Barrington Walker hired as new senior advisor of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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Wilfrid Laurier University has appointed Barrington Walker as their new senior advisor: equity, diversity and inclusion to develop a strategy to enhance the existing diversity and support and continue to build at Laurier.

Walker will start his appointment in January of 2020, as he is currently an associate professor at Queen’s University. He will become a tenured professor in the department of history as part of his appointment.

“Dr. Barrington Walker was selected by the search committee as the preferred candidate for the Senior Advisor EDI role based on his academic and administrative expertise,” said Pamela Cant, assistant vice president of human resources and equity in an email statement.

“His lived experience, and his passion and commitment to developing and implementing equity, diversity and inclusion strategies, policies and processes.”

A government of Canada is funding the position with a grant of $384,700 over the span of two years which was announced on Nov. 9.

Federal minister of science and sport Kirsty Duncan announced the initiative which includes 14 other academic institutions called Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada which is providing $5.3 million in total to all the schools.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Walker join Laurier in this inaugural role, as he works to enhance Laurier’s efforts in fostering an equitable, diverse and inclusive community, as outlined in Laurier’s strategic plan,” Cant continued in her email statement.

“As co-chair of Laurier’s ED I Community of Practice, Dr. Walker will lead the creation of a university-wide EDI strategy and provide expertise, guidance, mentorship and support to faculty and staff working toward EDI-related goals.”

Since 2002 Walker has been a member of the history department at Queen’s University, being the diversity advisor to the vice principal: academic from 2007-2009.

He has also written and taught about history in the forms of Canadian social history, African-American history as well as relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in North America.

Walker will be working alongside current Laurier faculty members Darryl Dee and Lamine Diallo who will be serving as EDI faculty colleagues to dedicate time to EDI research and developing strategy.

Michelle Skop and Christine Neill currently serve as a representation for female faculty colleagues and a research associate will also be hired.

Members of Indigenous initiatives, human resources, the Centre for Student EDI and teaching and learning will also be members of the community practice.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) comprise the support for the Dimensions program which includes  four other Ontario schools among the 15.

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