Concordia’s newly formed Equity Office appoints its inaugural executive director
Concordia launched its Equity Office in October 2020, and now the university has appointed Lisa White as its first executive director.
White brings to her role deep knowledge and expertise in applying and administering Concordia’s Code of Rights and Responsibilities, a strong focus on outreach and education and close to a decade of experience working to address issues of discrimination and equity within the university community.
The Equity Office will serve as an umbrella unit to develop and implement the university’s equity, diversity and inclusion action plan, coordinate and harmonize related resources and initiatives across the university and provide services and support to the community. That support involves working with groups including the Indigenous Directions Leadership Council, the Black Perspectives Office and the President’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism, whose mandates include addressing systemic discrimination.
Prior to her appointment to this inaugural role, White served as director of Concordia’s Office of Rights and Responsibilities since 2018.
To ensure a smooth transition and continued service to the university community, White will continue to lend her support as director of the Office of Rights and Responsibilities until a new director is hired.
Her work with the Office of Rights and Responsibilities began in 2013 following invaluable experience she gained from holding advisory roles with the Concordia Student Union Advocacy Centre.
“Over the years, Concordia has provided me with a wealth of opportunities to continue growing personally and professionally. My dedication and esteem for the university community runs very deep,” says White.
“I would like to ensure that all Concordians have access to the safe environment and equitable opportunities that enabled me to succeed.”
The role reports to Nadia Hardy, interim deputy provost and vice-provost of faculty development and inclusion, with a dotted reporting line to Carolina Willsher, associate vice-president of Human Resources.
“Lisa has years of experience working with our students, faculty and staff to find fair and equitable outcomes to complex and sensitive issues,” says Hardy.
“Her leadership, vision and expertise provide a strong foundation from which to build Concordia’s new Equity Office.”
“I look forward to continuing to work with Lisa in this new capacity, and know that she is a strong advocate for ensuring a fair, safe and inclusive academic and working environment for the university community,” Willsher says.
“She is an extraordinary and collaborative colleague with a strong commitment to improving issues of equity and accessibility.”
Equity census for faculty and staff
To support the mandate of the Equity Office to see all community members not only reflected but welcomed, included and supported in their efforts to contribute to all areas of university life, Concordia is conducting a confidential equity census for faculty and staff.
One of Concordia’s ongoing challenges in advancing equity, diversity and inclusion is a lack of institutional data. Demographic information is an essential first step for the university to meaningfully discuss faculty and staff underrepresentation, design and conduct equitable search processes, and examine institutional barriers for faculty and staff to fully participate in university life.
Find out more about Concordia's Equity Office.