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About Us

Mandate:

  • Identify and anticipate issues affecting equity-seeking communities (including but not limited to First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons, members of racialized communities, newcomers and refugees, members of  diverse faith communities, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ-identified individuals, and women) both within the University and relevant to those seeking access to the University, and advise the President on such issues;
  • Provide a forum for discussion, reflection and learning on issues of inclusion, equity and community-building and, in keeping with the spirit of the University, create spaces for  respectful debate on important social issues;
  • Provide advice to the President on the planning and development of policies and programs related to “building an inclusive community with a shared purpose” (the third strategic goal of Refining Directions), both within the University and the broader McMaster community; 
  • Meet with the President at least once a year to discuss PACBIC’s work and progress;
  • Provide reports  and make recommendations for action to the President, the University Planning Committee (UPC) and other relevant University bodies in order to channel advice through the University structure and thus sustain a University culture that advances equity and inclusion;
  • Monitor and evaluate the implementation of recommendations;
  • Communicate implementation plans and progress reports to the university community.


Meeting Schedule 2017-18:


All meetings are open to all members of the campus community and everyone is encouraged to attend.

  • Friday, October 20th, 2017: 9:30am-11:30am
  • Thursday, November 30th, 2017: 9:30am-11:30am
  • Thursday, December 21st, 2017: 9:30am-11:30am
  • Thursday, January 25th, 2018: 9:30am-11:30am
  • Thursday, February 15th, 2018: 9:30am-11:30am
  • Tuesday, March 27th, 2018: 9:30am-11:30am
  • Thursday, April 26th, 2018: 9:30am-11:30am
  • Thursday, May 31st, 2018: 9:30am-11:30am

All PACBIC meetings take place in Council Chambers, Gilmour Hall Room 111

To receive the meeting schedule, agendas and reminders please join the PACBIC email distribution list, by contacting pacbic@mcmaster.ca

History

PACBIC – Short History

PACBIC was established at McMaster in 2002 to contribute to the third goal of the university’s then new strategic plan: ‘to build an inclusive community with a shared purpose’ (Refining Directions, 2002). This formal beginning was rooted, however, in the earlier informal efforts of various campus groups to challenge barriers faced in the university by members of marginalized communities. Some of these informal initiatives clustered around academic programs engaged in critical teaching and research about systemic inequalities (e.g. Women’s Studies and Indigenous Studies), some were the result of student organizing, and some emerged from the educational and community-building work of the Sexual Harassment & Discrimination Office (SHADO, the precursor of what is now the Equity & Inclusion Office).  Key to PACBIC’s introduction in 2002 was the advocacy of the Committee Against Homophobia & Heterosexism (CAHH) - a group of LGB faculty, staff and students and allies that had formed in the late 1990s in response to homophobic incidents and graffiti on campus. CAHH focused initially on drawing attention to the invisibility and apprehensions of LGB members of the campus community and pressing for changes to enhance their inclusion. It became apparent, however, that what was lacking was a forum for linking the intersecting dynamics of exclusion and drawing together the diversity of campus communities concerned to address and change them. PACBIC was imagined as a way of addressing this gap: a university-wide committee open to students, staff and faculty that had an explicit and legitimated role in providing advice to the most senior level of the university, the President.

Especially in its early years, PACBIC members had to work hard to simply illuminate how the systemic barriers that characterize our wider society unfold inside the university. Demanding their recognition meant challenging taken-for-granted and seemingly neutral organizational practices that reproduce systemic inequities and silences. In the process of this work and over time, PACBIC enabled the development of important relationships and networks among those striving to foster just and inclusive practices at the University, offering a space for support, learning, and the generation of ideas for inclusive change.

With the developments spurred in 2011 by President Deane’s Forward with Integrity initiative and its continued emphasis on ‘building an inclusive community, promoting equity and fairness, and celebrating our rich diversity’ (Forward with Integrity: The Next Phase, 2015), McMaster’s commitment to inclusion and just practice was reinvigorated. For PACBIC, this has resulted in increased practical supports from the offices of the President, the Provost and Equity & Inclusion. It has also resulted in increased recognition of PACBIC’s contribution as a hub for exchange, debate and advice aimed at redressing within McMaster’s orbit the shifting systemic inequalities and discriminatory discourses playing out in contemporary society.