Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
in the Department of Classics and Religion (CLARE) at the University of Calgary
Protected Disclosure Advisor: 403.220.4086
We commit to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility
We recognize that:
Injustice and oppression, including in their institutionalized and systemic forms, are present in the lives of racialized groups, people of colour, women, LGBTQ2IA+ communities, disabled people, the economically disadvantaged, Indigenous peoples and other equity deserving groups as protected from discrimination in the Alberta Human Rights Act.
Universities, of which the study of theology/religion and classics were (and continue to be) cornerstones, forged systems still obfuscating and silencing the experience, histories, and voices of non-European derived peoples, marginalized, dispossessed, sexualized, and racialized groups.
Our responsibility as teachers and scholars
of Classics, Religious Studies, South Asian Studies and Ancient and Medieval Studies:
critically evaluate our fields
work with members of equity deserving groups with respect and compassion
recognize the imperialist, racist, sexist, and orientalist history and context of our fields
recognize our own biases leading to unjust attitudes and practices
actively work for greater equity, inclusion, diversity, and justice.
We recognize the problematic histories and natures of our disciplines, fields, areas of study and programs, and their implication in continuing structures of exclusion, oppression, and injustice.
Religious Studies as a discipline
The academic study of religion arose from, and to a large extent continues to reflect, European cultural biases and prejudices. It has benefited from historic racist, colonialist, orientalist, and unjust programs of subjugation of equity deserving groups.
As scholars and students of religion, we recognize that Religious Studies as a discipline has been complicit in this history and that much more needs to be done to redress this.
Furthermore, we understand that the unique importance religion plays in the lives of people creates a particular responsibility to educate ourselves, members of the University, and the communities of which we are a part, about the legacies and practices of religiously motivated racism, sexism, subjugation, and oppression.
Classics as a discipline
Traditionally the study of Classics focused only on the ancient Greeks and Romans, construing them both as miraculous developments in a cultural vacuum, and as societies uniquely to be valorized. As a result, Classics was complicit in the creation of a Euro-centric, orientalist understanding of the world, and its scholarly endeavours explicitly and implicitly supported colonialism, imperialism, slavery, racism, sexism, and white nationalism.
We acknowledge these appalling facts about our discipline, the privilege they continue to confer, and we are committed to pursuing scholarship, teaching, and service that seeks to remedy these faults.
We do not shy away from laying bare the horrors present in ancient societies, including slavery, sexism and racism, or the devastation wrought upon others by Greek and Roman imperialism.
In addition, we are committed to examining and exposing the processes through which the ancient Greek and Roman world has been, and is still being, portrayed by those who pursue racist, sexist, unjust and exclusionary agendas, such as white supremacy.
Educating ourselves about the roles that the University and our disciplines have played, and continue to play, in creating and reinforcing systemic and particular injustice in our societies.
Working to reduce and remove sources and practices of injustice in our policies, procedures, bureaucracies, structures, committees, and systems.
Using our positions as educators and researchers, to seek to present religion and ancient cultures in decolonized, inclusive, and just ways, attentive to plurality of perspectives, complex intersections of oppression, and respectful listening to the voices and histories of those with whom we engage in scholarship. We will revise and renew our curricula to reflect these commitments.
Helping provide academic resources and support for communities subject to systemic and other forms of injustice, and education of those in positions of privilege.
Continually critiquing, adjusting, and improving our published, online, and in-person public presence, toward the goal of increasing the variety and number of voices, perspectives, histories, and peoples with whom we engage.
Decolonizing, informing, and revising our research, theories, and methods to both acknowledge the ways that our disciplines have been shaped by and reinforce unjust power structures, and incorporate and/or respectfully acknowledge research, perspectives, and knowledge produced by equity-deserving groups.
The University of Calgary acknowledges the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations), as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw and Wesley First Nations). The City of Calgary is also home to Metis Nation of Alberta, Region 3. The University of Calgary acknowledges the impact of colonization on Indigenous peoples in Canada and is committed to our collective journey towards reconciliation to create a welcome and inclusive campus that encourages Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being.