Creating a virtual equity, diversity, and inclusion community of practice


  • Tehmina Khwaja Camosun College
  • Amanda Wager Vancouver Island University
  • Denise O’Neil Green University of Toronto
  • Melissa Lyon Vancouver Island University


Diveristy, Equity, Inclusion, Virtual Collaboration, Community of Practice


Post-secondary institutions in North America are trying to bring about policy and culture change to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) on their campuses. Uniquely, smaller institutions face barriers due to lack of capacity and personnel. As such, the research presented in this note from the field recommends that forming virtual communities of practice to learn EDI best practices from similar institutions can aid in building capacity and addressing those barriers. However, for EDI communities of practice to be sustainable, the folks leading the community have to be in ongoing, empowered EDI positions rather than being precarious contract employees, as is often the case at smaller Canadian institutions.

Author Biographies

Tehmina Khwaja, Camosun College

is an international higher education scholar-practitioner associated with academia in Pakistan, the United States, and Canada. She has held a tenure track faculty position and postdoctoral fellowship over her academic career. She has a PhD in educational policy, planning, and leadership in higher education from the College of William & Mary in the United States, where she was a Fulbright student from Pakistan. She is co-editor of the book Critical Approaches to Women and Gender in Higher Education. Her research interests include EDI in higher education, gender and academic leadership, academic culture, and qualitative methodology. She is currently working as the director of equity, diversity, and inclusion at Camosun College in British Columbia, Canada.

Amanda Wager, Vancouver Island University

is a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in community-engaged research and professor in the Faculty of Education at Vancouver Island University in Canada. Of Jewish Ashkenazi ancestry, born in Los Angeles and having grown up in Amsterdam, she embraces learning languages and creating art as cultural advocacy. Her research focuses on community-led public art projects involving languages, literacies, and participatory arts-based methodologies, such as storytelling, theatre, mural painting, spoken word poetry, and hip-hop music. Amanda is the founding director of arc: A Centre for Art, Research & Community that works together with many communities across Vancouver Island and beyond using the arts as a form of bridging communities, truth-telling, and language reawakening.

Denise O’Neil Green, University of Toronto

is an internationally recognized expert in EDI, organizational change, and transformational leadership. She is an associate professor, graduate faculty, in the Department of Social Justice Education, OISE (Status-Only professor), at the University of Toronto. As vice-president, she founded the Division of Equity and Community Inclusion at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU, formerly Ryerson; 2017–2022) and was the inaugural assistant vice-president / vice-provost, EDI at TMU in 2012. Dr. Green has co-authored The Case for Affirmative Action on Campus: Concepts of Equity, Considerations for Practice and 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women (2016, 2018, 2020, and 2022 editions). Dr. Green earned her PhD in higher education and public policy from the University of Michigan.

Melissa Lyon, Vancouver Island University

holds an MEd in special education and is the director of Accessibility & Inclusion Matter Consulting. She is a person with a disability who is passionate about creating more inclusive spaces and including disability as part of all EDI initiatives. She has worked as an instructor teaching an accessibility and inclusion course she developed, as a learning experience designer for accessibility, as a curriculum developer, as a student researcher, and as a disability consultant. She has been very involved in facilitating workshops provincially and locally to educate public sector employees about the Accessible BC Act requirements. She is a member of the BC Employment Accessibility Standard Technical Committee and the BC Youth Employment Strategy.


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How to Cite

Khwaja, T., Wager, A., O’Neil Green, D., & Lyon, M. (2024). Creating a virtual equity, diversity, and inclusion community of practice. McGill Journal of Education / Revue Des Sciences De l’éducation De McGill. Retrieved from



Notes from the Field