Statement of Commitment to the Report on Diversity and Inclusion at the Faculty of Information 

The Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI) and Semaphore Lab share a commitment to social justice, action research, and anti-racism. As Director, I confirm that the KMDI and Semaphore stand behind the monumental labour that our students and alumni put into the Report on Diversity and Inclusion Experiences at the Faculty of Information, which was released earlier this week. The KMDI and Semaphore will spend time reflecting on the difficult survey findings outlined in this Report, with gratitude to the students for sharing with us these painful truths and experiences. We are committed to participating in the discussions that emerge out of this Report, both this week and in the weeks and months to come. We take seriously the students’ recommendations for how to enact real, tangible, and urgently needed changes at the Faculty, and we will identify multiple ways to implement these recommendations across the Institute, our Labs, our Collaborative Specialization, our events and other activities, both immediately and long term.

Dr. Sara M. Grimes 

Director of the KMDI and Semaphore 

KMDI-Semaphore works to produce human-centred research and pedagogical resources aimed at exploring, critiquing, and informing the design of technological devices, media, and systems.

Founded in 1996 by Prof. Ron Baecker and now headed by Prof. Sara Grimes (Director), the Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI) is a cross-disciplinary research institute spanning multiple departments and faculties of the University of Toronto. It focuses on exploring, designing and critiquing the complex relationships between information, technology, and society, in ways that will protect the rights and enrich the lives of humans. The KMDI offers a Collaborative Specialization in Knowledge Media Design, through which University of Toronto graduate students can pursue an interdisciplinary specialization in addition to their regular departmental degree program.

Our merger with the Semaphore Research Cluster and its labs, such as the Critical Making Lab, expands KMDI’s research agenda to advance shared values for social justice and human-centred design through action research, cross-sector collaboration, and community outreach. Our current projects include studies of the various social, cultural and political implications of everyday technologies, from 3D printers and gaming platforms, to touch devices and environmental data infrastructures.