Press Statements

July 27, 2023 – 5:00 pm ET

In recent weeks there has been a lot of attention on KOJO Institute and our work improving organizational culture, addressing social inequities, including anti-Black racism, and improving outcomes for all in our society.

Our CEO and Founder Kike Ojo-Thompson, released the following message:

The death of Richard Bilkszto is a tragedy and all of us at KOJO Institute offer our condolences to his loved ones.

KOJO Institute welcomes Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s review of this matter and will cooperate fully with Ministry officials. We believe the Ministry of Education is best positioned to investigate this matter to get to the bottom of what transpired at the Toronto District School Board after our workshop concluded over two years ago.

The anti-Black racism workshop at the centre of Mr. Bilkszto’s false claims took place in the spring of 2021. It was only in June of 2023, through media inquiries seeking our comment, we learned Mr. Bilkszto filed a lawsuit without serving it against the Toronto District School Board.

The allegations made against me and KOJO Institute within Mr. Bilkszto’s lawsuit against the Toronto District School Board are false, and we are not a party to the lawsuit. We only learned of the mischaracterization of events detailed in the Statement of Claim filed against the Board, two years after the workshop.

Additionally, KOJO was not part of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) insurance claim adjudication that ruled in favour of Mr. Bilkszto’s claim for compensation in 2021 against the Toronto District School Board. Neither Toronto District School Board representatives, nor WSIB adjudicators ever contacted any members of the KOJO team about the false claims being made about our work. It is puzzling that a government agency with adjudicating authority would not consult all named parties to a dispute.

Over the past 25 years, KOJO has successfully trained thousands of people in various industries and sectors across North America to address systemic racism and discrimination in their organizations through education and training. While it is natural for workshops to generate strong reactions by participants, KOJO consistently receives overwhelmingly positive feedback for our work helping to successfully transform spaces and organizations to achieve more equitable outcomes for all.

KOJO Institute is steadfast in its commitment to improving organizational culture, addressing social inequities including anti-Black racism, and improving outcomes for all in our society.

This incident is being weaponized to discredit and suppress the work of everyone committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. While the coverage by right-wing media of this controversy is disappointing and led to our organization and team members receiving threats and vitriol online, we will not be deterred from our work in building a better society for everyone.


Kike Ojo-Thompson
Founder and CEO
KOJO Institute