Statement on Racism in Research

deorative image of the university college tower, in black and white

June 15, 2020

Dear Colleagues;

Events of the past weeks have reminded many of us that racism is pervasive in our society.

Anti-Black racism has been brought to the forefront of our thoughts. There is also significant work to be done to improve equity for Indigenous and other marginalized communities in this country.

Our campuses are not excluded from this reality; nor are our research enterprises.

We have a responsibility to do better and to act more.

As institutions, we must examine our hiring and mentorship practices, our decision-making processes and our communications to root out overt and unconscious bias.

As researchers, we need to think deliberately about how structural racism may play a role in our research. We must look for and eliminate systemic issues that may be ingrained in the research questions we ask, methodologies we follow and datasets we analyse. We should partner with and undertake meaningful research that engages marginalized populations in an equitable manner.

I have been reflecting on this excellent piece, which examines racism in research. I urge you to read it, discuss it with your colleagues and students and implement change where appropriate. It is our responsibility to continue to diversify the lenses through which we pursue research, scholarship and artistic practice at Western.

It is my hope that through thoughtful reflection, meaningful conversations and action, Western’s research community can contribute positively to changes we all seek to address the reality and impact of racism in our society.

We can make a difference and have a responsibility to do so.


Sarah Prichard, MD FRCP(C)
Acting Vice-President (Research)