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Tea light holders from O-Days 2014. Photo by Sarah Mulholland.

Diversity, Equity and Sustainability Initiatives

Tea light holders from O-Days 2014. Photo by Sarah Mulholland.

Events: Oct 28 - Nov 1

 Join us for Social Justice Week!

The Messmates art exhibition co-curated by OCAD U alumni Dana Snow and Michelle Beck for Social Justice Week is now open at Ada Slaight Gallery. The events will culminate on Friday Nov 1 in an artist talk, short film screening, panel discussion on Creative Action during Climate Crisis, and closing reception. Hope you can come out!


OCAD University will foster a rich engagement with multiple perspectives and practices, and our students will be formed and informed by a wide spectrum of knowledge and experience embodied in an inclusive variety of communities, philosophies and ways of knowing. OCAD U will provide a work and learning environment that respects, supports and values all students, staff and faculty, and that promotes equitable access to, and participation in, OCAD U's ecology. OCAD U is committed to fostering a culture of regenerative building; that not only ‘sustains’, but serves to enhance life systems and apply high standards for planetary health and community wellbeing. OCAD U’s goal is to prepare students with the knowledge, disposition, values, and skills to cultivate a viable future through critical teaching and research, while demonstrating the possibilities of real-world sustainability in the fabric of our campus ecosystem and through our administrative decisions.

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Sustainability Initiatives (ODESI) supports this vision by:

  • Creating or supporting opportunities on campus to advance understanding and promote social change through collective and critical reflection, knowledge generation and mobilization, and art and design creation
  • Coordinating, informing or supporting organizational change strategies that are designed to acknowledge and redress systemic, structural and historical disadvantage in employment and educational policy and practice, promote a culture of inclusion and advance sustainability.
  • Providing information, training and educational opportunities, and capacity building in the areas of equity, accessibility, human rights and sustainable practices.
  • Advocating for high standards in policies, procedures and practices in the areas of human rights, equity and sustainability
  • Ensuring a fair and effective administration of OCAD U’s human rights policies and providing subject matter expertise on the principles of human rights, equity and accessibility and related obligations in the resolution of complaints.

Guiding principles

ODESI is committed to creating a collaborative ecosystem of constituent engagement and participation, and building reciprocal relationships and community collaborations with equity-seeking communities, locally and globally.

While ODESI plays a vitally important leadership and advisory role, the responsibility for human rights, equity and sustainability is shared within the OCAD U community.

Engaging the OCAD U community in collaboration and common purpose in understanding and advancing equity and sustainability is essential and continuous, and OCAD U’s Employment and Educational Equity Committee (EEEC) plays a vital role ensuring progress on OCAD U’s strategic equity and sustainability priorities. 

ODESI will continue to develop practices to increase its accountability and transparency to the OCAD U community, including regular reporting on ODESI activities and on information and issues of importance to the OCAD U community.

What are alternate formats?

Different formats for communication can be made available if an alternate format is required for clear communication. Alternate formats include many manners in which information is communicated, including: large print, sign language interpretation, Braille, E-text, closed-captioning, standard text, voice, digital audio, video, etc. Alternate formats can be requested by employees, students and visitors, for one’s job, classes, web documents, or for an upcoming University-related event. If you need something in an alternate format, please contact the department or parties involved, as they are responsible for providing them to you.

Accessibility feedback

We need your feedback about accessibility at OCAD University. We encourage feedback about our customer service, website, facilities, employment practices, communications, procurement and student and staff accommodations, etc. The university will make best efforts to provide a response in the same format in which the feedback was received. Where possible, feedback will be addressed immediately. Some feedback may, however, require more effort to address and may need to be reviewed before an action is taken. The university will respond within 21 working days. To comment on OCAD U’s yearly plans and to give feedback of what aspects of accessibility are working and what needs to be further addressed, please provide feedback directly to the department concerned and/or to:

Mail: Manager
Diversity Equity & Sustainability Initiatives
Ontario College of Art & Design
100 McCaul Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 1W1
Telephone: 416- 977- 6000 extension 2205


Helpful Contacts

Shamina Chherawala

Programs, Outreach &
Human Rights Advisor
Telephone: 416-977-6000, Ext 3840


Sustainability Coordinator
Telephone: 416-977-6000, Ext 4862

Office location

The Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability initiatives is
located 230 Richmond St. W., Level 6

Mailing address

Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives
OCAD University
100 McCaul St.
Toronto, ON M5T 1W1

OCAD U is committed to providing accessible information to our community. If you require information published by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Sustainability Initiatives (ODESI) in an alternate format, please forward your request to and let us know what format is preferable. (Alternate formats include: large print, sign language interpretation, braille, e-text, closed-captioning, standard text, voice, digital audio, video, etc.)