Making a difference in equity, human rights, and accessibility

Making a difference in equity, human rights, and accessibility

By Communications Staff

March 26, 2019


There are many people and groups at Queen’s working toward making the university a  more welcoming and inclusive place.

Four of these Queen’s community members were recognized on March 19 as the annual Tri-Awards were handed out by the Human Rights and Equity Office.

This year’s celebration event also featured a round-table discussion, moderated by Stephanie Simpson, Associate Vice-Principal Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion, that brought together community members to discuss the future of higher education and Queen’s University in particular, through the lens of diversity, inclusion and equity. 

Each of the discussion members – Nirosha Balakumar, Kandice Baptiste, Mia Berloni, Tianna Edwards, and Lee Airton – have contributed to the Together We Are blog over the past year, and provided a different view from their own perspective and experiences.

Presented by Principal Daniel Woolf, the Tri-Awards are given out to individuals and groups that contribute to the advancement of equity, human rights, accessibility and inclusion within the Queen’s community.

The award winners are:

Employment Equity Award

The Queen’s Employment Equity Award recognizes and celebrates the achievements of individuals, groups or organizations that go above and beyond legislated requirements, thereby helping Queen’s become a truly representative and inclusive workplace.

Adrian Baranchuk (School of Medicine, Cardiology)

Through academic publications and advocacy efforts, Dr. Baranchuk is raising awareness and initiating dialogue to promote gender equality and female representation within cardiology and the broader field of medicine. He is passionate about providing mentorship and guidance to female trainees, helping them navigate the traditionally male-dominated specialty of cardiology. Dr. Baranchuk’s ongoing efforts will surely elevate Queens’ presence as a principle figure on gender equality in medicine.

Katherine McKittrick (Gender Studies)

Dr. McKittrick was the driving force behind the development of a Queen’s National Scholar opportunity in Black Geographies taking Queen’s one step closer in diversifying its faculty and attracting new students from various backgrounds. Having this QNS position not only marks significant progress towards the university’s goals of creating an inclusive and representative environment, but will also provide years of support for studies in this area and strengthen the Black community at Queen’s and in Kingston.

Steve Cutway Accessibility Award

The Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recognizes outstanding contributions by faculty, staff and students towards advancing accessibility for persons with disabilities at Queen’s University.

Llynwen Osborne (Physical Plant Services)

Llynwen Osborne has shown a commitment to accessibility by initiating a program within Physical Plant Services to educate colleagues and employees on Deaf culture.  This new level of interaction creates a more positive, inclusive and enriched working experience, especially for the deaf community within PPS. Providing this opportunity not only improves the quality of life of staff, but also creates a potential for greater equality of opportunity at the university.

Queen’s Human Rights Initiative Award

The Queen’s Human Rights Initiative Award recognizes initiatives that have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of equality and human rights at Queen’s University.

Alana Butler (Education)

Dr. Butler has been instrumental in establishing the Teacher Candidates of Colour group by providing a welcoming and supportive community while at the same time positively changing the culture within the Faculty of Education for current and future teacher candidates. Teacher Candidates of Colour enables students to bring their knowledge and experience to the community and in the group’s ever growing membership, it’s evident they have the support to thrive. Through Dr. Butler’s efforts and the work done by students, the Social Healing and Reconciliatory Education (SHARE) research group was created.