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OCDSB Office of the Human Rights and Equity Advisor

Established in the spring of 2020, the Office of the Human Rights and Equity Advisor is committed to promoting and protecting the human rights of students, families, staff and the broader school community.

The Human Rights and Equity Advisor is a senior leadership role, which reports to the Director of Education. The position was created by the OCDSB as part of its ongoing commitment to building and maintaining a culture of caring and respect for human rights and equity within the Board. 

The Human Rights and Equity Advisor is arm’s-length from other OCDSB departments to help ensure objectivity in fulfilling the role.

Functions

The Human Rights and Equity Advisor has two main functions. 

  1. To provide leadership and advice to the OCDSB to identify and address systemically-based human rights and equity issues and to increase the OCDSB capacity to ensure compliance with the Ontario Human Rights Code. 
  2. To provide oversight to the OCDSB’s internal human rights complaints procedure. The OCDSB is currently developing a human rights policy and related procedures that will guide resolution of internal human rights complaints. In the interim, complaints continue to use the existing OCDSB complaints policies and procedures.

Carolyn TannerCarolyn Tanner, OCDSB Human Rights and Equity Advisor

Email carolyn.tanner@ocdsb.ca
Twitter: @carolyntanner88

Carolyn Tanner became the OCDSB Human Rights and Equity Advisor in March 2020. She has extensive experience working in multi-cultural environments and engaging with the community for the promotion and protection of human rights. A lawyer by training, Carolyn has worked on human rights and anti-discrimination issues around the world, including in Canada, Nepal, Timor-Leste and Uganda. She has supported marginalized and minoritized people, including children, to access their rights and worked with governments and institutions to increase their capacity to promote and protect human rights. 

Carolyn previously served with the United Nations where she oversaw the monitoring, investigation and reporting on human rights abuses and worked with national authorities including national human rights institutions to improve accountability and streamline case management systems. She also worked with various non-government organizations to undertake human rights-based reviews, develop evidence-based recommendations for legislative and institutional reform through consultation, and create space for equity seeking community groups  to advocate for improved service delivery. Carolyn is a member of the Law Society of Ontario and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Western Ontario and her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology and Health from Queen’s University.  She is fluent in English and Tetum, with a smattering of French and Portuguese.

Carolyn believes strongly in the dignity and worth of every person and believes in an education system premised on principles of equality and nondiscrimination, participation and inclusion, transparency and accountability and the best interests of the child. She sees equity as a tool to eliminate disparities and disproportionalities in outcomes for Indigenous, Black and minoritized students and staff, and ensure equality of access and opportunity. Carolyn is committed to social justice and defending human rights and is excited to be part of the change at OCDSB.

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