Communication: We communicate frankly and openly with each other. We encourage a learning environment to stimulate the exchange of information and knowledge. We value and support teamwork, co-operation, and timely communication.
Accountability: Individually and collectively, we take responsibility for our actions and decisions in achieving our goals. We are accountable to ourselves and our colleagues and, in particular, to students, patients and stakeholders whom we serve.
Respect: We respect every individual. We treat people with fairness and dignity. We benefit from the diversity of people and opinions.
Excellence: We are committed to the highest standards of quality, exceptional performance at all times and the pursuit of innovation. We strive to create a positive culture that supports a healthy workplace of choice.
Dear CMCC students and employees,
This past week we have witnessed an extraordinary combination of outrage, grief, frustration, confusion and sadness as we watched the tragic events in the US spread across North America and around the world. The pent-up rage over the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others by police officers erupted into protests and violence.
In Toronto, we have seen large rallies and demonstrations, largely peaceful, over these senseless and brutal acts, as well as those against a number of Indigenous peoples across Canada over the years. This has had an emotional impact upon many of our students, including several who wrote me thoughtful emails over the weekend.
Last week we made a brief posting on our social media outlets to remind our community that our core values and even the chiropractic oath reflect our commitment to equality, respect, and caring for other people. But as the situation continues to unfold there is a need for expansion upon these principles. I want to assure you that CMCC is unwavering in its opposition to violence against all minorities, aggression aimed at people of colour, anti-Black racism, oppression, white supremacy, and any type of discrimination.
There is always the risk in making a statement about institutional values, societal unrest or injustices that some people will be upset by the perceived focus upon one ethnic group or the seeming use of platitudes in a turbulent time. But the Black Lives Matter movement is against violence and systemic racism towards Black people. Recent activities were triggered by police violence against Black individuals. We shouldn’t de-emphasize that just because we do not want to lose track of biases and discrimination against other ethnicities, religions, sexual orientation, gender, or persons with other belief systems.
Most of you know that I moved to Canada six years ago from the US. I’ve watched in horror and shame as the US President has made incendiary remarks and has been unapologetic about his endorsement of the use of overwhelming force to address issues in various cities. I’ve watched with admiration how the Canadian protests, including those in Toronto, have generally been peaceful and have tried to keep their anti-Black racism message at the forefront.
Is there an opportunity for CMCC to learn from all this? I certainly hope so. In the past few years, CMCC has made progress in dealing with issues around discrimination, but there is obviously still work to be done. Three years ago, our Human Resources Division initiated training on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and brought in an expert from Ryerson University to lead that training. Last year we created a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee, which includes representation from students, faculty and staff. The EDI Committee will strive to create a community at CMCC where students, staff and faculty feel acknowledged, respected and a sense of belonging. The EDI Committee advises and makes recommendations on matters related to equity, diversity and inclusion at CMCC in order to maintain an environment free of discrimination and intolerance. We recently conducted our first survey to try and establish a better understanding of the issues on campus.
Our academic team has begun to reach out to students to see if there are specific curricular issues that it should be considering. In 2018, we appointed a renowned physiotherapist and educator, a graduate of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, with a passion for multiculturalism and diversity in healthcare professions to our Program Advisory Committee. This committee is a group of persons from outside of CMCC that provides valuable input to our curriculum and academic program. We will continue to address our weaknesses and flaws, but we need to hear more from our students and employees as to how they are affected by issues of systemic racism and discrimination, what support you need from CMCC, and what you would like to see happen next.
It is unfortunate that the pandemic has closed CMCC at a time when gatherings might provide us with an opportunity to be better heard. We shall strive to find other ways to hear your voices.
David Wickes, DC, MA, President
Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College