Wendy Cukier receives Harry Jerome Award for Diversity
April 12, 2016
Wendy Cukier, vice-president, research and innovation, and founder of the Diversity Institute, received a Harry Jerome Award in the Diversity category, presented by the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) in April, 2016.
The BBPA Harry Jerome Awards are recognized as the most prestigious national awards in the African-Canadian community and a coveted symbol of achievement. The Harry Jerome Award for Diversity is presented to an individual, community group or organization that has been instrumental in championing diversity in a way that has produced tangible results. Previous winners include Mayor John Tory (2014), and Scott Mullin, director of community relations, TD Bank (2015).
Other 2016 award recipients include Toronto Chief of Police Mark Saunders in the Trailblazer category and Francis Atta, founder of Knowledge and Effort Yield Success (KEYS) in the Community Services category.
“Wendy was selected to receive this award for her longstanding service to the community through her research and her advocacy,” said BBPA President Pauline Christian. “Her ground-breaking research in studies such as ‘DiversityCounts’ and ‘DiversityLeads’ has provided clear benchmarks to inform action towards advancing diversity in senior leadership.
“We know that her work has had an impact – shining a light on where we are and where we need to go. But what is most important about her work is that it focuses not just on the barriers or obstacles many face, but on the success stories and the pathways to greatness.
“Barriers may exist, but Wendy has helped us see how we can find ways around them, over them or through them.
“Our mantra, ‘Generation of Greatness’ speaks volumes and we are honouring the impact our world-class winners have made on the building of the Canadian Mosaic,” Christian added.
“We are also very aware of Wendy’s work on advancing social justice. She is a fearless and committed advocate and one of the most authentic and inspiring leaders I have ever met.”
Cukier is co-founder and board member of Lifeline Syria, leader of the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge, vice-chair of Women’s College Hospital, and board member of NPower Canada. She has a longstanding commitment to developing innovative approaches to advancing diversity through strategic diversity assessment tools, bias-free recruitment, and leadership development. Her particular passion has been developing programs to enhance employment and entrepreneurship through such initiatives as the Summer Company Program and the Advanced Digital and Professional Training (ADaPT) Program.
“I am very proud and grateful to be recognized by the BBPA as a Harry Jerome Award recipient and I want to accept the award on behalf of all my colleagues and researchers, past and present, at the Diversity Institute,” said Cukier, who is president-elect at Brock University. “During the course of our work, we have met many remarkable people, too many to name, who have achieved greatness in spite of facing challenges. They are an inspiration to us all.”
Driven by a deep commitment to social justice, Cukier founded the Diversity Institute in 1999, leading action-oriented projects aimed at advancing underrepresented groups such as women, racialized minorities and immigrants, Aboriginal People, people with disabilities and LGBTQ people. DiverseCity Counts, a multi-year study led by Cukier, focused attention on the under-representation of racialized minorities in leadership roles in Toronto, and DiversityLeads extended the analysis across Canada. A founding partner in the Black Experience project, she has led research for the Urban Alliance for Race Relations as well as the Region of Peel.