Two new faces come to York’s Centre for Human Rights

There are two new faces in York’s Centre for Human Rights. Nythalah Baker comes to York from the University of British Columbia, and Kristina Osborne has moved to the Centre for Human Rights from Student Community & Leadership Development (SCLD). Both will work as senior advisers in education and communications.

Their appointments are part of the centre’s expanding role in educating the University community about human rights, a mandate established by centre director Nöel Badiou in 2008 (see YFile, Oct. 6, 2008).

Before coming to York University, Baker worked at UBC’s Okanagan campus, where she was an equity adviser for students, faculty and staff. She assisted in the resolution of discrimination and harassment complaints, and provided training and educational sessions on equity, human rights and diversity issues. Prior to that, Baker worked for a number of social justice and community development organizations in central British Columbia to advance economic, social, psychological and physical safety of disenfranchised community members. A graduate of UBC, she has a master of social work.

Right: Nythalah Baker

Osborne, also a graduate of UBC, has a bachelor in family studies. For the past eight years, she has worked in student affairs and residence life for the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto. Most recently, she was the manager of residence life for SCLD and in that capacity, lived on York’s Keele campus. She was the founder of and adviser to the Calumet College & Residence Volunteer Social Justice Committee. The group is well known for its many programs, including the F-Word Campaign, which educated students about feminism. The program began at Calumet in 2008 and has expanded to include all of the Keele campus residences. Its goal was to increase accessibility and understanding of feminism for both young women and men. Osborne also chaired and facilitated York’s Gender Neutral Housing Project Committee, which worked to provide safe and inclusive housing for the University’s transgendered and gender diverse students. She was also a member of the SexGen York Committee.

Left: Kristina Osborne

Since joining York University, Baker and Osborne have been busy working with different departments on campus. Most recently they worked on Orient the Leader Training with SCLD, the York Orientation Directors Association and the York Federation of Students. They also participated in training new and returning residence dons. Currently they are involved in developing a series of diversity, respect and social justice workshops for staff and faculty through Learning & Development, .

Members of the York community will have a chance to meet Baker and Osborne at Inclusion Day, the Centre for Human Rights’ inaugural Human Rights Day conference. The one-day conference aims to recognize and respect the different perspectives and opinions that exist on campus. It will take place on Monday, Oct. 5, at York’s Keele campus and will have sessions that will explore themes around the power of words, language and speech, as well as respectful dialogue and discourses relating to human rights. For more on the Inclusion Day conference, click here.

For more information, visit the Centre for Human Rights Web site or contact Osborne at, or Baker at Both Osborne and Baker can also be reached at ext. 55682 or by fax at 416-650-4823.