In what’s being called the “first of its kind” at a Canadian post-secondary institution, the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences (RFHS) at the University of Manitoba has published an anti-racism policy defining several forms of racism and outlining staff expectations for addressing and “eliminating” all discrimination on campus.

The policy was approved last week by faculty leadership, the CBC reports. RFHS oversees the medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, and rehabilitation sciences programs at the University of Manitoba.

In an interview with the news outlet, Dr. Delia Douglas, who is in charge of the faculty’s office of equity, diversity, and inclusion said the policy is important because it acknowledges the existence of racism on campus, which will allow faculty to properly address it.

“Because other policies, the existing policies that we have, don’t specifically address racism in a meaningful way, what happens is it remains invisible or it’s presumed to not exist,” she said. 

“And of course, that means that it then persists.”


The document, titled “Disruption of all Forms of Racism,” outlines eight forms of racism, which include:

  • Everyday racism, which refers to seemingly “mundane” occurrences that have become so normalized they aren’t typically considered to be instances of racism. Examples include tone policing or surveillance in stores.
  • Gendered racism, which, according to the document, “refers to the allocation of resources along racially and ethnically ascribed understandings of masculinity and femininity as well as along gendered forms of race and ethnic discrimination.”
  •  Interpersonal racism, which refers to attitudes, research practices, and other behaviours that reinforce racial inequity.
  • Systemic racism, which refers to the way white, patriarchal superiority is captured in institutional and academic practices.
  •  Racial discrimination, which references the “behaviour that impedes and disadvantages people, by withholding benefits, opportunities due to their perceived race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, ethno-religious or national origin.”
  •  Racial harassment, which refers to “an incident or a series of incidents having the effect of intimidating, offending or harming an individual or group because of their perceived ethnic origin, race or nationality. This includes verbal and/or physical abuse, insults and namecalling, bullying, threatening behaviour, damage to property, displaying and/or sharing racially offensive material, and encouraging others to commit racist acts.”
  •  Racial microaggressions, defined as subtle but offensive comments or actions directed at a minority group that unconsciously reinforce stereotypes or bias.
  • Racial Vilification, which “refers to a public act that inspires or provokes others to hate, have disrespect, or ruthlessly deride a person or group of people due to their perceived race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or ethno-religious or national origin.”

It also provides 43 different examples of how racism can take place within the school. 


The policy highlights the importance of making people feel safe to report racism.

One of the motivations for creating the policy was past feedback from students and staff who said they were not comfortable reporting incidents of racism.

There is also an acknowledgment of other behaviours that can make the campus an unwelcoming place for minorities, including a failure to deal with racist incidents or a failure to hire, retain, and promote minority faculty, in addition to creating curriculum content that either promotes racial bias or denies its existence.

“This is just one step towards organizational change … because this indicates a commitment, and an investment and a recognition,” Douglas said.

“And so it gives us a mechanism through which we can move forward and ensure … the dignity and safety of both students and faculty.”