Dr. Clinton Beckford became the Acting Vice-President, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (VP, EDI) June 1, 2021.
As the University of Windsor’s inaugural VP, EDI, Dr. Beckford will provide guidance, advocacy, insight, and leadership in building a systematic, intentional, and coherent infrastructure to support the ongoing work of fostering and ensuring increasingly welcoming, equitable, inclusive, just, and safe campus communities.
His seat at the executive leadership table, Senate, and the Board of Governors, is integral to the university’s strategic goal to make EDI central to everything it does.
Dr. Beckford has an established record of EDI engagement through his teaching, research, and community work.
Grounded in his interest and passion for the education of vulnerable children, he has developed courses and projects at the Faculty of Education, University of Windsor designed to enhance the competence of new teachers to teach through equity and inclusion lenses.
He developed and has taught ‘Vulnerability, Marginalization, and Education,’ a course that explores the link between socio-economic lived experiences, and children’s school experiences. He is coordinator of the Global Community Engagement Program in the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor through which teacher candidates participate in service-learning projects locally and internationally including projects in Jamaica and Tanzania working with marginalized and vulnerable children including orphaned children, homeless children, children and adults with albinism, and girls.
The Girls’ Leadership and Empowerment Program (GLEP) for secondary school girls in Tanzania which he developed and runs with funding support from the Rotary Club of Windsor (1918) and Rotary District 6400, is an example of his work to eradicate discrimination and promote equity in education.
Prior to the GCEP, he was co-coordinator of the Global Education and research for Development Initiative in the Faculty of Education that promoted education, food and nutrition security, health and well-being, and social development for orphaned and vulnerable children in Tanzania. His EDI work is also reflected in his mentorship of underrepresented racialized students through graduate student supervision.
Dr. Beckford has a record of engagement with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities locally and internationally.
He has worked on research and education with First Nations in Ontario and with Maasai and Hadzabe groups in Tanzania, East Africa on education and cultural engagement.
His work with local communities focuses on issues of environmental justice and food justice grounded in the role of traditional and local knowledge and is well known internationally. Much of this work studies the impacts of global economic and environmental change, including globalization and climate change, on marginalized rural peoples, through a livelihood and vulnerability framework. He has also researched the agricultural workers' program in Canada and its impact on migrant farmworkers from the Caribbean.
Dr. Beckford thus brings extensive research, knowledge and experience working with racialized, marginalized, and Indigenous communities locally and internationally to this role, as well as a deep knowledge of our campus community.
His depth of experience as a highly respected advocate for social and environmental justice, as an agent of change in the ongoing work of dismantling systemic oppression on this campus and beyond, and as an educational and administrative leader will provide much-needed guidance to the University of Windsor.