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Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice (EDISJ)

Welcome to the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice (EDISJ) Library Guide
Okanagan College respectfully acknowledges that our Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon campuses are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan People, our Salmon Arm campus is located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Secwépemc People, and our Revelstoke centre is located on the traditional and unceded territories of the Ktunaxa, Secwépemc, Sinixt and Syilx Okanagan Peoples. 

GDEIB Benchmarks


EDISJ Ambassadors are responsible for contributing to 3 key roles:

  • Help develop a draft EDISJ vision and OC specific definitions of what Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice mean for our institution
  • Meet with various individuals and groups throughout the institution to gather input and feedback on the draft
  • Act as communicators to help disseminate information on the work of the Ambassador Group and gather input from departments/programs.


Equity is the concept of fairness, acceptance and belonging. In defining equity, the difference between “equality” and “equity” must be emphasized. Although both promote fairness, equality achieves this through treating everyone the same regardless of circumstances. Equity acknowledges systemic power and privilege, and redistributes resources to identify and address the obstacles, barriers and biases that limit access and opportunities. Okanagan College seeks to create conditions that allow everyone to reach their full potential through building confidence and celebrating accomplishments.    (OC EDISJ, 2022).

Diversity acknowledges that each person is unique and their individual differences are respected. To embrace diversity means we must recognize that personal, cultural and institutionalized discrimination shapes and provides privileges for some while creating and perpetuating disadvantages for others.

Diversity includes different ways of being, ways of knowing and embracing intersecting identities. Okanagan College understands and respects different qualities of lived experiences and cultural expression, as part of our commitment to accessibility. (OC EDISJ, 2022).

Inclusion is an organizational effort and practice ensuring different groups and/or individuals having different backgrounds are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed. Inclusion is the full and authentic membership in the Okanagan College community for all people. It is a continuous and ongoing process that requires active participation. This requires the intentional creation of environments where systematically disadvantaged individuals or groups feel welcomed, safe, respected and valued in any of their activities and as a part of the community.  (OC EDISJ, 2022).

Social Justice:
Social justice is the recognition that systems were built to perpetuate the power and influence of select groups or individuals and will continue to do so without conscious effort to actively break down these systems. At Okanagan College, all community members are responsible for creating a just organization, where people looking to learn, share and work at the institution can all benefit equitably from these social systems and power structures. Social justice also recognizes that the responsibility for creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world goes beyond Okanagan College and extends to the community. The call for social justice is answered when Okanagan College’s role as a place of learning and innovation expands to improve the lives of people who face systemic obstacles to full and equal participation in the College and community.  (OC EDISJ, 2022).

Brownstein, M. (2019, Fall). Implicit Bias. In E.N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. 

Oxford University Press. (2021, December). Implicit bias. In Oxford English dictionary (3rd ed.).

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