Brock launches Human Rights, Equity and Decolonization Committee

Brock University recently took its next step in ensuring the campus environment is inclusive, fair and welcoming for all.

The President’s Advisory Committee for Human Rights, Equity and Decolonization (PACHRED) held its first meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 30, following months of work to bring the group to fruition.

Mandated by Brock University President Gervan Fearon to advise on issues facing equity-seeking communities, the committee includes 36 faculty, staff and students from across the University.

“PACHRED has been created to be a forum for discussion and learning on issues of equity and inclusion at Brock,” said Mary-Beth Raddon, who co-chairs the committee with Bradley Clarke, Brock’s Director of Student Life and Community Experience, and Joshua Manitowabi, a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Humanities. “Through our collective learning, we are to be an advisory body to the President.”

The group’s strength, Raddon said, lies in its “diverse membership of students, staff and faculty from across the University who share a commitment to making Brock more welcoming, just and fair for everyone.”

“Another strength is members’ knowledge about issues affecting equity-seeking groups stemming from lived experience, study, research and advocacy within and beyond the university context.”

Committee members will work with one or more of six affiliated groups that are examining specific equity-related areas of concern, including anti-ableism, mental health, decolonization, sexual violence, racial justice, gender and sexual diversity and employment equity.

By coming together as a single committee at least five times a year, the group as a whole has the potential to explore the interrelatedness of these issues.

Meetings are open and dates will be posted on the PACHRED website.

“PACHRED builds upon the important work of the Human Rights Task Force in seeking to promote and safeguard human rights at Brock, and ensuring that the recommendations put forth by the Task Force are advanced in meaningful ways,” Clarke said.

He described the committee’s inaugural meeting as a special event.

“It was a chance to look to the future and to do so with a group of dedicated, knowledgeable, and compassionate people who will work together to make our University more safe, welcoming and inclusive for all,” he said. “I’m excited for the many ways that we will engage the broader Brock community in achieving this goal.”

Fearon also weighed in on the University’s progress and path moving forward.

“Brock is taking significant steps to advance human rights, equity and inclusion with the support of the entire University community,” he said. “I look forward to hearing from PACHRED on how we can further support this momentum and further make Brock an outstanding and exemplary institution for teaching and learning, research, scholarly and creative activities, and community engagement for our students, faculty and staff.”

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