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Faculty of Arts and Science adds EDII expert to senior leadership team

Anita Jack-Davies
Anita Jack-Davies

The Faculty of Arts and Science is pleased to announce the appointment of Anita Jack-Davies as Assistant Dean, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity (EDII) – the first assistant deanship of its kind in the faculty and at Queen’s, and one of only a few similar positions across the country. In this role, Dr. Jack-Davies will provide valuable leadership in EDII including implementing the many EDII priorities contained in the faculty’s Strategic Plan.

The position, says Dr. Jack-Davies, “will play a key role in facilitating systemic EDII change in the Faculty of Arts and Science in the areas of curriculum, departmental culture and climate, communications, faculty and staff development, and student support.”

Dr. Jack-Davies, who began her appointment on Oct. 5, brings more than 20 years' experience in education to the assistant dean role, and is not new to the university, having earned her master’s and PhD in urban teacher education at the Queen's Faculty of Education.

After graduation, Dr. Jack-Davies began building her career around supporting EDII initiatives across the country; as the founder of workplace diversity consultancy Mosaic Cross-Cultural Solutions, she provided EDII change management and EDII strategic planning support to clients including Ryerson University, the Durham Regional Police, the Limestone District School Board, the Privy Council of the Canadian Government, and Queen's University.

Dr. Jack-Davies also brings to the role prior experience in higher education; having worked in faculty development, she has trained senior leaders on a wide range of topics including effective graduate supervision, inclusive faculty recruitment and inclusive teaching practices. In 2019, Dr. Jack-Davies led the Queen’s Faculty of Education through the process of developing its EDII Vision and Mission Statement and had the opportunity to work with faculty, staff, and graduate students.

Dr. Jack-Davies is looking forward to bringing that same spirit of collaboration to her work with the Faculty of Arts and Science, and says her work will be informed by the needs of the community as well as the issues of the time.

“We are living in a moment where EDII issues are impacting the work that we do in the academy on a day-to-day basis,” she says. “My goal is to develop EDII programming and initiatives that will impact teaching and learning, and will lead to the removal of barriers for faculty, staff, and students in the Faculty of Arts and Science and the wider Queen’s campus.”

Of her vision for the role, Dr. Jack-Davies is realistic and optimistic about the future.

“I see this upcoming academic year as one of tremendous planning, growth, learning, and the ushering in of honest conversations about where we are and the work that is left to do as a university, as outlined in Principal Deane’s recent essay, The Conversation,” she says.

In addition to this appointment, Dr. Jack-Davies serves as adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Urban Planning at Queen's and is currently EDII Advisor to the Queen’s University Council. She has appeared on CTV National News and CBC Radio discussing diversity and inclusion in the Canadian context. Dr. Jack-Davies is the author of Lawrencia's Last Parang: A Memoir on Loss and Belonging as a Black Woman in Canada (Inanna Publishing, forthcoming May 2021).