GIDS Statement of Solidarity

June 2020

The Guelph Institute of Development Studies condemns the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many others whose deaths have been less publicized. Their deaths are not isolated incidents, but the latest injustices in a long history of racism in the United States. We acknowledge that racism and racial inequality are not unique to the United States but also exist here in Canada. We recognize the devastating effects systemic racism and oppression have had, and continue to have, on Black lives in Canada.

We stand in solidarity with our Black family, friends, neighbours and colleagues to oppose systemic racism and demand transformational change. Racism does not just manifest itself in individual acts but is embedded in institutions, structures, and ideas. We acknowledge that universities, and institutes within them, are not immune to this and pledge to do all we can to address the scourge of racism. We will address systemic racism in our curriculum, amplify Black voices, identify and create opportunities for institutional change, support efforts at engagement and advocacy, and carry out research which contributes to a more just society.

The Institute is dedicated to the goal of promoting social justice for all. As practices of racism pose an ongoing threat to this goal, we will not remain silent. More broadly, we are committed to ending systemic racism as it affects Black and Indigenous Peoples and People of Colour. We will continue to push for a world that is more equitable – one where people’s opportunities in life are not limited because of their race, gender, religion, language, sexuality, disability, caste, or the intersection of these.  

In collaboration with the Graduate International Development Student Association (GIDSA), we are compiling an active list of resources that will help to foster a more honest and constructive conversation about the ways in which we can tackle racism at home and abroad.