Anver Saloojee accepts the equity award from CAUT past president Penni Stewart in Ottawa Nov. 25.
Ryerson Faculty Association president Anver Saloojee was presented with a national honour last month by CAUT for his efforts at making equity a central institutional value and achievement.
Saloojee received CAUT’s inaugural Equity Award for “an outstanding commitment to challenging exclusionary behaviours and practices and by doing so has made post-secondary education in Canada more inclusive,” during the two-day Council meeting in Ottawa.
Recognized for lifetime achievements over a 30-year career, Saloojee has the distinction of achieving prominence as an advocate of equality rights on campus, in his academic staff association, at the CAUT executive and council and internationally.
He has been an activist since his youth, when he took part in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. This set the stage for life-long engagement in advancing human rights and equality both in the academy and in his community and professional activities outside the academy, where his works on social inclusion, minority political participation and the role of education in advancing equity are prolific and well regarded.
Over the last decade, Saloojee has engaged for extensive periods in the advancement of equity for CAUT member academic staff associations, including success in providing one of the first equity courses, and developing a tool to identify and redress systemic discrimination, in addition to improving materials to advance equity through grievance work. He has also served several terms on the CAUT executive, including chairing the equity committee, and as vice-president. Between 2005 and 2008 he accepted an appointment as special advisor to the president of South Africa, where his research and work provided measurable benefits in advancing equity rights for South African citizens.
Whether it is in his role as chair of the equity committee at CAUT or delivering equity workshops on the application of race, gender or disability or speaking to administrators, government, labour and social sector audiences and organizations about the centrality of equity, Saloojee has established himself as a recognized public intellectual and advocate for a more inclusive community.
“Our goal of advancing equity principles is being realized and now recognized on a national level,” said James Turk, executive director of CAUT. “Few academics have the longevity and reach of Anver’s leadership on equity issues. He is a most deserving recipient of the award.”