Our Commitment Helping to Bridge the Gap Land AcknowledgementInspiring Stories
The world needs STEM, and STEM needs people with diverse perspectives, talents and lived experiences to address the most pressing issues facing our planet.
We strive to offer accessible programs, services and resources that are diverse, address systemic barriers, and lead to equitable outcomes for our audiences. Let’s Talk Science uses STEM engagement to empower youth and help prepare them for their future careers and citizenship roles.
Let’s Talk Science programs are designed to be inclusive and meaningful for all participants. We recognize that long-standing systemic inequalities and biases have prevented the full participation of many audiences in STEM, including women, Indigenous people, People of Colour, LGBTQ2S+, and people with disabilities. Additional barriers such as language, geography, access to technology and financial status have also reduced participation. Let’s Talk Science is committed to continuous learning and improvement so our efforts result in positive outcomes for all stakeholders.
We believe that implementing principles of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA) have incredibly positive outcomes across all aspects of our organization. For example, the productivity of staff increases, mental well-being and sense of worth increases, turnover decreases and diverse perspectives mitigate risks by reducing the blind spots that are evident with homogenous viewpoints.
We believe that a commitment to EDIA unleashes tremendous potential energy and can contribute to large-scale transformation in STEM education, which will help to diversify the workforce and support the development of engaged citizens needed in a sustainable and transforming world.
Helping to Bridge the Gap
From some of our earliest programs, such as those co-designed with Indigenous communities in Southwestern Ontario in 1997 to the appointment of our first Director of Equity in 2021, we have worked to tackle barriers and engage all youth in meaningful and relevant STEM programming.
Today, Let’s Talk Science continues to build on its long-standing commitment to EDIA in many ways, including:
- Establishing the leadership position of Director, Equity to oversee the implementation of our Equity Plan, which was informed by recommendations of the Let’s Talk Science Anti-Racism Task Force
- Aligning with the goals of the federal 50:30 program to build diversity in governance and leadership
- Providing programming at no cost to eliminate financial barriers
- Offering youth programming that is responsive to audience needs
- Empowering and supporting our Outreach sites to address the needs of their local communities, and travel funding for volunteers to visit rural and remote communities
- Significantly expanding our virtual programming and online presence, which reduces geographic barriers
- Improving digital accessibility by adding descriptive text to images, a hover glossary on selected text, more interactive content (e.g., images with hotspots) and more
- Providing online resources in alternate forms to audiences with limited internet access
- Designing professional learning programs for educators, volunteers and staff that include:
- Indigenous Ways of Knowing
- Supporting learners with visible/invisible disabilities
- Forging partnerships to engage equity-deserving youth, including with Frontier College, BGC Canada, San Romanoway Revitalization Association, Canadian Black Scientists Network, IDEA-STEM, Imotep’s Legacy and others
- Establishing a staff Equity Working Group to maintain line of sight on these activities
- And more!
Let’s Talk Science acknowledges the diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples within the land we now call Canada and values the historical and contemporary contributions of these peoples in each region where we work. In particular, we recognize the importance of Indigenous ways of knowing to our understanding of the natural world.
As a national charitable organization, we are committed to working toward meaningful reconciliation. Acknowledging the traditional territory on which we live and work is a small but important step that reminds us to learn more about the Indigenous peoples in these regions, to consider the history and ongoing colonialism on this land and to reflect on how each of us can contribute to reconciliation.
As an Elder reminded us, we need to reflect and build on the spirit of past, present and future and how that spirit guides us in our work through STEM education.
Explore Let’s Talk Science’s EDIA commitment and the impact of STEM engagement with stories about the people whom we engage with across Canada.