May 4, 2023Print | PDF
Wilfrid Laurier University has appointed Vanessa Oliver as the interim associate vice-president for equity, diversity and inclusion (AVP: EDI) and Tarah Brookfield as support for the Laurier Legacy project.
Oliver is an associate professor of Youth and Children’s Studies and Social Justice and Community Engagement. Since joining Laurier in 2013, she has been an Indigenous Studies program coordinator, a lead faculty organizer of Laurier’s Social Justice Forum on anti-racism in higher education and Indigenous sovereignty and solidarity, and co-author of the Being Raced report. She was also a member of Laurier's EDI strategic planning committee, which helped guide the creation and implementation of the EDI strategic plan.
“Dr. Oliver has a deep understanding of the complex issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education and has demonstrated a strong commitment to promoting a culture of inclusion across Laurier,” says Heidi Northwood, interim provost and vice-president: academic. “I look forward to working with her in this role while we continue our search for a permanent associate vice-president: equity, diversity and inclusion.”
“I firmly believe that those of us who benefit from legacies of privilege are responsible for deconstructing and dismantling systemic oppression,” says Oliver. “I do not undertake this work lightly and do so with commitments to build ethical relationships, prioritize accountability and foster intersectionality.”
Oliver will take on this role for a period of 14 months or until the AVP: EDI search is completed and the successful candidate commences the appointment.
During this interim period, Oliver will be responsible for leading and implementing initiatives that promote EDI across Laurier and will work closely with all members of the Laurier community to ensure the university is fostering an environment that is respectful, supportive and welcoming to everyone.
Supporting the Laurier Legacy project, Tarah Brookfield will work with the postdoctoral fellows in the Office of the AVP: EDI. Brookfield joined Laurier in 2009 and is currently an associate professor of History and Youth and Children Studies. She is a modern Canada historian with specializations in social and political history and the creator of the People Make History lecture series, which invites witnesses of historic moments to share their stories.
Laurier will launch an international search for a permanent associate vice-president: equity, diversity and inclusion in Fall 2023 with an anticipated start date of July 2024.