The early beginnings of U of T’s Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office arose with the creation of the Special Committee on Race Relations and Anti-Racism Initiatives in 1991. With the appointment of a Special Advisor to the President in 1993, the Race Relations and Anti-Racism Initiatives Office (RRARIO) was established.
The RRARIO quickly became a key player in the University’s evolving commitment to equity, diversity and human rights. In recognition of its changing role, its name was changed to Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office (ARCDO) in 2005.
At the same time, the role of the Vice-President, Human Resources was expanded to include a University-wide responsibility for equity issues and the ARCDO thereafter reported into the Human Resources & Equity portfolio – as of July 2021, the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.
The office is mandated to provide support to students, staff and faculty across the three campuses. The Office engages collaboratively with stakeholders on campus to enable the University’s academic mission through the integration of its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusivity.
The four pillars of focus for the office are:
● Provide opportunities for the university community to increase their competencies on antiracism principles, tools and strategies through trainings and events.
● Enable and support the right of every member of the University community to live, learn and work free of discrimination and harassment.
● Honour the institutional commitment of the University of Toronto to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion by providing leadership in strategic antiracism initiatives and to continue to work towards the elimination of systemic racial discrimination.
● To connect and build relationships with internal and external communities as the University of Toronto recognizes its positionality and obligation to the local and global community.