Featured CSA Member

Andrea DavisLaurier appoints associate vice-president: equity, diversity and inclusion

Source: https://www.wlu.ca

Wilfrid Laurier University has appointed Andrea Davis as the new associate vice-president: equity, diversity and inclusion (AVP: EDI) for a five-year term beginning August 1.

Davis joins Laurier from York University, where she served as a distinguished faculty member and chair in the Department of Humanities. Leading a transformative vision of interdisciplinary teaching and research, she is the founder and program coordinator of the Black Canadian Studies Certificate and was the academic convenor of the 2023 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Davis to Laurier,” said Heidi Northwood, provost and vice-president: academic. “Her deep disciplinary knowledge, creativity and extensive leadership experience will make her a valued leader and supporter of students, staff and faculty alike at Laurier. She will be at the centre of our collective effort to create a community where everyone feels a sense of belonging, empowerment and connection.”

Leading equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at Laurier, Davis will continue to implement Laurier’s Strategic Plan for EDI and engage with equity-deserving groups, delivering strategic expertise to the multicampus academic and administrative units. She will also direct the Centre for Student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (CSEDI) and Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management (OHRCM) to advance supports for Laurier students and communities.

“My commitment to champion and support first-generation and racialized students, diversify the professorate, and embed Black Studies in the humanities has permeated all aspects of my work as an educator, researcher, and academic leader over the 20 years of my career,” said Davis. “The role of AVP: EDI formalizes that ongoing work. I am excited to have the opportunity in a student- and community-centred university to support a culture of inclusive belonging that permeates all aspects of Laurier across campuses. I look forward to creating a tangible culture of access and inclusion.”

Davis brings extensive leadership experience to her role as AVP: EDI having served as a special advisor on anti-Black racism strategies at York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies and as interim director of the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC). She also contributed significantly as chair of York’s Senate Academic Policy, Planning, and Research Committee.

Davis holds cross-appointments in several graduate programs at York and has received numerous accolades for her contributions to teaching and research. She was the recipient of the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship in 2021, recipient of an honorary Doctor of Laws from Royal Roads University in 2023 and has been recognized with honours and awards at the faculty, university, and national levels.

With a notable career, Davis’ research expertise centres on the literatures and cultures of Black women in the Americas and is supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Fostering cross-cultural dialogue, Davis is recipient of the Canadian Association for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS) best book award for Horizon, Sea, Sound. Building on her work as an accomplished author, she is lead co-editor of The Routledge Handbook to Black Canadian Literature and co-editor of the Journal of Canadian Studies.

Davis succeeds Vanessa Oliver, who has served as interim AVP: EDI since May 2023.

“I would like to thank Dr. Oliver for her exceptional leadership over the past year,” said Northwood.

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