CEWIL Statement of Solidarity and Call to Action for Equity and Inclusion in WIL

For too long, many organizations have been silent about the impact of systemic racism, biases and inequities – and specifically how this impacts the lives of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC)Canadians. CEWIL is prepared to stand in alliance with the many organizations that have already made statements of solidarity and commitments to review inequities, racism, and other forms of oppression embedded in our systems and structures. With inspiration from the Black Lives Matter movement, CEWIL is putting forward a call to action to our members and the entire Canadian work-integrated learning community regarding equity and inclusion.

CEWIL Canada is comprised of post-secondary institutions and industry organizations whose mission it is to build the capacity to develop future-ready student and graduates through quality work-integrated learning. Since inequities faced are often experienced in the world of work, it is our responsibility to promote anti-racist policies and practices to ensure that all students have access to meaningful learning opportunities in the workplace that are free from discrimination – be it through co-ops, internships, full-time opportunities, and others.

Effective immediately, CEWIL is committed to appointing a special advisor to the Board of Directors and the formation of a CEWIL Equity and Inclusion Committee. We will hold ourselves accountable and be advised by the committee to achieve the following:

Develop a CEWIL Equity and Inclusion statement to which we will expect all members to embrace and support through their actions
Embed clear and actionable equity and inclusion goals into our strategic plan. We will also call upon our member institutions to do the same so we can better support and enable people who experience marginalization to participate in WIL
Ensure CEWIL is a champion of equitable and inclusive WIL through our engagements and advocacy with governments, funders, and our partners. We will call upon our regional association partners to do the same in their provinces and territories.
Review CEWIL’s accreditation criteria and quality standards, reflect on who benefits from them, and ensure equity and inclusion are requirements for all quality and accredited WIL
Committee membership will be intentionally diverse and approached from an intersectional lens as equity issues are complex and rarely does person experience inequities from one area alone. This will help us learn as a community and make lasting and positive changes. We understand there is listening and learning that needs to happen before we can effectively make changes in our organization and extended throughout our membership. We also need our community to come together and support this effort and authentically champion equity and inclusion.

CEWIL is a community of over 1100 individuals from across Canada, representing both industry and post-secondary. We have a responsibility to provide inclusive leadership that ensures the success of all the students with whom we work. We will be listening and learning, standing up for what is right, and taking action. We invite you to join us in this work to advance equity and inclusion in your organizations, on your campuses, and in your lives.