GIDS Anti-Racism Working Group

At the beginning of June 2020, the Guelph Institute of Development Studies (GIDS) released a statement of solidarity that condemned the killings of Black men and women, recognised the pervasive problem of racism in both Canada and the USA, and acknowledged how systemic racism is embedded in institutions, structures and ideas, including those within the University. The GIDS Statement of Solidarity pledged to identify and address systemic racism specifically within the Institute, recognising that the goal of promoting social justice for all needs to start by identifying and addressing sources of inequity and exclusion within our own institutions.

The GIDS Statement of Solidarity is also deeply connected to the need for truth and reconciliation in the Institute’s relationships with Indigenous communities within and outside the University, as well as the broader context of historical forms of racism, discrimination, and white supremacy that are deeply embedded within the broader field of development.

In order to implement the pledges included in the GIDS Statement of Solidarity,  GIDS Director Craig Johnson convened a Working Group of associated faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the Institute. The GIDS Anti-Racism Working Group has been established to understand the experience of GIDS students, staff and faculty in relation to racism within the Institute, with a particular focus on the perspectives and experiences of racialized groups with in the Institute, including Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Colour. After listening to experiences of GIDS community members, the Working Group will identify structures and processes of racism that may exist within the Institute, and make recommendations that aim to make GIDS a more inclusive, equitable, safe and anti-racist place in which to study, learn, research and work. 

The objectives and activities of the GIDS Anti-Racism Working Group are outlined in the group's Terms of Reference

The final report of the GIDS Anti-Racism Working Group was released in February 2023.

Read A Path Forward: Anti-Racism Working Group Report here.

The Anti-Racism Working Group had completed its work with the release of the final report. 

The GIDS Anti-Racism and Inclusion Advisory Council (ARIAC) was established in Fall 2023 to carry forward the work of the Anti-Racism Working Group through implementation of the report's 9 Calls to Action.

Thank you to the ARWG members for their time, commitment, and contributions to making GIDS a more inclusive and anti-racist community.

GIDS Anti-Racism Working Group Members


  • Lisa Blenkinsop (Staff)
  • Matthew Chegahno (Undergraduate Alumnus)
  • Andrea Paras (Faculty)
  • Sharada Srinivasan (Faculty)


  • Angela Asuncion (Graduate Student)
  • Samantha Blostein (Staff)
  • Mary Anne Chambers (GIDS External Advisor Board Member)
  • Rosario Gomez (Faculty)
  • Erika Inglis (IDS Undergraduate Student)
  • Craig Johnson (GIDS Director, Faculty)
  • Kate Parizeau (Faculty)
  • Matilda Ofori (IDS Graduate Student)
  • Silvia Sarapura (Faculty)
  • Yvonne Su (Graduate Alumna)