Equity Office


The Human Rights and Equity Office supports all students and employees of Acadia University. We are responsible for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the university community.

Working within a human rights framework and adhering to provincial human rights legislation, the Office supports the ongoing development of an accessible and equitable community on campus. The Office works closely with faculty, staff, and students to foster an inclusive community and respectful environment.

All members of the University community have the right to live, learn, and work in an affirming, anti-oppressive environment free from discrimination (e.g., racism, transphobia, sexism, ableism, homophobia, Islamophobia, antisemitism), and harassment, (e.g., racism, transphobia, misogyny, ableism, homophobia, bullying, toxic workplace, sexual harassment).

Acadia University is committed to fostering a culture within the University Community that is welcoming and reflective of the diverse individuals that comprise this community and to fostering cultural safety, anti-oppression, and anti-racism within the University Community, making it our goal to achieve a culture where our diversity is our strength.

Acadia recognizes that a key component in achieving substantive equality and eliminating harassment and discrimination is prevention. Beyond responding to complaints as they arise, we use education to create an environment that is rooted in human rights and equity. This requires individual and collective responsibility for education and outreach on issues regarding human rights and equality.

The Roles and Responsibilities of the Human Rights and Equity office are to:

  • Take reasonable steps to protect the health, safety, and security of any member of the University community in relation to the Harassment & Discrimination Policy.
  • Receive, investigate, and resolve complaints by informal resolution, mediation, or formal complaint.
  • Provide an impartial, empathic, trauma-informed, confidential, and affirming space for all members of the University community requesting advice on discrimination, harassment, human rights, and equity issues.
  • Provide and promote programs that raise campus awareness of the nature of, and problems associated with discrimination, and harassment, and to educate those in positions of responsibility in the objectives and implementation of the policy.

Acadia University's Policy Against Harassment & Discrimination

  • The purpose of the policy is to provide and maintain a learning and work environment free from discrimination and harassment, fostering an affirming, anti-oppressive, and safer campus community for all individuals.
  • All members of the University community have the right to learn and work in an environment free from discrimination, sexual harassment, and personal harassment.
  • The University and all members of the University community share responsibility for ensuring that the work and learning environment of Acadia is free from discrimination, sexual harassment, and personal harassment.

To share a concern, engage in a discussion of harassment or discrimination that you have witnessed, or been harmed by, or ask questions about Acadia’s Policy Against Harassment and Discrimination please contact the Human Rights and Equity Office at equity@acadiau.ca. We also encourage you to read and review the Policy (PDF).

"The better we understand how identities and power work together from one context to another, the less likely our movements for change are to fracture." — Kimberle Williams Crenshaw


A time for acknowledging and recognizing Black history in Canada and the achievements of Black Canadians throughout our history.

While we can celebrate Black excellence all year long, it’s important to recognize this month and take some time to learn more about Black history, Black excellence, and what it’s like to be Black in Canada today.

Today is the National Day of Remembrance of the Québec City Mosque Attack and Action Against Islamophobia and we can remember and honour the victims and survivors of the attack AND act on the Islamophobia that is rising throughout the country.

January 27th is the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, which comes in the wake of rising antisemitism across North America, from celebrities making antisemitic remarks to high-profile politicians dining with Holocaust deniers, it is important to recognize this day and educate ourselves.

As a settler, I cannot write this article without acknowledging the fact that I am writing this from a place of privilege. I am privileged to need to learn about the history of residential schools and truth and reconciliation rather than having experienced it myself or having had a family member experience any of it. If you are reading this as someone who is not Indigenous or First Nations, then so are you.

Right To Be has multiple upcoming training webinars – but why should you take them?  

Having a community full of people means we have a responsibility to take care of each other and online training like bystander intervention and conflict resolution webinars are great opportunities for us to learn and grow together. Harassment and discrimination don’t need to be a part of our university experience, we CAN do something about it and these webinars are easy ways for us to address it.

Equity Officer Polly Leonard

Polly Leonard - Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer

 Show Up, Your Guide to Bystander Intervention (PDF)

 Watch our "Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 101" Webinar

 Policy Against Harassment and Discrimination

 Join our book club!

 Gender Inclusive Washrooms


Polly Leonard, MSW RSW (she/her/hers)
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer
Bancroft House, Room 103
Acadia University
Wolfville, NS, B4P 2R6

t. 902.585.1298

Instagram: @acadiauniversityequity

Looking for the Coordinator of Black and Indigenous Student Support?

 Email Janique Ellis Panza