UWI Mona enhancing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

UWI Mona enhancing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

(L-R) Deputy Principal of The UWI Mona Campus, Dr Tomlin Paul; Senior Project Manager, Equity Diversity & Inclusion Unit, Ms Yolanda Paul; Members of the Technical Working Group for the ED&I Unit Drs Antony Perry and David Picking, all pictured at the Launch of the Unit on October 19, 2023.

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Mona is working with and through its new UWI Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit (ED&I) to increase equitable access to quality education for its students, while also ensuring its work environment is agile and enabling for all.

Deputy Principal Dr Tomlin Paul is calling for campus-wide support as the UWI Mona sharpens its focus on being a safe, inclusive, meaningful space for all members of its community. “We want to create agile, safe, and inclusive spaces where our students can flourish academically and personally,” Dr. Paul stressed.  

"It is our duty to ensure that every student that comes to our campus – regardless of their background – feels welcomed and supported, and we are driving the agenda for the student experience,” Dr Paul continued. In fact, he said the Unit would be at the forefront of ensuring equitable access to quality education on the Mona Campus, enabling every student to reach their full potential.

Dr Paul went on to highlight the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion to staff, faculty, and team members supporting students. "We believe it is our responsibility to create this safe, welcoming, and inclusive work environment for our staff to operate at their optimal capacity in order to promote wellbeing – their own wellbeing, and the wellbeing of their students – and to promote their career goals,” he said.

“This is a campus-wide initiative; one that is driven collectively,” Dr Paul emphasised.  “We have the support of the campus leadership, but we want the support of all the stakeholders on the campus,” he urged, when he spoke at the official launch of the ED&I Unit on October 19, 2023. He added that wholesale buy-in was crucial to the successful implementation of the UWI EDI Policy.

Meanwhile, Ms Yolanda Paul, Senior Project Manager, ED&I Unit, said the team would “work and advocate” for all stakeholders.  As a Unit, we exclude no one,” she told the gathering.  She went on to point out that the Unit would be taking a participatory approach by engaging all members of staff, through their faculties, to work through equity, diversity, and inclusion issues within their own spaces. “I am also very happy to see that every faculty is working on developing its own faculty ED&I,” she added.

Ms Paul said the ED&I Unit had also instituted a Student Ambassadorship programme aimed at raising awareness, while encouraging more advocacy and activism among the student body.  In addition, she said the Unit was also working strategically with various partners with a view to building on in-kind support and repositioning the facility as a think-tank and resource hub for matters related to equity, diversity, and inclusion. “Our current partners, who are represented here in the room, are our Red Strip team, our Pepsi-Cola Jamaica team and our Digicel team,” Ms Paul revealed.  These teams, which have implemented individual ED&I-related campaigns in their own workspaces, have been collaborating within the circle to support and expand equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts.

“It is a lot of work. It is a huge task, but it is a task to which the Unit is very committed and very passionate about,” Ms Paul declared.