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Stephanie Simpson named next equity and human rights head

The current Director of the Queen's Human Rights Office will assume leadership of both the Equity and Human Rights Offices in February.

Stephanie Simpson (Artsci’95, Ed’97, MEd’11) has been named the Executive Director (Human Rights and Equity Offices) and University Advisor on Equity and Human Rights effective Feb. 1.

Stephanie Simpson (Artsci’95, Ed’97, MEd’11). (University Communications)
Stephanie Simpson (Artsci’95, Ed’97, MEd’11). (University Communications)

“Stephanie has been a leader on equity, diversity, and inclusivity at Queen’s for many years, and her appointment reflects the important role she plays in the Queen’s community,” says Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion). “She brings deep knowledge, experience, and commitment to this new position, and her appointment will be a significant gain for the cause of creating a more welcoming Queen’s.”

In this role, Ms. Simpson will lead the Equity and Human Rights Offices and will continue to play a key role in fostering both competence and legislative compliance around matters such as inclusivity, diversity, accessibility, human rights, and equity on campus.

“I have always had a passion for issues of social justice and I have committed to strengthening my knowledge and skillset in order to bring my best to this work,” says Ms. Simpson. “There is a sense of renewed energy and purpose on campus in relation to equity right now. I’m very much looking forward to the role the Equity and Human Rights Offices will play in supporting the vision for inclusion clearly articulated in our formal reports, and by community members.”

She will also provide guidance to senior administration, governance bodies, and units on achieving equity within the institution’s strategic priorities. As a member of the Office of the Provost team, Ms. Simpson will work in concert with the Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion) in developing initiatives that support the creation of a welcoming campus in collaboration with equity-seeking communities. 

Ms. Simpson has been a member of the Human Rights Office since 1996, starting in the portfolios of anti-racism advisor and education coordinator and increasing in responsibility since. She was most recently the office’s director.

“I want to acknowledge the contributions of Equity Office staff, Human Rights Office staff, and community members I’ve been fortunate to work with over so many years,” she says. “The accomplishment of which I feel we can be most proud is an approach to institutional change work that is respectful and appreciative while also being challenging. Being viewed by community members and colleagues as a trusted resource is our first priority, so we know when we’ve achieved this we have done our job well.”

Ms. Simpson has also supported inclusivity and equity efforts in the Kingston community through her roles with the Black Inmates and Friends group; her consultation and education services efforts with organizations such as Interval House, Limestone District School Board and Kingston General Hospital; and her role on the Kingston Immigration Partnership Operations Committee where she represents Queen’s.