Anti-Racism and Inclusion
With its Statement of Solidarity and the formation of the Anti-Racism Working Group in June 2020, the Guelph Institute of Development Studies (GIDS) set out on a path of understanding and reckoning. This report documents how racism and discrimination negatively impact the lives of Black, Indigenous and racialized students, staff and faculty within GIDS and the broader university. The public release of this report (A Path Forward: Anti-Racism Working Group Report) brings one phase of this process to a conclusion, and it is certainly an important first step. Nevertheless, we are only at the beginning of creating meaningful change within GIDS: there is still a long way to go. The Calls to Action at the conclusion of this report provide a pathway for making GIDS a more inclusive, equitable, safe, and anti-racist place in which all students, staff and faculty can study, research, learn and work. Racism is a systemic problem, but it also manifests itself in our personal experiences and our daily lives, so the work to combat racism needs to happen at multiple levels. In GIDS, we will move forward with the formation of the new GIDS Anti-Racism and Inclusion Advisory Council. With representation from across the GIDS community, this permanent Advisory Council will work closely with the GIDS Director to implement the report’s Calls to Action and create clear lines of responsibility and accountability.
This report is the result of a tremendous amount of work from many individuals within and beyond the GIDS community. We extend our gratitude to the Co-Chairs of the Anti-Racism Working Group for their leadership, as well as to the members of the Working Group for their important contributions and efforts. Thank you to the Office of Teaching and Learning for their support, and to Dr. Aron Fazekas for his work on the employee and student surveys. We would like to acknowledge PhD Student Dilshan Fernando’s work as a Graduate Research Assistant to the Working Group during its first year. We also express our appreciation to Turner Consulting Group for helping the Working Group to see through this project to its completion. Finally, we are grateful to the Dean’s Office of the College for Social and Applied Human Sciences for its support of the Working Group.
The Guelph Institute of Development Studies is committed to ending racism and we will continue to push for a world that is more equitable and just.
Dr. Andrea Paras, Interim Director, GIDS
Dr. Craig Johnson, Former Director, GIDS