Equity Advisors

Meryem BenslimaneMeryem Benslimane, Equity Education Advisor (Gender Equity and LGBTQ+ Education)

Meryem is McGill’s Equity Education Advisor (Gender Equity and LGBTQ+ Education). Meryem came to McGill after working for many years in academia and with both community and international organizations such as UN Women. She launched McGill’s first Lavender Graduation (to highlight and celebrate LGBTQ+ Graduating Students), the first one in a Canadian university, in 2018, and has planned McGill’s very first Queer History Month (highlighting the histories and achievements of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities at McGill University and more broadly in Montréal, Québec and Canada), also a first in Canada, launched in October 2018. She has a special interest in human rights, more specifically migrant and refugee rights, gender equality, 2SLGBTQIA+ rights, equity and social justice, as well as water law. Outside of McGill, Meryem volunteers with community organisations for refugees rights, and she can be found reading poetry, writing and singing songs and being passionate about soccer.

Reach out to me for educational programming (workshops, lectures, events, etc.) or advising support related to gender equity and LGBTQ+ education.

Email: meryem.benslimane [at] mcgill.ca

Phone: 514-398-3147

Rachelle DesjourdyRachel Desjourdy, Accessibility Advisor

Rachel Desjourdy (BSc ’15) joined the equity team as Accessibility Advisor. Reporting to Tynan, Rachel has an important role promoting campus accessibility and advising members of the McGill community – including Deans, Chairs, HR advisors, and staff with disabilities – on issues related to disability, accessibility, and universal design specifically in connection with McGill faculty and staff. Rachel self-identifies as a person with a disability and holds an MA in Critical Disability Studies from York University. She has worked as an Inclusion Consultant at Combined Jewish Appeal, and later as an Access & Inclusion Officer and Advisor at McGill’s Office for Students with Disabilities. She comes to us with deep knowledge about improving access for persons with disabilities in varied institutional contexts.

Reach out to me for questions and advice regarding accessibility, disability, and universal design.

Email: rachel.desjourdy [at] mcgill.ca

Chris LiangChris Liang, Project Administrator, Interactive Accessible Network (IAN)

Chris Liang is responsible for all aspects of implementation and development of the Interactive Accessible Network (IAN) map, a web-based service for finding accessible routes and spaces on the McGill campuses. She joins the equity team with a commitment towards improving inclusivity and ease of information access for the McGill community through her project. She is a liaison for collaborators involved in this initiative, including the Office for Students with Disabilities, Geographic Information Center, Campus Planning and Development Office and various student interest groups.

Chris holds a BA&Sc in Environment, Geo-Information Science and Remote Sensing from McGill and specializes in geospatial data curation and analysis. She is an advocate for open data, new urbanism, and believes that GIS can be a powerful tool for solving many environmental and social challenges.

Reach out to me for accessibility-related questions about the McGill campus maps and opportunities to get involved (data contribution, user testing and feedback) with the project.

Email: chris.liang [at] mcgill.ca

Phone: 514-398-6009 ext. 3132

Shanice YardeShanice Yarde, Equity Education Advisor (Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racism)

Shanice Yarde has been the Equity Education Advisor (Anti-Oppression & Anti-Racism Education) at McGill University since March 2016. Her work primarily focuses on anti-oppression and anti-racism education and ways to facilitate both learning and most importantly unlearning at all levels. She connects with faculty, staff, and students across the University and is committed to social change at McGill and beyond.

Shanice understands that equity is an active practice that needs to be a response to inequity. This understanding guides her work and affirms that this process will always be ongoing. Shanice believes that everyone has the inherent power to make change and that equity education is a commitment to that change. It is about learning the history, understanding the present, and reimagining what the future can look like for all. Ultimately, this work is about a culture shift towards justice and liberation.

Shanice also co-leads the organizing of Black History Month at McGill, an annual celebration at the University. Outside of McGill Shanice is an educator, writer, and (out)spoken word artist. She works closely with community organizations like Head & Hands and the Black Foundation of Community Networks and connects individuals to resources through initiatives such as Jobs & Things and the BFCN Scholarship Directory. The words of her favourite poet Maya Angelou always resonate deeply, "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."

Reach out to me for educational programming (workshops, lectures, events, etc.) or advising support related to anti-oppression & anti-racism education.

Email: shanice.yarde [at] mcgill.ca






McGill University is situated on the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehà:ka, a place which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst nations. We recognize and respect the Kanien’kehà:ka as the traditional custodians of the lands and waters on which we meet today.

For more information about traditional territory and tips on how to make a land acknowledgement, visit our Land Acknowledgement webpage.

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