Education and equity are touchstones for our new network board members

(Oct. 12, 2018)

The board of directors for Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph’s and St. Michael’s is pleased to welcome two distinguished new members to its ranks: Denise O’Neil Green and Kamala Jean Gopie.  They will bring their extensive experience in education, equity and community engagement and their commitment to inclusion and compassion to help support our network’s mission and values.

Throughout her career, Denise Green has been a strong voice for education, diversity and inclusion, from her days as a public school teacher and researcher in public school policy and finance to her current position as the inaugural vice-president of equity and community inclusion at Ryerson University.

Denise has a PhD from the University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, an MPA from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a BA in Behavioral Science from the University of Chicago. She was previously the associate vice-president for Institutional Diversity at Central Michigan University and a professor in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska and the College of Education at the University of Illinois. She has studied teen pregnancy in Chicago and race, class and diversity in higher education, and is the author of two books and many scholarly articles.

“It’s a privilege to serve a network of hospitals that impact so many people in our city,” said Dr. O’Neil Green.  “I am passionate about seeing people thrive, and I hope that my experience in the fields of equity, diversity and inclusion will be beneficial on the board.  I am honoured to be appointed, and I look forward to working with my new colleagues to champion the excellent care Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph’s and St. Michael’s are known for.”

Kamala Jean Gopie has a master of Education from the University of Toronto and a long history of commitment to social justice and equity. The extensive list of awards she has received includes the City of Toronto’s Award of Merit, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee Medals, the YWCA Women of Distinction and the Order of Ontario. Over the years of her career in education, she has been a teacher, a librarian and an equity consultant for the North York Board of Education and an education officer in the Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Equity Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Education. In 1998 she was appointed to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, and later became an Ontario Human Rights Commissioner.

Her work with immigrants and refugees led Kamala Jean to become involved with many community service organizations, among them the United Way, the Jamaican Canadian Association and the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. Since retiring from full-time employment, she has continued to work with several organizations that seek to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our community and the world. These include the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the Working Women’s Community Centre, Sick Kids Hospital and the University of Toronto, which offers a scholarship in her name. In 2017, she helped build a school for children in a poor rural community in Malawi; the Malawi Project has since expanded to include sewing and literacy classes for women and HIV/AIDS education for young men. “I am very pleased to have the opportunity to serve on the board of the hospitals at this very significant time of integration,” Gopie said. “I look forward to contributing, and to learning.”

We are proud to welcome Denise and Kamala Jean to our network community.