You are now in the main content area

Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Awards

A diverse group of people applauding

The annual Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and teams who advance equity, diversity and inclusion through their work, research and/or volunteer contributions in the community.

Alan Shepard

Dr. Alan Shepard is currently President and Vice-Chancellor of Western University. From 2007 to 2012, Dr. Shepard was Ryerson University’s Provost and Vice-President, Academic. He championed equity, diversity and inclusion at Ryerson and was an innovative and forward-thinker. 

It was during his tenure that the role of Assistant Vice-President/Vice-Provost Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) was created. Dr. Denise O’Neil Green was the first to hold this role. She was appointed inaugural Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion in 2017 and concluded her tenure at the university in 2022.

Since Dr. Shepard’s departure from the university, the Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion (OVPECI) proudly sponsors this annual awards ceremony. We gather each year to celebrate the students and employees who exemplify Dr. Shepard’s inclusive and collaborative leadership style.

We're celebrating this year’s award recipients

Unfortunately this event is now at capacity. If you have any questions, please email the Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion at equity@torontomu.ca.

2024 award recipients

Student

Deangela is a third-year student in the School of Child and Youth Care within the Faculty of Community Services who is dedicated to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Committed to empowering diverse youth and children, she has channeled her efforts to supporting communities in Toronto’s Regent Park, Moss Park and beyond.

Emerging from a background marked by adversity, Deangela's journey is fueled by a passionate drive to give back and uplift the lives of youth who share similar experiences. She cultivates meaningful relationships and serves as a role model, particularly for young Black women, showcasing the boundless possibilities attainable despite challenges.

At MLSE LaunchPad, Deangela assumes the pivotal role of mentor, guiding youth through transformative programs. Notably, she spearheaded a project analyzing members' experiences to forge new pathways, with a keen focus on employment opportunities crucial for Moss Park's youth. Beyond mentoring, Deangela extends her impact by coaching the Girls STOMP Dance Team, nurturing confidence and empowerment through movement.

Outside MLSE LaunchPad, Deangela volunteers at Dixon Hall, championing the Girls Fit program tailored for adolescents aged 11 to 15. She empowers young women through holistic health education, promoting positive lifestyle choices and well-being. Additionally, Deangela provides support to first-time mothers through leisure counseling and aids low-income families through a community income tax clinic.

A cornerstone of Deangela's advocacy lies in supporting young people, particularly those raised by single mothers who are navigating the complexities of social assistance. Through her multifaceted contributions and unwavering advocacy, Deangela embodies the transformative potential of compassion and action, leaving an indelible mark on the communities she serves.

Faculty

Dr. Art Blake is a Professor in the Department of History within the Faculty of Arts and a trailblazer in championing equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA) within academia. Serving as the inaugural Director of the Dimensions Pilot Program at TMU, Dr. Blake's leadership has been instrumental in advancing EDIA in scholarly research and creative activities (SRC) at the university.

Under Dr. Blake's guidance, a team of faculty Dimensions leads, conducted extensive consultations, resulting in a plan to further integrate EDIA throughout TMU's research ecosystem, and a successful application for recognition by the federal Dimensions Pilot Program. This achievement has reinforced TMU’s standing as a leader in EDIA within the academic sphere.

This award recognizes Dr. Blake's tireless mentorship, successful academic program development and innovative research initiatives at TMU, infusing EDIA in everything he does. Noteworthy contributions in addition to leading the Dimensions Pilot Program include advocacy for the new Minor in 2SLGBTQ+ Studies and formation of the 2SLGBTQ+ SRC Network at TMU. Additionally, Dr. Blake's involvement in the Positive Space Faculty and Staff Network and the VPFA’s Advisory Group underscores his commitment to fostering an inclusive environment.

Dr. Blake's research endeavors reflect his intentional integration of EDIA principles. His publications, such as Audible Citizenship and Audiomobility: Race,Technology, and CB Radio and his current project on the cross-dressing community's history, exemplify his dedication to exploring EDIA themes.

In addition to his scholarly contributions, Dr. Blake's impact extends to the student experience, where his commitment to creating a positive environment is deeply felt. His exceptional dedication to identifying and addressing systemic barriers, developing innovative programs and providing access to underrepresented individuals embodies excellence and service to TMU and the broader community.

Dr. Blake's unwavering dedication to advancing EDIA across research, pedagogy, student experience and university life distinguishes him as a worthy recipient of the Alan Shepard EDI Award. His profound impact resonates not only within TMU but also within the hearts and minds of its students, faculty and staff.

Staff

Dr. Grace-Camille Munroe serves as the Interim Director of TMU’s Black Scholarship Institute within the Faculty of Community Services. Prior to this role, she was the Program Manager of the Presidential Implementation Committee to Confront Anti-Black Racism (PICCABR). Recognized for her dedication to fostering Black flourishing at TMU, Dr. Munroe champions equity-driven excellence, reshaping the experiences and capabilities of Black students, faculty and staff. Her commitment has continually extended beyond her official duties where she has cultivated a culture of inspiration and equity transformations.

During her tenure from 2020 to 2023 as Program Manager of PICCABR, Dr. Munroe spearheaded efforts to implement recommendations from the  (PDF file) 2020 Anti-Black Racism Campus Climate Review Report. As the inaugural Interim Director of TMU’s Black Scholarship Institute, Dr. Munroe continues to lead its efforts, driven by a genuine sense of community service. She introduced community updates to foster engagement and awareness within TMU and the broader public regarding anti-Black racism initiatives. Under her guidance, program, administrative and financial frameworks were established to support anti-Black racism initiatives, including the creation of a Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Black Scholars.

Dr. Munroe's reverence for past, present and future leaders, coupled with her commitment to engaging and embracing the full richness of Black students, communities, faculty and staff, defines her visionary leadership. With a calming presence and clarity of purpose, she propels forward a vision of equity and possibility.

Team

  • Michael Turco, Manager of Operations, Administration, & Equity, School of Journalism
  • Dan Cantiller, Decision Support Analyst, Ted Rogers School of Management
  • Ryan Kerr, Events and Communications Specialist, Ceremonials Office
  • Andrea Ridgley, Manager, Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (The Centre)

The Positive Space Faculty and Staff Community Network’s Michael Turco, Dan Cantiller, Ryan Kerr and Andrea Ridgley are dedicated to fostering an inclusive environment for 2SLGBTQ+ community members at TMU and go above and beyond to address barriers to full participation in university life. 

As volunteers who contribute their time in addition to their full-time roles, Michael, Dan, Ryan and Andrea have collaborated at all levels of the university to organize over 24 events in the past year to honour and celebrate TMU community members of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions, and to educate and raise awareness for the straight/cis majority. 

One example of their extensive work was their partnership with the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, to spearhead initiatives that showcased the Minor in LGBTQ2S+ Studies, amplifying queer and trans experiences in the classroom and curriculum.

Positive Space’s commitment to creating an inclusive space for members of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions and to creating work and learning environments that are safe and inclusive for 2SLGBTQ+ community members at TMU is exceptional. Through their efforts, Michael, Dan, Ryan and Andrea have embodied Toronto Metropolitan University’s commitment to EDI, with dedication and passion, and are a testament to the spirit of the Alan Shepard EDI Award.

Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact the OVPECI at equity@torontomu.ca.