A York University alumna who has devoted her life and career to breaking down systemic barriers will be the keynote speaker at the 2023 Kitty Lundy Memorial Lecture.
Paulette Senior will deliver her talk “Leading in the Tension: Conundrums of (In)visibility for Black Women Leaders” on March 16 in both an in-person and virtual format. York’s Keele Campus will host the event at the Convention Centre, second floor of the Second Student Centre.
Senior is president and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, where she works to build gender justice for women, girls and gender-diverse people. Inspired by her own childhood experience, Senior has followed her passions for social justice and set upon a path to growing belonging for marginalized people.
She will draw on her own experiences leading Canada’s national public foundation for gender equity and share her insights on navigating a white-centric world where Black women’s leadership is undervalued. Negotiating the tension of high visibility in her role while being underseen in the world, Senior’s talk will explore the tension of grappling for space as leader and understanding her own learning and growth while working as a prominent voice for intersectional feminist social change.
“Our steadfast commitment to addressing systemic barriers calls for efforts to prioritize equity, diversity and inclusion,” said J.J. McMurtry, dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS). “This is not only reflected in new awards and opportunities that we create for Black students, but it also requires us to understand the disproportionate impact the system has had on Black women. I am thrilled to welcome Paulette Senior back to York to share her journey as a Black woman leader and offer a vision for the future.”
Senior, who graduated from York University with a double honours BA in psychology and urban studies, has dedicated her career to advocate for social justice and systemic change. She has been a leader and manager with several organizations and programs, including YWCA Toronto, Lawrence Heights Community Health Centre, Macaulay Child Development Centre and more.
Throughout her career, she has been recognized for her work with several awards, such as the African Canadian Achievement Award, the AfroGlobal Leadership Award, the Black Women Civic Engagement Award, and the Black Business and Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Trailblazer Award.
“The Kitty Lundy Memorial Lecture is one of our signature events in the Faculty. Based on a generous gift from the Lundy Family, in memory of their daughter, Kitty, the lecture embodies her commitment to social justice. Over the past eight years, our lecturers have included scholars, artists and poets, each exploring the theme of social justice in different ways,” said Ravi de Costa, associate dean, research and graduate studies, LA&PS. “This year we are delighted to welcome a distinguished national leader, Paulette Senior who is a York University alumna and president and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation.”
The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m., with a pre-event reception from 7 to 7:30 p.m. To register to attend in-person or online, visit the event website.
About the Kitty Lundy Memorial Lecture
The annual Kitty Lundy Memorial Lecture honours the late Kitty Lundy, an educator of sociology who was associated with York University’s former Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies from 1986 to 1989. Lundy was known for her commitment to students, her deep connection to social justice issues and passion for teaching.
To honour her memory, the Lundy family established the Kitty Lundy Memorial Fund, which supports the annual lecture. Each year, the memorial lecture features an individual whose scholarship and creativity address principles to which Kitty Lundy exhibited commitment: engaged learning, equity, and the dissemination and exchange of ideas and knowledge with communities residing within and outside of York University.