Over the summer, Brock University has named Leela MadhavaRau, the new Director of Human Rights and Equity. MadhavaRau hopes to apply her extensive experience in advocacy to promote a socially conscious atmosphere throughout the University.
MadhavaRau previously worked for the University of Redlands in California for 16 years as an Associate Dean and the special advisor to the president. Prior to this role, she worked as an advisor for diversity issues at Michigan State University, and as the Race Relations Officer at University of Western.
The position was announced as a result of recommendations made by the Human Rights Task Force in its final report last spring. The recommendation was one of many presented to improve the culture and policies surrounding human rights on campus. The President’s Advisory Committee on Human Rights, Equity, and Decolonization was formed to assist the President in implementing these recommendations and to advise on human rights, equity, and decolonization issues.
Starting on September 5, MadhavaRau will report directly to Brock’s President, Gervan Fearon. This communication channel is intended to elevate the presence of the Office of Human Rights and Equity Services, indicating the dedication Brock has to creating a more equitable culture.
According to Brock’s website, the Office of Human Rights and Equity Services is “a resource for all Brock community members to provide information, education, assistance, and advice on issues related to human rights harassment and discrimination.” Its mandate includes preventative measures, such as training on campus; response to human rights concerns, through informal, personal, and formal avenues; and administrative work, such as ensuring policies are up-to-date.
This is not the only change in the Office of Human Rights and Equity Services this year. Previously located in DeCew Residence, the office moved to MacKenzie Chown Complex in Block E on August 24.
In addition to MadhavaRau, the Office of Human Rights and Equity Services consists of Dr. Sharlee Cranston-Reimer, the interim Sexual Violence Support and Education Coordinator; Chris Lytle, the AODA coordinator; Michelle Poirier, the Advisor of Human Rights and Equity; and Milé Komlen, the Special Advisor of Human Rights and Equity.