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About the OVPECI

Denise O'Neil Green
Dr. Denise O’Neil Green, Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion

Dr. Green is Ryerson University’s inaugural Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion and an Associate Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care in the Faculty of Community Services. She is a strategic leader with a deep-rooted passion for the advancement of diverse and inclusive university classrooms and campuses. With over 30 years of experience in the postsecondary sector in Canada and the United States, Dr. Green is dedicated to advancing systemic change in the areas of human rights, anti-racism, access, equity, diversity and inclusion.

After migrating to Canada from the United States, her career at Ryerson began when she was appointed Ryerson’s inaugural Assistant Vice-President/Vice-Provost Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in 2012. Under her leadership, the EDI Office was established on campus and these values were embedded in both the 2014 to 2019 and 2020 to 2025 Ryerson Academic Plans, opens in new window. Ryerson has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for five consecutive years from 2014 to 2019 due to her foresight and vision. 

In 2018, she brought the White Privilege Conference (WPC) Global – Toronto to the campus, making it the first university to bring the full conference outside of the United States. The conference addressed the roles of privilege and oppression in Canadian society and was attended by over 600 delegates from across North America, including equity practitioners and members of both government and education sectors. 

Dr. Green also convened the first University and Research Funding Agencies’ Equity Officers Roundtable in 2018 and a subsequent meeting in 2019. This was an opportunity for professionals from federal research funding agencies, university research professionals, academic leaders and equity practitioners to address strategies and greater alignment between universities and federal agencies with respect to equity, diversity and inclusion. This report was created in collaboration with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

From 2007 to 2012, Dr. Green was the Associate Vice-President for Institutional Diversity at Central Michigan University (CMU). During her service, she was responsible for:

  • advancing intergroup dialogue courses
  • developing curricular cultural competency initiatives
  • spearheading campus-wide strategic diversity plans
  • securing $1.5 million in funding to serve first-generation students
  • opening the Center for Inclusion and Diversity
  • working with a variety of community groups, including the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, to develop local equity programming

Dr. Green has authored/co-authored several journal articles and chapters on a variety of diversity-related topics. Recent publications include: 

  • Integrating equity, diversity and inclusion into the DNA of public universities: Reflections of a chief diversity officer (2018)
  • Access Ryerson: Promoting disability as diversity (2017) 
  • Leveraging new media as social capital for diversity officers: How equity, diversity, and inclusion professionals can use social media to foster equality (2016)
  • Affirming acts for access and the evolving nature of affirmative action under the Obama administration (2014)

She is also the co-author of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women (2016 and 2018 with a 2020 edition forthcoming) and the Executive Editor of the The Institutional Diversity Blog, external link

A sought-after keynote speaker, lecturer and mentor, Dr. Green is the recipient of several awards, including:

  • Association for the Study of Higher Education: Council on Ethnic Participation Founder’s Service Award (2017)
  • President’s Blue and Gold Award of Excellence (2017)
  • Pioneers for Change Award for Excellence in Women in Leadership (2016)

She was also named a Woman Worth Watching by the Profiles in Diversity Journal in 2015.

Dr. Green’s holds:

  • a bachelor’s degree earned in behavioral sciences from the University of Chicago
  • a master’s degree in public policy from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs 
  • a PhD in higher education and public policy from the School of Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor