About project

This is a MITACS BSI partnership project with the City of Saskatoon and the University of Manitoba, in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan.

The project engages academia, researchers, and leaders of public institution in knowledge mobilization workshops and related processes to support systematic, deeper analysis including the root causes, the nature and negative impact of systemic barriers. And the development of shared understanding, policy and institutional level interventions incorporating on-going measurement of EDI outcomes- i.e., healing, and mental health, and human, social and economic development.


This human rights values-based EDI research, innovation, and development project is framed in systems-based knowledge and is attentive to:

Our Vision

A world where everyone has equal dignity, and worth, and opportunity to thrive.


Advancing human rights values in professional practice.


  1. Equality of human dignity and worth
  2. Equality of opportunities
  3. Respect of Diversity
  4. Self-determination
  5. Do no harm.

Project Rationale

Why is this work important:

  • There is persisting inequality and systemic barriers such as systemic racism that undermine mental health, and sustainable human, social and economic development.
  • 2023, marks 75 years since the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, however systemic discrimination and oppression remains pervasive in public institutions.
  • Most institutions with EDI or DEI initiatives have established some guidelines, however, they do not have agency practice theory and their measurement of progress is limited to superficial changes in general demographics.
  • Research, combined with science-based practice theory ensures effective identification of root causes, supports on-going evaluation of interventions, and advances public accountability and professionalism.

Project committment:

What We Do

We support agencies such as municipal governments, government departments and other public institutions to enhance their EDI initiatives through incorporating human rights values-based practice theory and on-going measurement of outcomes. 

We offer Knowledge Mobilization (KMb.) workshops for executive leaders (3 hours long weekly over 6 weeks) and / or senior and middle level management (3 hours long weekly over 14 weeks) in Application of Human Rights Values and On-going Measurement of EDI outcomes in Leadership and Professional Practice. It is a three-phased transformative teaching/learning program consisting of:

On completion of the KMb. workshops, Scholars, and graduate student interns interested in DEI and applied research can work with respective public agencies, industry, and non-profit community organizations on real life social problems and systemic barriers to systematically study and devise evidence based systemic interventions.

A fully fledged program can work out as a 2–3-year engagement in research, innovation, and development work – incorporating establishment of SMART goals, base-line data collection, implementation of agreed on interventions, and annual monitoring of progress, evaluation and refinement of institutional strategies and on-going enhancement of skills at the leadership levels.

Participating graduate student interns do this - while working towards the fulfilment of their academic requirements.

Project Team

Project Interns:

  • Richard Baffo Kodom

    Richard Baffo Kodom

    Richard Baffo Kodom is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba. He holds a BSW and an MSW. from the University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana. Richard’s research interests include international migration, family welfare, ageing, disability, and healthcare. He is a Sessional Instructor at the Faculty of Social Work. He is the Lead Intern for MITACS BSI project, and his research work at the City of Saskatoon is in best practices and the use of practice theory in public engagement towards the successful integration of immigrants, and equitable inclusion at municipal government levels in Canada- specifically the City of Saskatoon REDI program.

  • Esther Araba Mensah

    Esther Araba Mensah

    Esther Araba Mensah is a Ph.D. candidate at the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. She holds a MSW from the China Women’s University, Beijing, China. Esther’s research interests include women, young people, GBV, sexual abuse, and community development; and she is a Sessional Instructor in the Faculty of Social Work. Esther’s MITACS BSI research interests in relation to gender and “race” based equity are framed within human resource management, employment and occupational health and safety - City of Saskatoon’s REDI strategic goals.

  • Anita Adefuye

    Anita Adefuye

    Anita Adefuye, MPA is a Ph.D. student of Public Policy at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan. Anita’s MITACS BSI Internship responsibilities include research on best practices, the critical examination of the position and function of Policy and Governance in advancing human rights values, and to contribute to the process at the City Clerk's office- aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the City of Saskatoon’s Reconciliation, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (REDI) initiatives and programs.

  • Kayla Benoit

    Kayla Benoit

    Kayla Benoit, currently pursuing an MSc in Marketing at the Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan, is an avid researcher with a strong focus on decolonization, language, power dynamics, and discourse analysis.
    As a MITACS BSI Student Intern, Kayla is actively engaged in a collaborative project with the human resource management team at the City of Saskatoon, partnering with leaders from four equity groups (Indigenous, racialized, women, and individuals with varying abilities). Their collective mission is to identify and rectify biased language within job descriptions and recruitment processes. This initiative is critical to their broader efforts to eliminate systemic barriers and promote a culture rooted in human rights values to enhance Reconciliation, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) outcomes.

Get Involved

Are you interested in the application of Human Rights values?

Are you interested in professional leadership development?

Are you interested in UNESCO (1978) Declaration on Race and the Elimination of Racial Prejudice?

Are you a graduate student interested in EDI and Critical Social Theory and Applied Research? 

Are you interested in advancing Respect of Diversity, the removal of systemic barriers, promoting Healing and Mental Health, and Equity and Social Inclusion?

Contact us to get involved!