Anti-Oppression Knowledge Integrators (AOK) working group

Mission statement

The Anti-Oppression Knowledge Integrators (AOK) working group was established by the Department of Knowledge Integration to identify opportunities to advance anti-oppression in our curriculum and activities, and to contribute to the broader anti-oppression cause. This work includes but is not limited to dismantling racism, sexism, ableism, classism, ageism, and religious persecution, among other forms of oppression.

The working group will be charged with examining issues such as:

  • To what extent and how our curriculum supports anti-oppression as an educational objective;
  • To what extent and how our departmental activities and program offerings make the necessary space for members of the KI Community to develop their intersectional and especially racial identities and to understand their relationships to white supremacy and settler colonialism;
  • How to increase diversity in the applicant pool and examine processes that might perpetuate systemic oppression.

AOK consists of representatives from across the KI community: students, faculty, staff, alumni. They will identify opportunities to advance anti-racism and anti-oppression through KI’s curricular and extracurricular activities, and they will contribute to broader consultative processes within the University of Waterloo and extended community.



We aim to make our work visible from start to finish and welcome feedback. We recognize that we are only a small fraction of the KI community and only have a limited set of experiences and knowledge to draw from. 


We strive to promote the recognition and inclusion of all individuals and their intersecting identities. 


We recognize that it is not the responsibility of the people who have been victims of oppression to educate their oppressors, and that doing so puts further burden on these communities. We are committed to taking it upon ourselves to seek out the resources required to have holistic, nuanced perspectives on all manner of issues related to oppression.

Accountability and Action

We are committed to going beyond conversations. We will review existing structures and put forth actionable policy recommendations to enact real change.


Anti-oppression resources

Community Resources

Educational Resources 

Quick start: anti-oppression basics and bite-sized information

Anti-Racism Daily: a free daily email newsletter that promotes anti-racism resources, action items, and background information on the issues at hand.

Read to Action: a venue for having anti-oppression education and conversations on an ongoing basis.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack: essay excerpt on understanding white privilege.

Anti-Oppression Network – What is Anti-Oppression?:  article on the basic principles and background of anti-oppression, with a focus on the Canadian Indigenous context.

Resist Racism – Racism 101: list of anti-racist understandings and the debunking of common fallacies.

Qualities of a White Anti-Racist Ally: list of effective qualities of a white anti-racist ally

Deep dive: longer reads and more complex ideas

500 Years of Indigenous Resistance: article on the history of the colonization of North America from 1492 to 1992.

Lekwungen territories – Traditional Territories of the Lekwungen:  information on the Traditional Territories of the Lekwungen People.

Decolonizing Together: moving beyond a politics of solidarity towards practices of decolonization – article on decolonization in Canada

The Immediate need for Emotional Justice: Article on the emotional work in activism, how that work is distributed, and the need for redistributing that emotional load.

The Ways of Knowing Guide: guidebook and collection of stories on Indigenous ways of knowing and the conservation of species on Turtle Island.

Resource Compilations

UWaterloo Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion: works “to bring members of our campus community together to facilitate understanding and address systemic barriers to equity, inclusion, and decolonization” in five intersecting areas: Indigenous initiatives, equity office, sexual violence prevention & response office, and conflict management & human rights office.

UoGuelph Anti-Racism and & Anti-Oppression resources: compilation of anti-racism and anti-oppression resources organized by goal.

Organizing for Power, Organizing for Change resources and exercise: compilation of anti-oppression resources and activities.

Challenging White Supremacy – Creating an Anti-Racist Agenda: a compilation of resources for creating an anti-racism workshop, or for individual browsing.

Colours of Resistance – Archives: a compilation of anti-oppression resources organized by topic. Example topics include anti-racist organizing, challenging gender, Black liberation, and resisting globalization.

How to do better with Gender on Surveys: A Guide for HCI Researchers - a guide on gender inclusivity in human-computer interaction survey research. Principles widely applicable.


Critical Race & Digital Studies Syllabus: a 13-week guide of resources on a variety of topics in race, diversity, and bias in digital research and online spaces. 

Contact Form (Feedback/Report an incident)

We want to hear from you if you would like to share any questions, comments, concerns, experiences or suggestions. We are committed to listening, responding, and acting in a way to advance equity for all people, especially historically stigmatized and marginalized groups.

AOK Members

  • Vanessa Schweizer – Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Knowledge Integration
  • Anvita Desai – Alumni Representative (BKI ‘21)
  • Alexandra Andratis – Undergraduate Student
  • Allen Lu – Undergraduate Student
  • Chloé St. Amand – Graduate Student, Alumni Representative (BKI ‘20)
  • Sally Lu – Alumni Representative (BKI ‘16)

FAQ about AOK