Lesa Williams-George joins as Director of Equity, Inclusion & Transformative Practices
The research is clear: diverse communities achieve more, learn more and innovate more. We celebrate community a lot at Victoria University. Indeed, one of the core deliverables in our five-year Strategic Framework is to “…foster a strong sense of belonging within a supportive community by respecting and connecting the many voices, needs and histories of its members.” To that end, I am very pleased to share that Vic alumna Lesa Williams-George Vic 9T3 has joined us as our first Director of Equity, Inclusion & Transformative Practices.
Lesa will be part of the President’s Office and will lead the development and implementation of a strategy and initiatives that strengthen and sustain an equitable, inclusive, respectful, engaged, healthy work environment and positive organizational culture for staff, faculty, librarians and students.
Lesa’s extensive roles in the education sector span over 24 years and include school principal, instructional leader and presenter where she promoted equitable schools, anti-oppression, inclusion and diversity in the TDSB. She has developed and facilitated professional learning workshops and training courses for teachers and administrative professionals and is a provincial mentor and instructor for the Ontario Principals’ Council. At U of T, she served as a facilitator for the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). She also served as policy analyst and advisor in the Ministry of Transportation. Along with her educational training, Lesa is a certified coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF). She holds a diploma in mental health, addiction counselling and trauma-informed practice. Her continuing studies include Indigenous-Canadian and African diasporas ways of knowing and being, healing and wellness. Lesa serves on the Higher Education Commission of the National Association of Black Educators (NABSE USA) and the Ontario affiliate ONABSE.
When we bring diverse experiences, histories and cultures to our classrooms, our student programming, our administrative tables and our operations, we get such an energizing range of ideas and perspectives. We can face obstacles and adapt to a changing world faster and more creatively. We know that where diversity is absent there is a deficit of ideas. At Vic U, we want to encourage and promote big ideas and Lesa will be instrumental on this journey.
Dr. Rhonda N. McEwen
President and Vice-Chancellor
Victoria University in the University of Toronto