Equity, Diversity, Inclusion

Fostering a culture of inclusion is a shared responsibility and strong leadership and governance are essential to achieve meaningful outcomes. The newly formed Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in Research Advisory Committee is vital to the work of the Food from Thought (FfT) research program. It aims to empower faculty to apply an EDI lens across the research enterprise, build equitable and inclusive research teams, and formally establish pathways to advancement for researchers. The committee also advises the vice-president (research) on strategies to address systemic barriers in the research enterprise.

Guided by the Food from Thought EDI Action Plan, the work of the EDI in Research Advisory Committee, and the services provided by the Office of Diversity and Human Rights, FfT researchers work to ensure that they embed principles of equity, diversity and inclusion in their research. They implement EDI measures that inform their data collection, recruitment practices, and ongoing monitoring and course correction of research projects. In doing so, they are producing stronger research that more accurately reflects and serves society.

Fostering a culture of inclusion is an institutional imperative at the University of Guelph. We strive to ensure that every member of our diverse population feels a sense of belonging as a valued contributor to our campus community.

EDI Learning Activities:

  • FfT research teams take the Principles of Belonging training module offered by the Office of Diversity and Human Rights
  • Core staff, principal investigators and the FfT leadership team are required to participate in a 90-minute online module called Inclusive Leadership: Applying Anti-Oppressive and Anti-Racism Lenses to Decision-Making
  • A new working group is being formed to review FfT’s EDI Action Plan and advise the FfT Steering Committee on strategies to foster EDI culture within FfT, working with the EDI in Research Advisory Committee
  • FfT staff participate in the Government of Canada’s Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) training course
  • Peer reviewers are required to complete the Government of Canada’s Bias in Peer Review online training module

Confronting and undoing how racism, discrimination and oppression have shaped the culture of our institutions is necessary and challenging work that requires honesty and vulnerability. We are in many ways just at the beginning of this journey toward decolonizing research. To this end, we declare our commitment to learning, growing and doing better, together.

EDI Action Plan Outcomes:

Food from Thought’s EDI Action Plan and University of Guelph institutional programs and initiatives aim to advance the practice of building inclusive environments and programs by:

  • Incorporating EDI principles in recruitment and hiring
  • Providing mentoring and career development opportunities for early career researchers and members of equity-deserving groups
  • Working to identify and remove systemic barriers in policies, practices and procedures that impede the full participation of equity-deserving groups
  • Offering on-demand and customized EDI training
  • Nurturing culture change and institutional strategy that foster an inclusive community

2021-22 activities in support of the EDI Action Plan include:

  • Changes to the competitive research funding programs to incorporate the review of submitted EDI research plans by the University of Guelph’s Office of Diversity and Human Rights, accompanied by mentoring support for incomplete plans.
  • Food from Thought convened a national conversation about Indigenous Food Sovereignty in research as part of developing the Sustainable Food Systems for Canada Network.
  • The Food from Thought data strategy team completed The First Nations Principles of OCAP™ (ownership, control, access and possession) training.
  • Food from Thought has launched a new email newsletter feature to educate and build awareness of best practices for EDI in research. The monthly feature will promote U of G and federal government EDI resources and include commentary from U of G’s Indigenization, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion adviser in research.

 EDI Resources