McMaster Student Affairs appoints senior advisor for equity, inclusion and anti-racism

A smiling woman wearing glasses and a colorful shawl

Student Affairs has appointed a senior advisor for equity, inclusion and anti-racism, building on recommendations within the recent systemic review of Black student-athletes’ experiences.

Clare Warner, who holds a PhD from Goldsmiths University in the UK, is an anti-racist educator, activist and researcher with 20 years in the field. She is currently a senior associate with the KOJO Institute, an equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) consultancy working with both the private and public sectors in Canada.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Clare Warner as Student Affairs’ new senior advisor for equity, inclusion and anti-racism,” says Sean Van Koughnett, associate vice-president, students and learning, and dean of students.  “Dr. Warner brings a wealth of experience to this role, and will provide important guidance in addressing issues of systemic racism and strengthening a culture that is inclusive, accountable and responsible to our students, staff and faculty.”

In her role, Warner will be providing direction and guidance on equity-related matters to Student Affairs, including implementation of the action plan that resulted from the Black student-athlete review, and strategic leadership in responding to incidents of racism. She will also provide direction to McMaster’s new Black Student Services Office and Black Student Services Advisor.

“The Senior Advisor role within Student Affairs is an important step in the direction of establishing a climate of respect and belonging for students,” says Arig al Shaibah, McMaster’s associate vice-president of equity and inclusion. “The role also has a great opportunity to support and build capacity among Student Affairs staff.”

Prior to her work at the KOJO Institute, Warner worked in schools, colleges and universities, most recently at the University of the Arts London in the UK, where she developed EDI guidance and training for academic staff, co-led a cross-university project to eliminate bias and inequality in assessment, and designed and delivered professional development about decolonizing the curriculum.

“I was born in Hamilton and grew up close to McMaster. After several years living abroad, I’m looking forward to returning to my hometown and joining the McMaster community,” says Warner.

“There’s a growing awareness of the reality of racism on university campuses across Canada. Fortunately, there’s already a lot of work underway at McMaster focused on preventing and responding to racism. I look forward to working with students and staff to continue the work of building an inclusive campus environment.”