OCAD University is proud to announce that Assistant Professor Camille Isaacs and Ryan Rice, Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture are this year’s co-recipients of the BLG Faculty Equity Award.
The BLG Faculty Equity Award, sponsored by Borden, Ladner & Gervais (BLG), recognizes distinctive and outstanding work in teaching, pedagogy, research or creative work and service in advancing OCAD U’s mandate in fostering an inclusive, equitable and diverse learning environment inside and/or outside the classroom.
Dr. Camille Isaacs teaches in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Her teaching load regularly includes courses in Postcolonial Literature, Diasporic Literature and Caribbean Literature where she “privileges the margins” to allow students to pair their own life-experiences and cultures with the literary material under discussion. This directly corresponds to her own significant research practice focusing on the Black Atlantic Region, as well as her work as the chair of Black History Month festivities, where she actively supports students’ success as they prepare for exhibits, workshops and conferences each February.
As the co-chair of the Presidential Task Force on Under-representation of Indigenous and Racialized Faculty and Staff, Dr. Isaacs has been instrumental in ensuring the implementation of a ground-breaking initiative. In the words of one nominator: “It is significant that Dr. Isaacs has a 360-degree commitment to her work of increasing visibility and facilitating inclusion of black, Indigenous and racialized faculty [and her] overarching commitment to seeing equity enacted at OCAD University through her service, research and teaching makes her a strong candidate for the BLG Faculty Equity award.”
Ryan Rice is serving his second three-year term as Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture (INVC), which includes teaching, administration, management and researching responsibilities. He has made great strides in strengthening and advancing the INVC BFA program, while establishing an inclusive Indigenous Students Centre for support and services while also contributing to committees, consultations and development opportunities. These have included the Presidential Task Force on Underrepresented Racialized and Indigenous Faculties, the Education and Employment Equity Committee and OCAD U search committees. Throughout the year, Ryan continued to program documentary series Culture Shiftsand hosted the final two Nigig Artists-in-Residence, while also participating in the Provost’s Indigenous Learning Task-Force and the hiring of the university’s Indigenous cluster hire.
As a leader within the field of Indigenous art and curatorial practice, Ryan recently curated an exhibition entitled raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000-2015)at Onsite Gallery. Intended to create a discourse that spoke to equity through the visual voices held within a national collection, Ryan held workshops, hosted artist talks, conducted forty-one group tours and created a corresponding Education Guide. One nominator wrote, “The impact of Ryan’s research and creative work in curating raise a flagand its public program were imperative to contributing new knowledge of human rights, equity and social justice issues.”
The pair were publicly celebrated for their achievements by BLG representative Eric Rohrer and OCAD University President Dr. Sara Diamond at Convocation on Tuesday June 12, 2018 at Roy Thomson Hall.