Our Commitment to Diversity in Academia

 

In order to truly understand the impact of systemic racism and oppression that currently exists in many spaces, but specifically within academia and research, we must examine the intersectionality of race, power and privilege through the lens of anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity and white fragility. We recognize that an invisible culture of “whiteness” exists within the educational system and that we live in a society which perpetuates social inequality. The barriers against marginalized communities are not unnoticed, and we must actively work as allies to dismantle these injustices with urgency. While we alone cannot resolve all the inequities caused by systemic racism in our society, we can commit to ensuring an inclusive education and training experience in our lab. We are dedicated to increasing access to opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds and those underrepresented (including those living with visible or invisible disabilities) in academia and research, both to increase applications from interested students and to support students as they progress through their career. We appreciate that a diverse team, combined with an equitable and inclusive work environment, results in creative and innovative achievements which benefit all of us as a community . Our commitments to enhancing diversity in research include:


  • Annual outreach with Black youth and/or communities (for example, annual outreach to sponsor a group of high school students for shadowing and mentoring opportunities within our lab)

  • Committed to engage in purposeful hiring practices and lab operations to maximize diversity and inclusivity of underrepresented/marginalized groups within the lab environment.  

  • Encouraging collaborations with diverse colleagues, including laboratories and companies with like-minded diversity and inclusivity policies

  • Targeted publication in journals with publicly available diversity and inclusivity policies

  • Targeted mentorship to help identify and overcome barriers to success within the Guzzo lab and in future academic and career pursuits

  • Expected lab-wide participation in seminars and events addressing inequities in research and scholarship, in an effort to continuously educate and re-educate ourselves.

 

Supportive Resources for the U of T Community

 

ARCDO

The Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office (ARCDO) is offering virtual training courses that aim to educate learners, faculty and staff on their responsibilities in preventing discrimination, the impact of microaggressions and internalized racism, as well as identifying methods to advance equity, diversity and inclusion.

HR and Equity

The U of T Equity Offices represent a tri-campus resource for specialized support, education and discussion.

UTSC EDIO

Specifically, at the University of Toronto Scarborough, the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Office (EDIO) is a valuable resource offering support and conflict resolution strategies, workshops, professional development seminars and more.

Additional Resources

We recognize that there is much work remaining to be done, and it is our responsibility as allies to educate ourselves in order to advocate for others and make actionable change. Additional helpful resources are listed below:

 

COVID-19 – Racial Equity & Social Justice Resources

11 Things to Do Besides Say “This Has to Stop” In the Wake of Police Brutality

Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice: Moving from Actor to Ally to Accomplice

An Antiracist Reading List

How to Be More Than a Performative Ally

Pyramid of Covert/Overt White Supremacy

Resource for Unpacking Whiteness and Privilege

Anti-Racism Resources

We as a lab team have crafted this statement to reflect our mission, values and beliefs. We are dedicated to doing our part to dismantle barriers that exist for underrepresented/marginalized groups and creating an inclusive environment that actively promotes and celebrates diversity in the academic and research setting and beyond.


July 10th, 2020


The Guzzo Lab