Engineering for Everyone arrives following a year of consultations

New EDI initiative launched in December

Samuel Tanyi-Mbianyor is Engineering’s new Program Manager of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. 

Engineering for Everyone, launched in December, is the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences (FEAS) new platform for improving equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).

“Engineering for Everyone invites members of our community to know that time has passed for us to do the talking. Now, we actually do want to do the working,” Samuel Tanyi-Mbianyor, FEAS program manager of EDI, said in an interview with The Journal.

“It is time for us to open up avenues for female folks, for people of BIPOC descent, people living with disabilities, people of LGBTQ communities, to participate and have equal opportunity like every other person.”

Engineering for Everyone was developed after a year of consultations with marginalized groups on campus. The program’s goals are extensive, ranging from integrating EDII-focused courses into the engineering curriculum to supporting special pathways for Black and Indigenous students and fostering outreach initiatives that engage aspiring engineers in the local community.

The platform also invites interested groups to participate in the conversation on ThoughtExchange, where anybody—from university affiliates to community members—can discuss their thoughts on enhancing EDI in engineering at Queen’s.

Tanyi-Mbianyor believes Engineering for Everyone doesn’t just end with the presence of diverse learners in the faculty. The program must also ensure these students feel safe on campus.

“If you look at the outlook of the faculty, you will see that so far at Queen’s Engineering, there is diversity, but the question is, do they feel belonged. This is where Engineering for Everyone comes in—to bring that sense of belonging to make people understand that they can feel valued,” he said.

“If you are not genuine, if you are not authentic, if you are not organic in your presentation, both in your story and your work, then you are surely in a closet. And that is not the society we want to create.”

So far, Tanyi-Mbianyor has found the response to the program to be “tremendous.” Although he’s received some negative feedback, he believes these responses are important to improving the initiative.

“We cannot say that [while] running the program, everything we do is correct. These people who show negation, or that even doubt us give us an added duty to ensure that we go ahead in the right direction.”

Tanyi-Mbianyor plans to reach out to alumni soon to develop a mentorship program and establish a speaker series so students can listen to their stories of success.

Additionally, he hopes to change the everyday language used within FEAS by normalizing practices like introducing people with their pronouns so all students can feel included in campus life.

“What we are encouraging in Queen’s Engineering is that kind of a safe space where you can be able to air out your views without fear of reprisal, without fear of being judged,” he said.

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