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University of Ottawa to lead network on equity in schools

Research aims to find out what is holding back marginalized groups.

The University of Ottawa campus.

File / Metro Order this photo

The University of Ottawa campus.

The University of Ottawa is going to be the leader of a province-wide bilingual network that will bring together researchers and professionals from multiple fields with the goal of tackling equity problems in Ontario schools.

The University of Ottawa's network, known as Réseau de Savoir sur l'Équité/Equity Knowledge Network, will launch Wednesday at Hillcrest High School. The network will work with researchers and organizations across the province to find out what issues are holding back marginalized groups, including ethnic minorities, youth refugees, students with disabilities and LGBTQ students, and what’s being done to help them.

"We don't have to reinvent the wheel, but we need to know what is happening across the province; to map what practices are happening at the community level, the school level and the school board level," said Ruth Kane, director of graduate studies for the Faculty of Education. "What practices are in place that are working to break down barriers for some of these youths, and how can we translate them across different contexts."

The launch will include workshops for teachers, slam poetry interludes, as well as keynote speaker Dr. Carl James of York University.

Kane explained UOttawa was chosen to lead the network in part because of the university’s bilingualism, but also because of the focus they put on community involvement.

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