The meetings are just one example — one that arises without even approaching the much wider question of how mathematics departments operate, for better or for worse. We cannot be afraid to rethink how we do things, even those basic things that we perhaps consider immutable. We have to ask questions about all of the structures in play, many of which have been designed either consciously or unconsciously to favor the status quo and keep less powerful groups from achieving equity. We have to step outside the comfort of our own shoes and we have to listen. And then we have to act.
In order to facilitate this conversation, and to help channel ideas and questions into actions, a new column is being initiated here in the CMS Notes. This column, for which this article is the inaugural contribution, is titled MOSAIC:
Mathematics, Outreach, Society, Accessibility, and Inclusiveness Column
This column is all about respect, honesty, learning, healing, welcoming, solving problems, acknowledging and listening to each other, moving forward, and building a stronger and richer Canadian mathematical community. You can expect to read about ongoing challenges on various fronts and proposed strategies for tackling them, successful examples of allyship, issues affecting students and early-career mathematicians, tips for work-life balance, advertisements and recaps of relevant events, and brainstorming around outreach.
The first few articles will come from the EDI Committee members, who are: Habiba Kadiri (Associate Professor, University of Lethbridge), Elana Kalashnikov (Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo), Karen Meagher (Professor, University of Regina and Chair, CMS Women in Mathematics Committee), Israel Ncube (Professor, Alabama A&M Univeristy), Monica Nevins (Professor, University of Ottawa and Member, CMS Executive Committee), and Reila Zheng (PhD Student, University of Toronto). We also plan to host various guest contributors as the series evolves.
You too can be part of this series. If you have an article to propose, please do not hesitate to write to the EDI Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also welcome ideas for content to be featured in our Inclusive Mathematics project.
I would also like to acknowledge Denise Charron, Termeh Kousha, Zishad Lak, Yvette Roberts, Gosia Skrobutan, and Sarah Watson of the CMS for helping to facilitate and publicize EDI events and content across the CMS this past year.
So let’s start the conversation: ask, listen, act. We can do this — together.
Steven Rayan (he/him) is the chair of CMS EDI Committee and Associate Professor at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at University of Saskatchewan on Treaty 6 territory and the homeland of the Métis people.