St. Andrew’s College Policy on Justice
St. Andrew’s College offers theological education to embody compassion, hope and justice.
This policy on justice describes how the College will continually engage in education and action toward justice in all of its own practices. As a policy of the College Council, Academic Committee, and Board of Regents, the policy covers all aspects of College life and provides direction to all groups and individuals acting in or on behalf of the College.
At St. Andrew’s College, we celebrate the image of God in all peoples, all cultures and in all creation. Our commitment to justice flows out of this celebration of the divine intent for diversity and abundant life and aligns with commitments of the United Church of Canada.
[Commitments] It shall be the policy of St. Andrew’s College:
– to actively oppose and address historical and present injustices of racism, sexism, classism, ableism, colonialism in church, the academy and society,
– to be public, explicit and intentional about affirming gender and sexual diversity,
– to teach and practice emancipatory language when referring to God, people, and all creation,
– to involve a variety of cultural expressions of faith, and
– to work for the eradication of wealth inequalities, toward food and income security, and the sustainable health of the earth and all creatures.
[Practices] In teaching, learning, community life, and as a workplace, the College environment will be one that:
– enables accessibility and hospitality,
– promotes positive relationships among diverse peoples,
– directs resources and education toward teaching and learning to act justly,
– works to understand and abolish systems and structures of oppression, including settler/colonialism, white supremacy, gender exclusion, sexism, heteropatriarchy, etc.
– collaborates with others in church, the academy, and society to teach justice and to assess the impacts of this policy.
[Framework for Understanding] In the development and assessment of these commitments and practices, the College will prioritize anti-racist and anti-oppressive knowledges, experiences, and voices of and from:
– Black, Indigenous, and Peoples of Colour (BIPOC),
– Lived experiences of gender oppression,
– Lived experiences of poverty,
– Lived experiences of disability,
– Lived experiences of addiction,
– Lived experiences of incarceration,
– Lived experiences of illness,
– Lived experiences of migration,
– LGBTQTT2S+ peoples.
Recognizing the limitations of language and expressions for identifying people groups, these will be revised from time to time, in keeping with the intent of this policy.
The commitments and practices framed in this policy shall be developed and assessed in the following ways:
1.) Establishment of a Justice Committee: The Justice Committee will meet on a regular basis (at least 3 and up to 6 times per calendar year) to review this policy, ensure accountability, recommend initiatives, and plan community events/outreach. The committee should include: one faculty member, one staff person, one alumni, one student, and one member from the community and should prioritize BIPOC membership. The committee reports through College Council, and the Joint Faculty Council, to the Academic Committee.
2.) Emancipatory Language Use: As part of our attempt to do justice for all people regardless of their identity, the practice of the College is to use emancipatory language in course work, at worship, in publications of the College, and in our community life when referring to God and people. We will seek language that does not stereotype or essentialize people groups, and reflects the decolonizing impulse that undergirds the values of the college.
3.) Academic Program and Policies: The Registrar, Faculty Councils and Academic Committee shall ensure that course syllabi, modes of course delivery, admissions policy and practices, and the development and revision of academic policies are in keeping with the commitments and practices of this policy.
4.) Justice Policy and Educational Resources: A list of resources for anti-racist and anti-oppressive work and learning will be available and regularly updated, through the library, the website, and other means.
5.) Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Workshops: The Justice Committee will be responsible for organizing an annual workshop for all individuals and groups in the College. This workshop will focus on the justice policy commitments, their relevance to the College, and the skills and knowledge needed to integrate them in the college, in ministry, and in the broader community.
6.) Community Education: St. Andrew’s College requires all full-time students and all faculty and encourages staff to attend the yearly Emancipatory Language Workshop (formerly inclusive language workshop) and the Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Workshop. The Justice Committee, the Academic Committee, College Council, and other groups within the college may, from time to time organize other community education opportunities in support of this policy and for the ongoing learning of the community. The College will continue to develop its visible and public statements about justice in keeping with its policies.
7.) Outreach and Collaboration: St. Andrew’s will seek partnerships in the community with whom to collaborate on wider community initiatives and events, prioritizing leadership from communities and organizations that centre the experiences of those most impacted by the commitments of this policy.
8.) Personnel Policies and Workplace: St. Andrew’s College is committed to providing a safe working environment to all our employees that is free from harassment and discrimination. The
Personnel Policies and Harassment Prevention Policies shall be reviewed from time to time in light of the justice policy commitments.
Initial Areas of Work for the Justice Committee
Student Services: The Justice Committee shall develop and recommend a process for students who experience the harms of racism and other forms of oppression, in the College, the church, or elsewhere, to access support, advocacy, and care from the College.
Environment in which there are places to wrestle with these issues: The Justice Committee will work on creating a place to share and address personal experiences of systemic racism and oppression