MRFA 2025

On March 18, 2022, the MRFA Executive approved the Association’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion plan, MRFA 2025: Building an Inclusive, Equitable and Welcoming Association, and on May 12, 2022 the Association provided the first annual report on the progress made on the plan to date. In May 2023 the Association issued an updated and annotated version of the Plan that includes reports on progress/status of all items. Review the 2023 version of the MRFA 2025 Plan to see what the Association has made progress in the past year and the work still ahead. Members are invited to provide their feedback on the plan and the progress made via the form below.

This plan has its origins in the Executive Board’s 2020 Statement on Racism that was issued in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and acknowledging police violence against Black and Indigenous people in Canada. In that statement, the MRFA Executive Board committed to a full review of the Association’s By-laws, policies and procedures. 

In September 2020, the Executive Board established an Equity Review Taskforce, charged with examining the Association’s basic documents and policies to ensure they were as inclusive as possible and did not foster discrimination. Their recommendations resulted in important changes to the Association’s Bylaws last year as well as to on-going revisions of the Association’s policies. 

As the review progressed, the Taskforce members saw that a more fundamental cultural change was required–change that would take time and a clear action-oriented plan to guide the work needed to transform the Association. With that goal in mind, the Taskforce wrote the first draft of MRFA 2025 with four proposed goals or interventions. The MRFA Executive Board approved these in June 2021.  The Plan was then posted on the Association’s website for member comment and suggestions. 

IIn Fall 2020, the MRFA Executive Board struck an Equity Review Committee from among the Executive Officers. To create a link between the Review Committee and the membership the Executive Board invited expressions of interest to sit on the Equity Review Committee. The Board appointed Dr. Kim Williams to join Member-at-Large Irene Shanker, Past President Melanie Peacock, President Lee Easton and Senior Administrative and Faculty Relations Officer Chantelle Anderson. The Diversity and Equity Committee appointed Dr. Ghada Alatrash, a contract faculty member from General Education, to be its liaison with the Review Committee and its successor the MRFA 2025 Working Group.  

In Fall 2021, the MRFA 2025 Working Group saw new members come on board. Diversity and Equity Officer Milena Radzikowsca took over from Dr. Shankar. When Dr. Alatrash left MRU,, the Executive Board again looked for expressions of interest to serve on the MRFA 2025 Working Group. David Couilaby, a contract faculty member in the Bissett School of Business and Dr. Michael Ata were appointed to the MRFA 2025 Working Group and generously shared their expertise.

The President has provided regular reports first on the Equity Review Committee’s work, which culminated in a number of recommendations to amend the Association’s by-laws as well as updates about the MRFA 2025 Plan.  A draft of the Plan was available for member review from June 2021 until December 2021.

The MRFA 2025 Working Group has continued refining the Plan over this academic year. It reviewed members’ feedback and held consultations between October and December 2021. Representatives of the Working Group also met with the BIPOC Support Network and received feedback from the MRFA Diversity and Equity Committee. The Working Group reviewed all received feedback and, where appropriate, made revisions to the Plan. 

This plan is required in order to address the Association’s past inadequacies and failures when dealing with the concerns of our members who hail from equity deserving groups or, more accurately, historically-excluded groups. The Plan’s starting point is that the Mount Royal Faculty Association has not always been the inclusive, equitable and welcoming organization that we have imagined it to be. As an Association, we need to do better to make sure we hear the legitimate concerns our colleagues have expressed about being unheard, marginalized and treated unfairly. This Plan offers a road map to acknowledging (facing) that the Association has deep connections to white, hetero-normative, patriarchal, ableist, male, colonial privilege (yes, that word) and reorienting the Association to more fully serving all of its members.

The Plan does not interfere with members’ academic freedom. In fact, the plan complements the Association’s firm support of academic freedom. 

MRFA 2025 has major goals or interventions that will transform our Association over the next 4 years. The Plan is focused on accountability–it outlines concrete strategies and specific actions with implementation timelines. Over the next three years, the MRFA Executive Board will lead an organizational review to ensure the Association’s mission, vision and goals are congruent with our focus on equity, diversity and inclusion. We will be reviewing our organizational structure and activities, which will culminate in proposed changes to be effective in May 2023. 

More Information related to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the MRFA and at MRU is available on the MRFA’s EDI page and on the MRFA’s Diversity and Equity Committee page.