Equity, Diversity & Inclusion: Seeds of Possibility in a Changing Landscape

Since 1984, the annual CAPDHHE conference has offered to latest updates and workshops on human rights and equity issues from activists, administrators, faculty members, staff, lawyers, artists and students, who work with campus community at Canadian colleges and universities.

This year’s CAPDHHE conference will feature a group of groundbreaking speakers who understand the challenges in higher education and who will provoke cutting-edge approaches to our work.

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April 20-22, 2020


Sheridan College, Hazel McCallion Campus
4226 Duke of York Blvd.
Mississauga, Ontario, L5B 0G5


Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

The Conference 2020 will include a half-day pre-conference workshop. There will be keynote speakers, panels and workshops on a variety of topics including Indigenizing the academy, freedom of expression, racial discrimination, the NSERC Dimensions Program, education and human rights law updates, prevention of sexual violence, and self-care as a change agent.

To discuss sponsoring Conference 2020 or a particular panel, or if you have any questions, please contact the CAPDHHE Executive Coordinator at

Keynote Speakers

Waneek Horn-Miller

Indigenizing Indigenizing Waneek Horn-Miller has overcome discrimination and trauma to emerge as one of North America's most inspiring activists and Olympians. From her iconic TIME cover to her former role in the National Inquiry into Missiong and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, she empowers our communities to overcome adversity, and helps us turn reconciliations - justice, healing, and dialogue - into a cornerstone of our national institutions. 

Lawrence Hill

Lawrence Hill will open the main conference on April 21 with a keynote address. Lawrence Hill is a writer whose novels and works of non-fiction have been widely read in Canada, translated into many languages and published around the world. He is a professor of creative writing at the University of Guelph, and is the author of ten books, including The Illegal, The Book of Negroes and Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada.

He is the winner of The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His books have won CBC Radio’s Canada Reads twice, and the French equivalent on Radio Canada’s Le Combat des Livres. Hill delivered the 2013 Massey Lectures, based on his non-fiction book Blood: The Stuff of Life. He co-wrote the adaptation for the six-part television miniseries The Book of Negroes, which won 11 Canadian Screen Awards as well as the NAACP Image Award for outstanding writing for television. He served as chair of the jury of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize. He has been a volunteer with Book Clubs for Inmates as well as a long-time supporter of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society of Nova Scotia. For more than forty hears, he has been a volunteer with Crossroads International – a non-profit group working with local groups to support community and economic development for girls and women in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2019, he designed and taught an undergraduate memoir-writing course through the Walls to Bridges program at the Grand Valley Institution for Women, a federal penitentiary in Kitchener, Ontario. The course included equal numbers of incarcerated women and traditionally registered university students.

Lawrence Hill is the son of the late human rights activists Daniel and Donna Hill, who co-founded the Ontario Black History Society and who each wrote books about Black history in Canada. For The Globe and Mail in June, 2018, Lawrence wrote “Act of Love,” a long, intimate essay about his mother’s life and about her medically assisted death in Switzerland. The essay contributed to an ongoing national dialogue about medically assisted dying in Canada. Lawrence’s grandfather and father each served as African-Americans in the American Army in the First and Second World Wars, respectively. Currently, he is writing a novel about the African-American soldiers who helped build the Alaska Highway in northern BC and Yukon in 1942-43. He has been inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame, and is a Member of the Order of Canada.

Jane Ngobia

We’re pleased to welcome our 2020 CAPDHHE Conference Chair: Jane Ngobia, Vice-President, Inclusive Communities, Sheridan College. Jane Ngobia joined Sheridan as Senior Advisor to the President and Vice Chancellor. Following broad community consultation to develop Sheridan’s Strategic Plan, the primacy of equity, diversity and inclusion was clearly articulated, and she accepted the inaugural role as Vice-President, Inclusive Communities. In this role, Jane is charged with the responsibility of working horizontally and partnering with all to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in all of Sheridan’s policies, processes and practices. Her mandate is to purposefully foster and reaffirm an inclusive campus that embraces the rich diversity of Sheridan’s community to foster a strong sense of connection, respect for others’ rights to belong and equal opportunity to engage, thrive and succeed.

Conference Themes

Equity & Inclusion

  • De-colonization, anti-racism and anti-discrimination initiatives
  • Anti-black-racism
  • Implicit Bias
  • Navigating the Dynamics of Affinity and/or Peer Support Groups
  • Freedom of Expression and the Right to Peaceful Protest
  • Micro-aggressions
  • Equity data
  • Employment equity
  • Social Media’s ‘Call Out’/ ‘Cancel Culture’
  • Establishing safe and inclusive campus communities for Trans and gender diverse persons

Practice & Self-Care

  • Human Rights Code and the Duty to Accommodate – current discussions
  • Accommodation: from school to post-secondary to the workplace
  • Complaint processes
  • Conflict resolution
  • Prevention of sexual violence -policies and programs
  • Career development in the field of Equity & Inclusion
  • From Surviving to Thriving: Sustainable Self-Care Strategies
  • Biblio-therapy

Equity practitioners often find themselves in the unique position of being advocates of human rights and being responsible for the implementation of institutional policies relating to the prevention of harassment, discrimination and sexual violence. The landscape is challenging and changing as we navigate an array of competing rights and interests including freedom of expression, freedom from harassment and discrimination, protection of persons and property, the right to a safe work environment, mental health issues and employment equity. It is within the context of campus diversity, the ever-present need for meaningful dialogue and the necessity of developing new knowledge and skills, that equity practitioners must sow the ‘seeds of possibility’.