1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Martha: Originally from the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia, I have spent the past twelve years in Regina, Saskatchewan. Before coming to University of Lethbridge, I worked for the Government of Saskatchewan in the Public Service Commission as the manager of talent development. Previously, I worked for the University of Regina for over eight years in international education where I held several roles, including the associate director for Study Abroad. My background is a bit of mosaic; I have an undergraduate degree in psychology, a master of education in education psychology and my doctoral studies are in curriculum and instruction. I have also spent several years in banking and finance and human resources.
Hernando (Nando): Originally from Colombia, I have lived in Alberta for the past 13 years, in Edmonton, Calgary and now Lethbridge, so I have a good understanding of the province. My work experience in Canada has been working with non-profit agencies in Calgary, managing and leading social service programs particularly in the field of settlement and integration, as well as working on equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives. I hold a BA and MA in anthropology and have previous experience in Colombia, Mexico and Ecuador working with local governments and universities in qualitative research and social inclusion projects.
Experiences like having lived in a country suffering from a violent internal conflict, travelling and working in different countries, immigrating and becoming a newcomer in Canada, have allowed me to witness a wide gradient of human experiences" - Hernando Ortega
2. What inspired you to work in EDI?
Martha: My journey into EDI started when I worked in International Education, advocating and supporting international students. I understood their struggles and challenges which closely related to my own personal experience as a former international graduate student. In my academic studies, I spent a lot of time doing work in critical race theory, race politics, inclusive teaching, inclusive classroom and identity politics, which really solidified my interests in this area. The more I got to build training, policies and work on EDI initiatives, the more passionate I became about doing this much needed and complex work.
Nando: Experiences like having lived in a country suffering from a violent internal conflict, travelling and working in different countries, immigrating and becoming a newcomer in Canada, have allowed me to witness a wide gradient of human experiences and have motivated me to dedicate my work to build mutual understanding and fairness within the communities I belong to from a perspective of social justice, anti-discrimination, anti-racism and decolonization.
3. What is your role at the U of L?
Martha: At the University of Lethbridge, I am the executive director for equity, diversity and inclusion. In this role I provide strategic direction, coordination, guidance and support in building an EDI governance framework for teaching, research and learning. But most importantly my focus is to build institutional capacity for EDI across campus and to leverage the excellent internal resources/expertise we have on our campus.
Nando: I am the project manager, equity, diversity and inclusion. Reporting to and in collaboration with the executive director, equity, diversity and inclusion, my role is to collaborate with campus partners to design, develop and implement programs promoting EDI at the University. I am responsible for project management of various EDI initiatives, including planning, communication, implementation, reporting and evaluation.
My vision is to create a sustainable, impactful EDI framework that makes our campus inclusive and safe for all." - Martha Mathurin-Moe
4. What is your vision for EDI at the U of L?
Martha: My vision is to create a sustainable, impactful EDI framework that makes our campus inclusive and safe for all. It is about creating a U of L that is committed to truth and reconciliation, that is representative of the community we serve and a uLethbridge that is an institutional leader committed to doing the complex work on Anti-racism, Decolonization and Indigenization.
Nando: My vision is to steer and influence, to work in the direction of systemic change through specific projects, initiatives and interventions. Hopefully, we can generate meaningful impact for the University community and facilitate the consolidation of a space where current and prospective students, faculty and staff feel safe, included and are treated equitably in all interactions with and within the institution. This vision includes a great deal of personal learning and desire to collaborate with partners and allies, as well as the intention of building on top of lots of great work different groups and individuals have already developed.
5. What do you like to do outside of work hours?
Martha: Outside of work, I love to cook and travel with my partner, Jared. I think travelling humbles you and makes you appreciate family and community.
Nando: I spend most of my extra time enjoying outdoor activities in the Rocky Mountains year round, either rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, ice climbing and XC or alpine skiing. I also practice yoga on a regular basis and enjoy cooking, eating and watching movies to allow my body to recover. Since I have family in different countries, travelling is in order every time I have the opportunity. I am extremely grateful and very aware of the privilege to live my life the way I do.