Decolonizing Equity

edited by Billie Allan and V.C. Rhonda Hackett  foreword by OmiSoore H. Dryden  

This book acknowledges the equity work BIPOC staff do in all institutions as both a burden and a survival mechanism, then explores how this necessary work be done in a less harmful way.

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  • May 2022
  • ISBN: 9781773635156
  • 216 pages
  • $28.00
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB May 2022
  • ISBN: 9781773635309
  • $27.99
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  • PDF May 2022
  • ISBN: 9781773635316
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About the book

Institutions everywhere seem to be increasingly aware of their roles in settler colonialism and anti-Black racism. As such, many racialized workers find themselves tasked with developing equity plans for their departments, associations or faculties. This collection acknowledges this work as both survival and burden for Black, Indigenous and racialized peoples. It highlights what we already know and are already doing in our respective areas and offers a vision of what equity can look like through a decolonial lens. What helps us to make this work possible? How do we take care with ourselves and each other in this work? What does solidarity, collaboration or “allyship” look like in decolonial equity work? What are the implicit and explicit barriers we face in shifting equity discourse, policy and practice, and what strategies, skills and practices can help us in creating environments and lived realities of decolonial equity?

This edited collection centres the voices of Indigenous, Black and other racialized peoples in articulating a vision for decolonial equity work. Specifically, the focus on decolonizing equity is an invitation to re-articulate what equity work can look like when we refuse to separate ideas of equity from the historical and contemporary realities of colonialism in the settler colonial nation states known as Canada and the United States and when we insist on linking an equity agenda to the work of decolonizing our shared realities.

Education Indigenous Resistance & Decolonization Race & Anti-Racism Social Work

What people are saying

Sara Ahmed, author of On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life and Complaint!

“If an EDI office seems too far away from a decolonizing project, read this book! In this compelling and carefully crafted collection of essays, Indigenous, Black and racialized scholars teach us that “decolonizing equity” is about what we have to do to rebuild universities, how we bring old knowledges and our relations with us, as well as how we create the spaces we need to survive the colonial harms and inequities that continue to shape our present.”

Benita Bunjun, author of Academic Well-Being of Racialized Students

“Decolonizing Equity foregrounds nuanced ways of examining, interrogating, articulating and visioning possibilities and futurities of equity within the white-settler society of Canada. The lack of such books by community-engaged IBPOC scholars has deprived communities of social work, social justice, and education of pivotal scholarship, experiential knowledge, and radical healing. I found it to be extremely useful in thinking through the nuances, negotiations, contradictions and complexities of multiculturalism, EDI, neo-liberalism and settler colonialism. This is a rare and important contribution to emerging fields of radical study and practice that encourages liberation and healing.”

Kathleen E. Absolon, author of Kaandossiwin, How We Come to Know: Indigenous Re/search Methodologies

“This book features a well-chosen and exquisitely grounded BIPOC collective, making this book an excellent choice for readers, educators, and leaders working in EDI.”


Billie Allan

Billie Allan is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work, University of Victoria, and chair of the Thunderbird Circle – Indigenous Social Work Educators Network. Dr. Allan is a Two Spirit Anishinaabe scholar from Sharbot Lake, Ontario, whose research is focused on Indigenous health and well-being, including the impact of racism and child welfare. She is the co-author, along with Dr. Janet Smylie, of First Peoples, Second Class Treatment: The Role of Racism in the Health and Well-Being of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

V.C. Rhonda Hackett

Rhonda Hackett is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work, University of Victoria. Dr. Hackett is an African Caribbean scholar whose work is informed by extensive social work practice experience and a decolonizing theoretical lens woven from the offerings of critical race theory, Black feminist thought and Indigenous thought. Her scholarship is focused on advancing understanding of the lived experiences and knowledge of African Caribbean peoples living in the lands currently known as Canada, including matters of family and community well-being.

OmiSoore H. Dryden

Dr. OmiSoore H. Dryden, a Black queer femme, is the James R Johnston Endowed Research Chair in Black Canadian Studies, Faculty of Medicine, and interim director of Black Studies Research Institute at Dalhousie University. She is the co-founder and co-lead of the Black Health Education Collaborative and engages in interdisciplinary scholarship and research that focuses on Black LGBTQI communities, blood donation systems in Canada, anti-Black racism in healthcare, medical education and Black health curricular content development. She is the co-editor of Disrupting Queer Inclusion: Canadian Homonationalisms and the Politics of Belonging and co-author of “Time to Dismantle Systemic anti-Black Racism in Medicine in Canada.” She is an associate scientist with the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit, a member of the Black Feminist Health Science Studies International Collective, a past co-president of the Black Canadian Studies Association and a founding member of the National Coalition Confronting Anti-Black Racism in Donor Protocols.


  • Opening the circle
  • Round 1: Visioning for and conceptualizing decolonial equity
  • Chapter 1: Theorizing decolonial equity: Coyote takes a chapter
  • Chapter 2: Decolonizing Equity Practice
  • Chapter 3: A Theorizing of De-colonializing Equity and the Nation State
  • Round 2: Being and doing – Decolonial equity in practice
  • Chapter 4: Tkaranto Ondaadizi-Gamig: Birth is a Ceremony
  • Chapter 5: Introducing Indigenous and Black Youth to a New Vision of Social Work
  • Chapter 6: Decolonizing Urban Education
  • Round 3: On healing, wellbeing and sustainability – Taking care in the work of decolonizing equity
  • Chapter 7: A Call for Radical Healing: Integrating healing into Critical Race Education
  • Chapter 8: Centring Subjectivity: Witnessing and Wellness
  • Closing the Circle


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