Achieving Equity and Global EDIDI Competence in the Canadian Health Sector Workforce

Logos for Western University, Global Skills Opportunity, and University of Manitoba Rady

We are currently accepting applications for 2023 and 2024

Western University and the University of Manitoba are collaborating in a new program to enhance equity, diversity, inclusion, decolonization and Indigeneity (EDIDI) training in the health care professions.  

The program will support 80 students from medicine, dentistry, nursing and other health professions to gain certification in EDIDI, and complete a 5-week experiential learning placement in Africa, with the goal of preparing health care professionals to work with and understand diverse populations. In addition to financial support, accommodation arrangements will be provided as needed and/or appropriate, including on-the-ground support by faculty/staff teams and/or companions, during placements in Africa.

Why launch this program?

The proportion of Canadian low-income students, Indigenous students, students with disabilities, 2SLGBTQIA+ students, students that come from racialized communities and those practicing minority religious faiths participating in international experiences is negligible. Reasons for this include financial and other structural and systemic barriers that students from these categories face, in Canadian post-secondary institutions. This initiative is supported by the Global Skills Opportunity program through the Government of Canada.

How does the program work?

  • Undergraduate students in the health professions at Western and University of Manitoba will be equipped with Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Decolonization, and Indigeneity (EDIDI) knowledge and skills, to prepare them for frontline work in global settings, as well as in Canada.
  • Students will take a virtual asynchronous certificate course in EDIDI (Equity Diversity Inclusion Decolonization Indigeneity), co-developed with African partners.
  • Students will be placed at a partner institution in one of seven African Francophone or Anglophone countries for experiential learning placement (observation only) for 5 weeks.
  • Four staff/faculty teams will accompany students needing support to Africa.
  • Students will develop case studies at the end of their placements, for use in enhancing the curriculum.
  • The project will create sustainable structures and supports for international mobility programs that are equitable and accessible to all students, at participating universities. 

Who is eligible for the program?

  • Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents who are currently registered in an undergraduate health professions degree course at Western University or at the University of Manitoba.
  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Must identify as, or have lived experience in, one or more of the following categories: 
    Indigenous; persons with disabilities; from a low-income background; member of a racialized community; students in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community; or from a minority faith/religion.
  • Be willing to undertake a virtual, asynchronous foundational certificate course in EDIDI followed by a 5-week experiential learning placement in one of the following countries:
    Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, or Senegal.

Selection Process:

A selection committee co-chaired by Western University and the University of Manitoba will process all applications. Representatives of the identified equity-deserving groups will be on the selection committee, along with representatives of our African partner institutions.

Note: Your application must be endorsed by the undergraduate office of your department.

If selected, when can I go?

All selected students will participate in the Virtual Mobility program (12-hour Asynchronous EDIDI Certificate Course), followed by the Physical Mobility program (5-week placement in Africa). Placements in Africa will take place in Summer 2023 and Summer 2024.


Western University

Melanie N. Katsivo PhD, Cert. APM
​Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization
Schulich Medicine & Dentistry

University of Manitoba

Valerie Williams, CPHR, CCIP
Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences