Leela MadhavaRau serves as the Director of Human Rights and Equity. Leela came to Brock in September 2018 after spending the previous 16 years in southern California as the Advisor to the President and Associate Dean for Campus Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Redlands. Earlier in her career, Leela undertook similar work at Michigan State University and Western University. Leela’s expertise in the area of equity, diversity and inclusion has provided her with the opportunity to present at many national and international conferences, as well as becoming a mentor for individuals beginning their careers in this field.
Leela immigrated to Niagara from England and is excited to return after years in Montreal, England, London ON and the United States. Her degrees in Anthropology are from McGill and Cambridge.
Leela is a Canadian British South Asian fascinated by the ways in which culture is transmitted through time and space and the ways in which communities select what elements to retain and what to lose over generations. Her anthropological training provides her with an inherent curiosity about what makes it difficult for humans to “just get along”. She raised her four children in the spirit of Maria Montessori with the consequence that they are scattered far and wide.
Sexual Violence Support and Education Coordinator
Larisa Fry began work at Brock on October 21, assuming the Sexual Violence Support and Education Coordinator role vacated by Allison Cadwallader in the summer. The Coordinator implements the Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy while serving as first line support for survivors as they access accommodations and assistance. In addition, the Coordinator provides education around this topic for the Brock community.
Larisa comes to Brock from Family and Children Services Niagara where she served as a trauma therapist for families and children within the Niagara area. With more than 15 years of experience working with vulnerable populations in not-for-profit environments, Larisa has been honoured to serve a variety of individuals with a focus on mental health and individual empowerment. Prior work experience within the post secondary environment gave her exposure to public education, accommodation planning and partner assault violence reporting and treatment.
Larisa holds a M.A. in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Psychotherapist with the Ontario College of Psychotherapists. Her focus in this new role will be to utilize her broad range of experience and willingness to help build and strengthen the Brock community. Her specialty work in the field of trauma, abuse and family violence will be helpful in supporting victims, building empathy, and gives foundation to public education programming she hopes to bring to Brock.
Human Rights and Anti-Racism Advisor
As the Human Rights and Anti-Racism Advisor (HRARA), Kattawe Henry has been working in the Human Rights and Equity office since October 2018. Operating under an anti-racism, anti-oppression framework, Kattawe works to prevent and address harassment and discrimination in the Brock community. With the goal of improving the understandings of race, racism, and anti-racism both on and off campus, she acts as a central resource for assistance in addressing issues of racial harassment and discrimination.
As a Brock alumnus with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master of Arts in Gender Studies and Feminist research from McMaster University, Kattawe brings a background enriched with experiences and understandings of research and development, critical thought, and strong understandings of the importance of Human Rights and Equity work.
Driven by both personal experiences with racism, and learned understandings, Kattawe has developed a strong level of proficiency and comfort with the difficult conversations that are essential to developing lasting and effective change on campus. She is moved by the resilience of marginalized communities and has committed her research to understanding the themes of racism, mental health, and sexual violence and harassment to understand and draw parallels to the social and structural nature of racism.
Kattawe has worked along side a diverse team of students and community members in the development of research and best policy practices based on the needs of marginalized students who have experienced gender-based violence for the report: From the margins to the centre: Re-thinking sexual violence education and support at Brock University.
She enjoys shopping, reading, and looking at things she cannot afford.
Shannon is a recent graduate of the Social Justice and Equity MA program at Brock, with previous education in performing arts and communication. During her time at Brock, Shannon was president of the Graduate Students’ Association and Chair of the National Graduate Caucus of the Canadian Federation of Students. Building upon years of experience working with non-profits, she connects community building with strategic planning in her work at HRE.
Shannon is an experienced facilitator, trainer, and communications specialist. She uses these transferable skills to support the Brock community through her work on the President’s Advisory Committee on Human Right, Equity, and Decolonization as well as special projects designed to support the safety and success of Brock students. In her free time, Shannon is an avid volunteer and also does freelance work delivering workshops and writing copy for NGOs and local businesses. Shannon loves poetry, puppies, and justice.
Accessibility and Inclusion Advisor
Christopher Lytle is a graduate from York University’s Critical Disability Studies program (2006). His professional background began with his involvement in the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and its International Human Rights Committee regarding the development of the draft text of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He has assisted with the development and implementation of international human rights monitoring initiatives and has consulted on the development of legislative frameworks at both the national and provincial levels.
His professional interests are seeing that disability issues are fully recognized as human rights issues and that the term anti-ableism is promoted across the community. He is the proud dad of three young sons.
Intercultural Communications Coordinator
Trecia McLennon is Brock’s Intercultural Communications Coordinator in the Office of Human Rights and Equity. Arriving at Brock in a chilly February in 2018, she was tasked with leveling up people on campus’ capacity to work well with culturally different people. She continues to do this through designing, developing and delivering experiential workshops, certificate programs, events, intercultural curriculum and co-curriculum consultation, pre-departure and re-entry design and debriefing, and customized assessments and coaching, in person and online.
Trecia works with students, faculty and staff and currently serves on the City of St. Catharines advisory committee for equity and inclusion. She is a former assistant professor in the School of International Studies at the University of Ulsan in South Korea and a former instructor of Global Management Studies at Ryerson University.
She is the author of the anthology Trailblasian, the only known published collection delving into the voices and experiences of 17 Black women from three different countries living and working in East Asia; and co-author of an Open Educational Resource on Professional Communication being used at no cost to students by several institutions in Canada and around the world.
Her experience traveling to 18 and living in five different countries allowed her to learn varying degrees of five languages, cultivate a passion for all things intercultural and nurture a deep commitment to equity and inclusion.
She has a BA in Communications, an MBA, and a certificate in Adult Training and Development. She’s a Globesmart Certified Facilitator, a Flip The Script Campus Trainer, an ICedge Certified Trainer, a qualified IDI administrator, and a Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP).
Trecia is a proud AfroJamaiCanadian mom of one living on Turtle Island looking to be a good ancestor and leave the world a little better for future generations.
Student Justice Educator
Michelle is a current MA student in the Social Justice and Equity Studies program at Brock University. She works as the Student Justice Educator for the Brock Student Justice Centre, which is housed under Human Rights and Equity. Michelle coordinates campaigns, workshops, and events that challenge complex, interlocking systems of oppression, like racism, colonialism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, classism, and sexism. When she isn’t working, Michelle can usually be found listening to 90s rock music and taking long walks with her great dane, Willow.
Student Justice Centre links:
Advisor, Human Rights and Equity
Michelle Poirier has been an Advisor with Brock University Human Rights and Equity since 2017. She brings 20 years of expertise in equity, diversity, inclusion and human rights in Ontario. She is responsible for the intake, triage, informal resolution and/or administration of external investigations into allegations of discrimination, harassment, bullying and sexual violence in the Brock community.
Michelle’s past work at Brock University include spearheading Trans-Inclusion Guide and All-Genders Washrooms projects across campus, the establishment of the President’s Advisory Committee for Human Rights, Equity and Decolonization and partnership with equity-seeking groups on several signature events including Brock Pride Week, “We Are All in Relation” Indigenous Speakers Series and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Red Dress art installation and panel.
Michelle is currently an executive member of CAPDHHE, the Canadian Association for the Prevention of Discrimination and Harassment in Higher Education and recipient of CAPDHHE’s 2019 Leadership in Learning Award. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Hamilton’s Centre for Civic Inclusion. Her recent community involvement includes service on the City of Hamilton’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee, Pride Hamilton’s 2014 Organizing Committee and McMaster University’s PACBIC LGBTQ+ Working Group.
Michelle holds an M.Ed in Adult Education and Community Development from OISE, B.A. (Hons) in Women and Gender Studies as well as certificates in Project Management (UofT), Advanced Investigation Techniques (Rubin Thomlinson) and Executive Certificate in Conflict Management (Windsor Law).
Michelle’s areas of interest include: gender, sexualities, anti-Black racism, Indigenous sovereignty, freedom of expression, alternative dispute resolution, cultural appropriation and intersections of these areas.