Recognition Award in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

About The Award

A donation in the amount of $1000 will be awarded annually to a SWAAC member who has shown exceptional leadership, initiative and commitment in fostering or furthering diversity and inclusion at their institution.  The donation will be made on the recipient’s behalf to an institution of her choice, in the form of a contribution to an endowment or fund that supports initiatives to promote equity and diversity for students, staff, or faculty at their institution.
Evidence of leadership through:

  • Commitment to diversity as an important part of the institution’s educational mission
  • Public and/or academically oriented endeavors that demonstrate intellectual excellence and commitment to cultural diversity in service, teaching, scholarship, and/or creative activity
  • Creation of recruitment and retention initiatives to attract, recruit, and professionally develop individuals who increase the diversity of faculty and staff
  • Demonstrating activities to attract, recruit, and ensure the success of a diverse student body
  • Demonstrating activities to recruit, retain, and professionally develop individuals who increase the diversity of our faculty and staff contributions to enhance campus climate, particularly for underrepresented and marginalized communities
  • Promotion of programs, initiatives, and/or projects that foster a diverse and inclusive campus culture
  • Creation of strategic partnerships that help advance institutional change related to equity and diversity
  • Efforts to increase diversity within one’s academic or administrative unit and/or the University
  • Efforts to use scholarly and/or creative work to enhance the success of students and faculty of diverse cultural and racial backgrounds

Each nomination must address the key areas that form the basis for nomination

The nomination should be accompanied by a one page summary and two letters of support from senior colleagues, one of whom is considered by the community to be a representative of diversity within the institution.

The deadline for submission of nominations: February 16, 2024.

The Selection Committee shall be the elected members of the Executive.

Nominations for the 2024 award must be sent via electronic mail to:

Donna Kotsopoulos
SWAAC President

Recent Award Recipients

Professor Juliet Daniel

A Cancer Biologist and Associate Dean, Research and External Relations, Faculty of Science at McMaster University. Her research team studies the molecular/genetic causes of the disparities in incidence and poor outcomes of triple negative breast cancer in Black women.

As the longest-serving faculty member on the President’s Advisory Committee for Building an Inclusive Community, she played a lead role in advocating for McMaster’s inaugural Associate VP Equity and Inclusion position in Spring 2018. Professor Daniel was a founding member (in 2010) of the African-Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster and played an instrumental leadership role in the development and implementation of the process to ensure a successful Black Scholar cohort hire. By December 2023, McMaster will have successfully recruited ~20 new Black Scholars! Professor Daniel’s extensive and sustained record of EDI advocacy at McMaster is further evidenced by her service on The Glass Escalator (Gender Equity) Task Force, The Parental Leave Policy Drafting Committee, and as a founding member of the McMaster Academic Women’s Success and Mentorship (AWSM) initiative. ​

Over the past two decades, Professor Daniel has been a passionate advocate, mentor and role model for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and Black students/youth whose potential contributions to Science and Engineering have not been fully realized in Canada and beyond. Her passion for more diversity in STEM led her to co-found the Canadian Black Scientists Network (CBSN) who successfully hosted two Black Excellence in STEM & Medicine (BE-STEMM) virtual conferences (2022, 2023).

Professor Daniel’s EDI work and community service also extends beyond McMaster; she recently completed service on the Board of the Hamilton Community Foundation and on the YWCA-Hamilton Capital Campaign Advisory Committee.

Dr. Daniel is the recipient of the inaugural Canadian Cancer Society Inclusive Excellence Award, and a WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award among many others.

Professor Angelique Willkie

Joined the Department of Contemporary Dance of Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts in 2014, moving to Canada following a distinguished career as a performer, teacher and mentor in Vienna, Amsterdam and Brussels.

For the past two years she has been the Chair of the President’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism (PTFABR) and Special Advisor to the Provost on Black Integration and Knowledges. In her role as Chair, she coordinated work that culminated in the writing of a report and the crafting of 88 recommendations that will guide the institution in its next steps towards addressing systemic anti-black racism.  Professor Willkie is now in the initial phase of implementing the recommendations. This involves working with Concordia’s four faculties to insure that the recommendations take root across curriculum, administrative processes, student experience, and research.

As a Special Advisor to the Provost, Professor Willkie has played a key role in navigating through the complexities that have arisen across academic freedom, freedom of speech, and respect in the classroom, including difficult discussions around the use of racial slurs and racialized language in the classroom. Professor Willkie has been a beacon of collegiality, tirelessly working to ensure that academic interests are heard while respecting the recommendations of the Task Force Report as well as the concerns expressed by all members of the community.  Through this process, she has also mentored countless faculty members, students and staff from equity deserving groups in the Faculty of Fine Arts and across the university.  Her generosity and collegiality, paired with excellence have drawn colleagues to collaborate, to take risks and be more open to change.

In 2022, her performance Confessions Publique was awarded the prestigious Prix de la Danse de Montréal.

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