Anti-Racism, Decolonization, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The Games Institute Committee on Anti-Racism, Decolonization, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ADE) was established in 2020 to ensure the continued awareness and expansion of understanding of issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Our Terms of Reference outlines our mandate. In brief, our role is to establish policies, practices, and education for Games Institute members, associates, partners, and colleagues.

The Committee is composed of faculty, student, and staff members of the Games Institute and is supported by Games Institute Executive and Associate Directors and Games Institute Administration. Read our member bios and meet the people driving the working group. Our goal is to create, strengthen and implement policies, procedures and culture aimed at ensuring Games Institute’s activities, member composition, administrative and research processes withstand scrutiny in the areas of representation, equity, inclusion, and diversity. We aim to build infrastructure that will enable us to responsibly advise project teams on how to make their work reflect these principles, assist faculty supervisors with engaging mentors and co-supervisors for their students to ensure as diverse training as possible, and develop a plan for systematic and ongoing assessment of Games Institute’s progress in this realm.

To get in touch with the Committee, please visit Connect with the Committee for information about using our anonymous form and/or reaching out to someone directly.


Fall 2023

The ADE Committee is currently running the second installment of the ADE for Games Communities Workshop and Speaker Series. For recordings of the first half of the series, be sure to check out the full write ups of the events and additional materials.

Fall 2022

The ADE Committee met 4 times in Fall 2022, including a special meeting in early October to discuss priorities for short term (this year) and intermediate term (next 3 years). In brief, the committee will be centring the question of “research cultures.” We have heard a good deal about concerns about “extractive” research practices in the context of academics taking insights from and treating Indigenous and other marginalized communities as objects of research.  But we don’t talk enough about the extractive relationships and practices that we unthinkingly replicate our relationships with students and others in research labs, groups, and communities, which disproportionately impact women, genderqueer, racialized, and Indigenous folks.

We clarified and confirmed the level and kinds of staff support the GI will provide the committee. We held a meet-and-greet/eat-and-greet catered by Urwa’s on November 10 that was attended by more then 20 members of the community, and discussed how these events will evolve. At the Winter 2023 meet-and-greet I will open the event with a short talk about why the ADE Committee puts the “anti-racism” and “decolonization” before the “equity, diversity, and inclusion.”  This term also saw the adoption of the Committee’s suggested additions to the GI Community Conduct guidelines.

Fall 2021 - Spring 2022 Update from the ADE Committee

I’d like to start this update with an apology. The ADE Committee’s terms of reference call for the committee to update the GI community about its activities once per term and I have failed to do that. I want to start by acknowledging this and apologizing for any concerns this may have caused. Please know that the ADE Committee is working to embed Anti-Racism, Decolonization, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the principles and practices of Games Institute.

First, a quick primer for those who are not aware: The Committee meets once each month for 1.5 hours, plus occasional meetings to address specific tasks. The committee has been operating without a full cohort (the terms of reference allow for up to 13 members) and without a vice-Chair, which the terms of reference stipulate should be a student, as our student members have not had the capacity to step into the role.

In Fall 2021 the Committee met 4 times, primarily to reflect on the data collected in the Spring 2021 GI Community Survey, which aimed to collect quantitative data about the composition of the GI community. (Note that the actual survey responses were accessed by 2 members of the committee with data management and privacy training.) Based on the survey, the committee determined that a significant priority for the foreseeable future is increasing the presence of racialized people in the GI, particularly Black and Indigenous people and particularly at the faculty level. The Committee explored the possibility of a program for visiting professors/artists and a speakers series. The Committee also established a presence on the GI Discord server – the AR, DE, EDI Hive - and hosted its first Community Input Session in that space. We also set up a confidential web form for getting in touch with the Committee. If you are not able to or do not feel comfortable sharing your concerns with the Committee at one of our Input Sessions, you can provide anonymous comments to the Committee using this web form. Finally, the Committee issued a policy recommendation to the GI Executive to revise the GI Community Standards pertaining to communication in online spaces.

In Winter 2022 the Committee met 3 times. The Committee’s primary emphasis this term was on continuing to plan and develop a speaker’s series to bring more Indigenous, Black, and other racialized faculty and practitioners into the GI space, which we determined would need additional funding to succeed. The Committee decided to apply for a SSHRC Connections Grant to support the speakers series. We also provided input on the guidelines for the GI Seed Grant Competition to encourage a greater emphasis on ADE concerns. Finally, the Committee hosted (that means we cooked, served, and cleaned-up) the April Soup and Bannock Lunch at the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre. We served every last drop of soup to 25 Indigenous students, staff, and a visiting guest speaker. The April meeting was cancelled to enable members of the Committee to focus on writing the Connections Grant.

In Spring 2022 the Committee has met 4 times, and will meet again on August 18. The Committee spent some time discussing the logistics of the planned speakers series, but primarily focused on identifying and advocating for the supports necessary for the Committee to perform the roles the GI community expects of it. The Committee hosted our Spring Community Input Session in the GI Presentation room and enjoyed lunch (catered by the amazing Al Madina Woodstone Oven and Grill) and conversation with 20 GI members.

Questions can be addressed directly to the Games Institute.