Isha holds degrees from the University of Manitoba and the University of Victoria. She worked in private practice as a lawyer in Calgary before returning to Winnipeg to lead institutional development and change management at United Way Winnipeg. She served at the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, first as legal counsel and then as Executive Director. Before assuming her role at the Museum, she was appointed by the Government of Canada to review the conditions of incarcerated people in segregation in federal penitentiaries.  

In addition to her professional accomplishments, she is a dedicated community volunteer who currently sits on the board of the Main Street Project and the executive committee of the International Network of Museums for Peace. She is also a past Board Chair of United Way Winnipeg. 

Throughout her life, Khan has helped build communities where everyone is respected and empowered to reach their full potential. She continues that work at the Museum, engaging people around the world in a growing movement for hope and human rights. 

Movie Screening: Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia
12:00 to 1:00 p.m. | In-person
Steinbach Campus, Room 116

Screening Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia by Josiane Blanc (24 min, 2019.) A powerful collection of testimonies from teenage girls who have been victimized by fatphobia, a social phenomenon that stigmatizes and discriminates against individuals because of their weight. 

What is fatphobia and what can be done to overcome it? With poetic illustrations and painful, compelling testimony, Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia offers multiple examples of the psychological effects of weight-based discrimination and bullying on adolescent girls.

Drop in; registration is not required.

Yoga with Holly
12:10 to 12:50 p.m. | In-person and virtual

Holly Pluchinski guides participants to stretch, breathe and feel good. Suitable for all levels; mats are provided for in-person session.


In-person yoga takes place in GM33, near the North Gym, NDC. Virtual registration includes access to the recording for one week post-class.

About Holly
Holly Pluchinski is a 400-hour registered yoga teacher who has been teaching since 2016. She believes that yoga can be both a tool for introspective growth and also fun which is why oftentimes there’s laughter in her classes. Holly’s yoga classes are often designed to embrace the brain to body connection through classic yoga poses and a focus on functional movements.

Thursday, February 29

Blanket Exercise (for Faculty and Staff)
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. | In-person
Roundhouse Auditorium, Manitou a bi Bii daziigae, EDC

The Blanket Exercise is an in-person, experiential learning workshop for all RRC Polytech employees. It brings participants together to learn the effects of Canada’s shared historical colonization. It allows people to relate to history from a first-person perspective. To support our commitment in the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, to make progress on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, strengthening our culture and increasing positive relationships with non-Indigenous, Indigenous students, businesses, and communities, The Blanket Exercise helps direct our path forward in partnership with Indigenous peoples. 

For more information on the workshop, please click here


Don’t forget to get your supervisor’s approval and complete the Staff Development Activity Form.

Questions? Contact Taryn Presley at tpresley@rrc.ca

Drag Storytime with Miss Gender
12:00 to 1:00 p.m. | In-person
NDC Library (CM18)

Join us for a dynamic reading of a storybook by local Drag Queen, Miss Gender. Modeled after similar events, the aim is to inspire a love of reading, while teaching deeper lessons on diversity, self-love and an appreciation of others. Following the reading, participants will have an opportunity for a Q&A with Miss Gender.

Drop-in; registration is not required.

About the Presenter

Miss Assuma Gender (she/her) is a funky, crafty, and weird little drag queen from Treaty 1. She’s the current reigning Mx. Queer Winnipeg, a member of the Sunshine Bunch, and has performed all across Manitoba with her friends. Assuma has been performing in drag for the last four years, bringing theatre, camp, and stories about her queer journey to every event. She’s always excited to talk, to sing, to listen, and to learn.

Intro to Basic American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Culture
With Cheryle Broszeit and Kyra Zimmer
2:00 to 3:00 p.m. | In-person
Prairie Lights, NDC

This workshop will offer an introduction to both basic ASL and Deaf Culture. Together we will learn basic greetings in ASL in conjunction with the ASL manual alphabet – utilizing fingerspelling as a communication tool and conveying cultural awareness and respect for the Deaf Community to widen awareness about Deaf Culture. This session will be interpreted.


About the Presenters

Cheryle Broszeit is an instructor in the ASL-English Interpretation Program and is currently also teaching ASL classes for beginners through RRC Polytech’s Continuing Education Department. Cheryle has been teaching at the college for 24 years. Cheryle, who is Deaf, comes from a large Deaf family and an active member of the Winnipeg Deaf Community. Cheryle is also an avid photographer, and nature lover who loves to travel.

Kyra Zimmer is an instructor in the ASL-English Interpretation Program and is currently also teaching ASL classes for beginners through RRC Polytech’s Continuing Education Department. Kyra has been teaching at the college for 25 years. Kyra, who is Deaf, comes from a large Deaf family and an active member of the Winnipeg Deaf Community. In her free time Kyra can be found spending time with her family, reading and swimming.

Cooking for Wellness
With Abby Legaspi
6:00 to 8:00 p.m. | Virtual

From the comfort of your own kitchen, Abby Legaspi leads at-home chefs through the step-by-step recipe for Crab Rangoon and Pork Shumai (Siomai – dim sum/dumplings). Cozy up with good food and lots of fun!


Note: The first 20 RRC Polytech students may request an ingredient kit to pick up from NDC or EDC. You will receive email confirmation. Student supply kits are limited, so register early.

Contact Kristi for more information: kdorian@rrc.ca

Friday, March 1

Lateral Violence to Lateral Kindness
With Tanya Clarke-Marinelli
8:30 to 9:30 a.m. | In-person and virtual
Roundhouse Auditorium, Manitou a bi Bii daziigae, EDC

The session will adapt a decolonized approach to lateral violence in the workplace by describing the essential characteristics of lateral violence, examining why we engage in lateral violence, exploring how lateral violence has affected individuals, redirecting lateral violence to lateral kindness and identifying specific lateral kindness behaviours that can be incorporated within our workplace, families, schools, and communities. There will be time for question and answers at the end of the session.

Light refreshments will be provided for in-person attendees. Space is limited so be sure to register early!


This session will be recorded for future viewing.

About the Presenter
Tanya Clarke-Marinelli is a proud First Nations woman from Hollow Water First Nation and the founder of TC Training Services. She served three years on the Board of Directors with the Indigenous Chamber of Commerce and serves as Vice President with Neemu-Egwah Inc.

Supportive Employment Information Session (for Staff and Faculty)
With Joy Gilpin
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. | In-person
Prairie Lights, NDC

This interactive and engaging session will provide attendees with an opportunity to learn more about RRC Polytech’s Supportive Employment Program. The session will cover:

  • An overview of supportive employment, the supportive employment process and the roles and responsibilities of those involved;
  • Information on general practices around requesting and providing medical documentation;
  • An overview of the workplace accommodation process; and,
  • Where employees can learn more information and/or access additional supports and resources

Please note that this session is open to faculty and staff members only.


About the Presenter

Joy Gilpin, Supportive Employment Consultant
Joy began her career in disability management after graduating from the Human Resource Management program at the University of Winnipeg and then graduating from the Disability Management Studies program at Dalhousie University. She subsequently obtained a Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) designation from the National Institute of Disability and Research (NIDMAR), making her uniquely qualified as a subject matter expert in the field of disability management. Joy has worked in a variety of disability management and safety roles in both private and public sectors and possesses a strong management skillset as a result of this combination of formal education and diverse work experience.

Sports For All
Hosted by International Education and Campus Well-Being
12:00 to 1:00 p.m. | In-person
North Gym, NDC

Join us for a lively game event as part of Inclusion Week, a collaboration between International Education and Campus Well-Being. It’s a fantastic opportunity to indulge in some sports, forge new connections, and explore well-being programs. We believe in the importance of sports and fitness for personal well-being. Gameplay will be kept to a lower intensity to intentionally include those who are new to sport or who haven’t played in some time. 

To save time during your entry, kindly sign the gym waiver form here. Remember your Student or Staff ID and indoor shoes for a swift entry swipe! 

All students and staff welcome – to come check out the gym, learn some basic skills and play a casual game guided by our knowledgeable staff. 

Participants may choose to play up to two of the following sports: 

  • Badminton 
  • Volleyball  
  • Basketball 

Light snacks and drinks will be provided. Looking forward to seeing you there for a day of fun, fitness, and community!

Pow Wow Teaching with Ray (Coco) Stevenson
1:00 to 2:00 p.m. | In-person
Roundhouse Auditorium, Manitou a bi Bii daziigae, EDC

If you have ever been to a powwow then you know what powwow songs sound like; the steady drum beat and vocals that accompany the various dances: jingle, fancy, shawl, traditional, and grass dance. But while it may seem like they all sound the same, there are many different types and songs for all occasions, from those sung to honour someone — like veterans’ songs — or those sung only in ceremony, like the Sundance. 

About the Presenter
Walking wolf Ray “Coco” Stevenson comes from Treaty 1 Territory with both Ojibway and Cree background. Home for Ray is Winnipeg, where he was born and raised. 

Coco is a traditional singer, drummer and a composer of traditional singing and well known for his roles within the Pow Wow community. He was first introduced to drumming and ceremonies over thirty years ago. His journey as an Indigenous artist started after that first introduction. Over the years he has recorded seven original albums of his own composed songs. 

Self-Guided Resources

Accessibility

Campus Well-Being

RRC Polytech understands that personal and community well-being contributes to both student success and employee engagement. That’s why Campus Well-Being provides programs, services and resources to support the holistic health of students, staff and faculty. 

Through sportfitnessrecreation and mental wellness initiatives, we create a greater sense of well-being, belonging and connectedness in our campus community. Health is not only about our bodies, but also about our minds, emotions, spirit and relationships. 

2SLGBTQIA+

Celebrating Pride: An evolving list of resources and self-directed learning helps to foster understanding and allyship, all year round.

Staff/Faculty Training: Gender and Sexual Identities: Advancing Understanding and Inclusion

More Resources

Eliminating Harmful Language: Content Warning: This website contains language that is offensive or harmful. Please engage with this website at your own pace.

Centennial College: Social Action Cards

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

Learn more ›