The Network for Economics and Social Trends (NEST) has received the 2021 City of London Diversity, Race Relations and Inclusivity Award in recognition for its work towards positive policy impact and social change.
The award is intended to promote public awareness of, and encourage ongoing initiatives towards diversity, race relations, inclusivity and human rights.
“This is wonderful recognition of how Western Social Science is engaged with knowledge that matters, focused on issues that seek to help us live better together,” said Nicholas Harney, dean of the Faculty of Social Science.
NEST brings together all eight Western research centres in the Faculty of Social Science – computational and quantitative social science; human capital and productivity; research in social inequality; research on migration and ethnic relations; study of political behaviour; translational justice and post-conflict reconstruction; urban policy and local governance; and statistics Canada research data centre. Its partnerships and research are focused on positive policy impact and social change, which aligns with Western’s key research, education and outreach missions. Through their work, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students in NEST provide an evidence base for equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization (EDI-D) work in the community.
“NEST is gratified to be recognized in this way and looks forward to continuing partnerships that will serve our community,” said Victoria Esses, director of NEST. She has served as a member of the London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership central council for more than 12 years, and as chair of the welcoming communities committee for the past several years.
“Looking forward, the Equity in Action project in which many members of NEST are participating will focus on counteracting racism and discrimination in London and other communities across Southwestern Ontario. This is a great opportunity for Western University to show leadership in EDI-D, contribute to the well-being of our city and our region, and benefit from the strong partnerships we have forged with dedicated groups and organizations across the region.”
NEST has partnered with many organizations and events, including the annual “All Are Welcome Here” event, in recognition of the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the annual “Life as a Refugee” event, to celebrate World Refugee Day.
NEST recently partnered with eight Local Immigration Partnerships across Southwestern Ontario to conduct surveys of local experiences of discrimination by immigrants, racialized individuals and Indigenous peoples. Through these partnerships, NEST aimed to develop a better understanding of the impact of discrimination in the community, and how to counteract it.
The award ceremony will take place Dec. 7.