The University of Guelph is pleased to report that we are well on our way to fulfilling the hiring goals of the Black and Indigenous Hiring Initiative. This initiative is a key part of how we are achieving U of G’s Strategic Plan priorities of transforming our University through Indigenization and equity, diversity and inclusion and advancing U of G’s distinctive student experience. 

Launched in 2022, the Black and Indigenous Hiring Initiative commits $3.6 million to significantly increasing the number of Black and Indigenous faculty and staff members in curriculum, pedagogy and student support at U of G. 

The initiative reduces the underrepresentation of Black and Indigenous faculty and staff at the university and is a key step in closing the racial equity gap, removing the systemic barriers experienced by equity-deserving groups in higher education and improving the sense of inclusion and belonging among U of G students, faculty and staff. 

The goal is to hire 15 or more faculty and four or more academic staff into these roles by 2025 and support their ongoing success and retention. The University has made significant progress on the initiative and hired eight faculty and three staff to date. In 2024, the initiative will continue to progress through several ongoing faculty and staff searches. 

Dr. Gwen Chapman smiles at the camera wearing a red shirt and black cardigan.
Dr. Gwen Chapman

“This initiative is unique for its sustainable, multi-year approach that encompasses recruitment, retention, resourcing and ongoing support,” said Dr. Gwen Chapman, provost and vice-president (academic).  

“By taking a 1000-foot view, being intentional and learning from our past, we hope to ensure the success of our community members as we drive meaningful culture change at U of G.”  

Committing to recruiting, retaining, and resourcing the very best talent of Black and Indigenous faculty and staff, U of G is working to build a campus culture where everyone is respected, supported, and has an opportunity to thrive and advance.  

Dr. Jade Ferguson poses for a photo wearing a button-up blue sweater.
Dr. Jade Ferguson

“It brings me great joy to welcome these new faculty and staff who reflect the diversity of our students and community,” said Dr. Jade Ferguson, associate dean, academic equity & anti-racism.  

“They bring to campus dynamic research profiles, innovative new courses and long histories of committed, impactful experience with Indigenous, Black and racialized communities. As they begin their tenure at U of G, our work continues to fully support and facilitate their success and retention through mentorship programs, professional development and networking opportunities.” 

New hires were recently invited to a luncheon hosted by provost Chapman in Nov. 2023 to welcome them to U of G and build community. The University is also connecting these faculty and staff to their fellow colleagues through existing networks, such as the Black Faculty and Staff Network and the Queer U of G Faculty and Staff Network, which provide informal mentoring and community cohesion.   

Dr. Ian Tobias, Dr. Jade Ferguson and Dr. Gwen Chapman chat at the Black and Indigenous Hiring Initiative Luncheon.

By connecting and orienting new faculty and staff to a range of instructional, research, community and leadership resources relevant to their area of work, U of G will support their ongoing career growth at the University. 

In addition to contributing to the University’s Strategic Plan, making progress on the Black and Indigenous Hiring initiative builds on the recommendations laid out in the University’s Anti-Racism Action Plan and the Indigenous Initiatives Strategy and acts on U of G’s commitment to the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education

Advancing equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigenization is the responsibility of all community members. Faculty, students, and staff are invited to access the following resources to support and foster an inclusive U of G campus culture: 

Please join us in welcoming these new members of our campus community! 


  • Dr. Sylvester Aboagye, Assistant Professor in Computer Engineering, School of Engineering, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences
  • Dr. Ashleigh Domingo, Assistant Professor in Community Health and Lifestyle Promotion, Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, College of Biological Sciences (starting summer 2024) 
  • Dr. Russell Evans, Assistant Professor in Indigenous Management and Leadership, Department of Management, Lang School of Business and Economics 
  • Dr. Courtney Graham, Assistant Professor in One Welfare, Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College
  • Dr. Shauna Kechego-Nichols, Assistant Professor in Indigenous Studies, School of Languages and Literatures, College of Arts   
  • Dr. Deirdre McCorkindale, Assistant Professor in Black Canadian History, Department of History, College of Arts 
  • Dr. Cullen Myers, Assistant Professor in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Sciences (starting summer 2024) 
  • Dr. Ian Tobias, Assistant Professor in Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College 


  • Dr. Melanie-Anne Atkins, Associate Director, Student Experience   
  • Sam da Rosa Holmes, Coordinator, Indigenous Programs, Student Experience 
  • Sarina Perchak, Project Coordinator, Indigenous Initiatives 

View additional updates on the Black and Indigenous Hiring Initiative