President’s Advisory Council on Anti-Racist Initiatives

In June 2020, NSCAD committed to establish a multi-stakeholder task force that would advise the president on the development of an anti-racist action plan for the university. The task force, known as the President’s Advisory Council on Anti-Racist Initiatives (PADCARI), is now established and includes representation from students, NSCAD Senate, NSCAD Board of Governors, faculty, staff, alumni and the broader community.

More information on the council’s meetings and activities will be added to this page as it becomes available.

Mission

NSCAD University commits to develop and maintain an anti-racist environment capable of ethically and productively supporting the university in its commitments to decolonizing our institution, policies and practices and creating a sustainable culture of inclusiveness and accountability.  PADCARI will play an important role by providing strategic advice to the President of NSCAD University on the effectiveness of programs and services offered, with the ultimate goal of providing guidance on ensuring the creation of a successful anti-racist environment for all NSCAD university students, employees, faculty, governors and senators.

Mandate

Provide advice on direction and initiatives

Consistent with its mission, PADCARI will provide advice and, where appropriate, recommendations for consideration on the future direction of NSCAD University as it relates to anti-racism by:

  • providing advice on anti-racism matters to the president.
  • developing and making recommendations and actions for implementation.
  • monitoring the progress of actions and evaluating their efficacy at achieving goals.

Contribute to and participate in internal reviews

PADCARI will contribute to internal and external reviews of NSCAD’s academic and administrative operations to:

  • ensure the university is held accountable for acting on recommendations that are brought forward by internal and external reviews.
  • ensure Mi’kmaq, African-Nova Scotian, national and global Indigenous perspectives (including First Nations, Inuit and Métis) are embedded in all quality assurance processes of administrative operations.
  • support the implementation of actions identified as an outcome of internal and external reviews in a timely manner.

Advance principles important to Mi’kmaq, African-Nova Scotian, national and global Indigenous perspectives (including First Nations, Inuit and Métis)

  • PADCARI will provide assistance to the university to ensure it integrates an understanding and awareness of the culture, traditions, and history of Mi’kmaq culture, including the Wabanaki Confederacy, Treaties of Peace and Friendship, the contemporary land claims process, and other principles important to Indigenous, Inuit and Métis peoples in all aspects of university academic and administrative operations, including academic programming.
  • PADCARI will enhance the ‘understanding and awareness’ of Mi’kmaq culture, language, communities and traditions within the university and convey the importance of that culture to the wider community.

Advance principles important to African Nova Scotian Communities

  • PADCARI will help the university integrate an understanding and awareness of the culture, traditions, and history of African Nova Scotian culture as well as from the Black Diaspora, including Afric-centric principles of education and leadership, the reparations processes, and other principles important to Black members of our community with respect to all aspects of university academic and administrative operations, including academic programming.
  • PADCARI will enhance the ‘understanding and awareness’ of African Nova Scotian cultures, communities and traditions within the university and convey the importance of that culture to the wider community.

Advance principles important to racialized people

  • PADCARI will help the university integrate an understanding and awareness of the culture, traditions, and history of racialized people such as principles of education and leadership, histories of migration and diasporas, and other principles important to racialized members of our community with respect to all aspects of university administrative and academic operations, including academic programming.
  • PADCARI will enhance the ‘understanding and awareness’ of racialized cultures, communities and traditions within the university and convey the importance of those cultures to the wider community.

Opportunity and belonging

PADCARI will make programming and operational recommendations to NSCAD University with a goal to improve opportunity and belonging through enhanced services to students, employees, staff, faculty,  governors and senators from all communities. PADCARI will play a key role in advising NSCAD on how to:

  • create an encouraging and supportive environment for everyone to embrace opportunities to participate in NSCAD as students, employees, staff, faculty, governors and senators.
  • support current students, employees, staff, faculty, governors and senators to have more involvement in shaping an inclusive culture and future of the institution.
  • develop new community partnerships and relationships that advance anti-racism.
  • support all underrepresented student groups in achieving higher levels of success by creating opportunity for meaningful participation in all areas of university life.
  • create culturally relevant and meaningful spaces for teaching, learning and engagement.
  • design, develop and implement curriculum and programming that meets the needs of all students as well as to provide recommendations regarding admissions of BIPOC students and hiring of BIPOC scholars and artists.
  • recruit, select and appoint talented and diverse staff faculty, leadership and students from all communities.
  • support and promote BIPOC scholarly and artistic practice.
  • be a leader both locally and nationally in activating/creating/fostering anti-racist, decolonial, equitable, ethically, integrative and collaborative arts community. In other words, NSCAD will be an exemplar leader in its field and bring other arts organizations along.

Provide advice to governing bodies

PADCARI will provide advice on initiatives being considered by the NSCAD governing bodies (Board and Senate) and, where appropriate, to the Council’s mission and mandate and offer recommendations for consideration.

PADCARI members

Shelley Burke

Martine Durier-Copp, PhD

Olivia Fay

Ann-Barbara Graff, PhD

Duane Jones

Rory MacDonald

Sarah McKinnon, PhD, PADCARI chair

Charmaine Nelson, PhD

Andrew Obol

Sylvia Parris-Drummond

Achini Ranasinghege

Alan Syliboy

DeRico Symonds, PADCARI vice-chair

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