Stratford School AD-EDI Statement

Anti-racism, decolonization, equity, diversity, and inclusion (AD-EDI)

The Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business considers anti-racism, decolonization, equity, diversity, and inclusion (AD-EDI) to be an essential part of our collective responsibility as a community. As part of our commitment to academic excellence, we strive to address systemic forms of racism, discrimination, and bias within our classrooms, disciplines, and communities. We are committed to creating inclusive environments that centre the perspectives, voices, and experiences of individuals from equity-deserving groups, including, but not limited to: Black and Indigenous individuals; people of colour; women-identified, non-binary, agender, and gender-nonconforming individuals; 2SLGBTQ+ individuals; persons with disabilities; and people from other racialized, marginalized, and under-represented communities.

We see it as a shared responsibility to learn, support, and implement evidence-based best practices that emerge from equity-deserving groups and uphold the values of AD-EDI. Some of our current efforts include:

  • Creating an AD-EDI committee composed of faculty and staff at the Stratford School to implement and advocate for actionable change related to anti-racism, decolonization, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Liaising with other university units to improve our understanding of student experience, student demographics, and student needs relating to AD-EDI.
  • Attending competency and capacity-building sessions to ensure more equitable hiring for faculty, staff, and other employees.

  • Iterating on internal hiring practices to recruit new faculty members who demonstrate a commitment to issues related to AD-EDI in their teaching and/or research.

  • Recruiting, mentoring, training, and supervising research assistants and/or graduate students from equity-deserving groups using equitable recruitment and selection practices. 

  • Creating a mentorship program for faculty members to share resources and best practices more effectively.

  • Promoting, organizing, and/or participating in events that foreground AD-EDI to bring best practices to our classrooms, our research, and our supervision. 

  • Recruiting new faculty members who demonstrate a commitment to issues related to AD-EDI in their teaching and/or research.

  • Striving to ensure cross-cultural competencies, diverse perspectives, and citational justice within our syllabi.

  • Working with the university to explore how we might create more inclusive on-campus environments, including but not limited to: indigenizing spaces, providing multi-faith spaces, improving accessibility, and providing fully inclusive washrooms.

  • Developing an interdisciplinary curriculum with course content ranging from design and digital culture to business, with courses that highlight topics relating to anti-racism, systemic injustices and inequalities, ethics, value-sensitive design, design justice, disability justice, and accessibility design.

  • Integrating theoretical foundations in research and teaching that include perspectives and practices from areas such as critical cultural studies, intersectional feminism, feminist human-computer interaction, queer theory, and disability studies.

  • Engaging in research that confronts, reveals, and amplifies AD-EDI.

  • Seeking and receiving federal and provincial funding to promote initiatives and research projects with embedded AD-EDI principles.

  • Participating as board members, committee members, and/or in other service roles related to AD-EDI across the university as well as in our international academic communities.

One of our goals is to recognize and celebrate significant contributions to AD-EDI initiatives on our campus. To this end, we highlight a selection of the work led by the Director of the Stratford School, Jessica Thompson:

  • Founding the University of Waterloo Black Faculty Collective (2020)
  • Serving on the Equity Data Advisory Committee to launch the first ever cross-campus survey to collect equity data (2021-22);
  • Identifying, shortlisting and interviewing candidates for Waterloo’s Black Excellence and Indigenous Excellence Cluster Hires (2022);
  • Serving as Equity Champion for Waterloo’s Black Excellence and Indigenous Excellence Cluster Hires (2022);
  • Serving as a member of the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism’s Sankofa Think Tank, which, in collaboration with Laurier's Anti-Black racism Working Group, will host the 2024 Inter-Institutional Forum of the Scarborough Charter
  • Advocating for increased representation for Black and Indigenous faculty in committees, in working groups, and with Deans, Provosts and Presidents Offices (ongoing);

University of Waterloo Resources

As a satellite campus of the University of Waterloo, the Stratford School relies upon many institutional resources, policies, and procedures to help our students, staff, and faculty. The following offers a brief overview of relevant resources and supports directly related to AD-EDI:

Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO)

Supports anyone on campus who has experienced, or been impacted by, sexual and gender-based violence. The SVPRO is not a crisis service.

If you are in crisis, please view a list of contacts on the Crisis Support Services page.

Please contact

For community-based resources, as well as resources for students and employees at the University of Waterloo, please visit Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO) - Resources

Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Anti-racism (EDI-R) If you are experiencing harm related to your identity (including but not exhaustively transphobia, sexism, homophobia or racism) in need of informal supports.

Please contact

For resources on anti-racism, understanding your rights, and racial trauma accommodations, please visit: EDI-R Resources

To request support from the EDI-R office, please complete this Intake Form.

Office of Indigenous Relations  If you are Indigenous and are seeking culturally specific support.

Please contact

For resources, current events, and to learn more about the work of the Office of Indigenous Relations