Terms of reference for the Diversity and Inclusion Committee
The purpose of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) Board of Trustees is to assist the Board and the Presidentand CEO in ensuring that the mandate of the Museum to promote human rights and respect for all is fully reflected in its internal operations as well as in its programming, with a view to overcoming systemic racism, discrimination and oppression, and to model an inclusive society built on respect for one another.
B. Composition and Operations
- The Committee shall be composed of no fewer than three trustees and no more than five trustees. The Board Chair shall be an ex-officio voting member of the Committee. The President and CEO shall be an ex-officio non-voting member of the Committee.
- The Board shall appoint the Committee Chair from among the Trustees.
- The Committee shall meet at least three times each year.
- A majority of the Committee members shall represent a quorum.
- The membership of the Committee may also include non-voting external independent advisors engaged to expand the experience and expertise of the Committee.
- The Secretary to the Committee shall be the Corporate Secretary or delegate.
C. Duties and Responsibilities
- Provide high-level oversight over an external review of CMHR workplace culture, practices, policies and processes for the purpose of examining recent allegations of systemic racism, homophobia, sexual harassment and other forms of oppression.
- Receive and disseminate (with due attention to the protection of personal information and privacy) reports received from the external reviewer(s).
- Oversee the development of an action plan after consideration of recommendations contained in external review report(s), recognizing that the fight against systemic racism, homophobia, sexual harassment and other forms of oppression must be ongoing, and must be a priority.
- Monitor and provide accountability for the Museum’s compliance with implementing the action plan referenced above.
- Working with other Board committees, initiate and participate in the development of new policies or the revision of existing ones, related to matters of systemic racism, discrimination and oppression.
- Act as the Board’s champion for changes to CMHR workplace culture that promote a bias-free work environment and a fully welcoming institution for all staff, visitors, donors, board members and community partners.
D. Committee Member Skills and Qualifications
Committee members and external advisors should have experience working on diversity and inclusion issues and, ideally, lived experience as a member of a group which has historically experienced discrimination or oppression. They should have a commitment to diversity and inclusion and be committed to continuing the process of self-understanding and education at the CMHR, and should be comfortable talking about race and discrimination issues.
The Committee composition will include members of Black, Indigenous, LGBTQ2+, racialized and disability communities.
The Committee shall report on its discussions to the Board at each Board meeting in accordance with the Committee guidelines.
F. Effective Date
These terms of reference are in effect as of September 25, 2020.
External Advisors to the Committee
Esi Codjoe is a lawyer at Turnpenney Milne LLP. Her practice focuses on workplace law, including employment law, human rights, training, mediations and investigations. She is a previous Vice Chair at the Human Rights Tribunal. Esi taught Business Law and Labour and Employment Law at Ryerson University.
Esi was legal counsel, employee/labour relations at McMaster University; she provided advice on employment law matters. She was in‐house litigation counsel at the Ontario Nurses’ Association. Esi routinely litigated grievance arbitration cases and provided advice on human rights.
Esi is a current member of the Labour and Employment Law Section executive of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA). She was the Toronto Regional Director on the OBA Board of Directors and member of the Governance Committee. Esi is a past chair of the OBA Equality Committee. From 2009–2013, she was an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association Labour and Employment Law Section. She has served as the Secretary, and Director of Professional Development for the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers.
In 2018, Esi was named as one of Canadian Lawyer Magazine’s Top 25 lawyers, and in 2019 Lexpert named her as a Change Agent in Law.
Danielle Peers (they/them) is a long-time advocate for access and equity in sport, art and disability. This role began when they acted as a national Athlete’s Representative as a Paralympian and was named a national ambassador with Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Their work has since grown to include disability justice and equity-related consultations, workshops and talks with dozens of organizations ranging from local self-advocacy federations to UNESCO.
Danielle continues this work as both a dance and video artist whose work engages with the ethics and aesthetics of access and the generativity of disability. In their academic role, Danielle is a Canada Research Chair in Disability and Movement Cultures (Tier II), and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta. Their research takes participatory, arts-based, intersectional, and disability justice approaches to creating more accessible and affirming sport, recreation and arts cultures.
Brenda L. Gunn is a citizen of Manitoba Metis Federation. She is an Associate Professor at Robson Hall Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba. She has a B.A. from the University of Manitoba and a J.D. from the University of Toronto. She completed her LL.M. in Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy at the University of Arizona. She articled with Sierra Legal Defence Fund (now Ecojustice Canada). She was called to the bars of Law Society of Upper Canada and Manitoba.
Brenda also worked at a community legal clinic in Rabinal, Guatemala on a case of genocide submitted to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights. She has also worked with First Nations on Aboriginal and treaty rights issues in Manitoba. She continues to combine her academic research with her activism pushing for greater recognition of Indigenous peoples’ inherent rights as determined by Indigenous peoples’ own legal traditions. Her current research focuses on promoting greater conformity between international law on the rights of Indigenous peoples and domestic law.
She continues to be actively involved in the international Indigenous peoples’ movement, regularly attending international meetings. She provided technical assistance to the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the analysis and drafting of the report summarizing the responses on the survey on implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She developed a handbook on understanding and implementing the UN Declaration and has delivered workshops on the Declaration across Canada and internationally.
In 2013, she participated in the UNITAR Training Programme to Enhance the Conflict Prevention and Peacemaking Capacities of Indigenous Peoples’ Representatives, which continues to impact her research.