I am writing to express my interest in putting my name forward for the position of Equity Officer with CUPE 3906. With an M.A. in Social Justice and Equity Studies and professional designation as a Chartered Mediator with the ADR Institute of Canada; the highest recognition achievable, I believe that my educational background when combined with my professional and life experience would be advantageous to the position of Equity Officer with CUPE 3906.
As an award winning Indigenous PhD student I have been working in the area of alternative dispute and conflict management since 1999. I have a knack for researching, interpreting and applying applicable legislative policies and procedures that are aimed at establishing forward thinking solution based social justice outcomes that embrace a spirit of tolerance and social responsibility within the broader community. For example, the work that I do as an Indigenous Dispute Resolution Advisor resonates with the themes of human rights and dignity as well as responsible citizenship. In this position, I employ culturally diverse and Indigenous inclusive strategies that are intended to resolve child protection concerns involving Indigenous children. As such, my ability to facilitate collaborative resolution techniques amongst multiple community stakeholders positions me well to work as an Equity Officer.
My analytical skills and aptitude for interpreting complex legislation would benefit the multiple roles required for this position. For instance, my PhD research draws upon social policy to promote human rights and dignity, well at the same time advocating for the restoration of Indigenous jurisdiction over matters relating to the well-being of Indigenous children. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to how Indigenous child welfare disputes are tackled and resolved. As, such the number of Indigenous children being apprehended during this health crisis has risen. As an emergence measure for mitigating the admittance of Indigenous children entering government care, I developed at the forefront of this high stakes crisis, virtual mechanisms as a first line of defense for maintaining equity over matters relating to Indigenous children, families and communities. I believe that my work as an academic and social advocate demonstrates a proven ability to synthesize and interpret knowledge in unique and innovative ways.
The philosophical foundation from which the union is founded upon aligns with my own principles of equity, solidarity and leadership. As such, my ability to respectfully organize dialogue between the university community and the public would greatly enhance the union’s commitment to embrace equality and inclusivity. During my employment as a conference facilitator at McMaster University I served as liaison between the university and Indigenous community. My participation as an advisor on the child welfare conference planning committee ensured that Indigenous perspectives and protocols were culturally respected within the conference planning process. I look forward to applying these skills and abilities to the benefit of CUPE 3906 members.
Laurie Sherry-Kirk PhD (c)
Social Justice Responses to Climate Change and the Environment