Image courtesy of Cian Knights
Following the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by George Floyd's death, the AGO took heed to the urgent call to accelerate our efforts and take a more critical eye towards doing the work. How do we, as a leading Canadian museum, pledge to accurately reflect the diversity of our community through our internal culture, exhibitions, collections and programming?
In alignment with our renewed pledge, Cian Knights (she/her) joined the AGO as Manager, Diversity and Inclusion, in late January 2021. As a member of the Director’s Office team, Knights will work closely with our Leadership Team and People Team to oversee our refreshed Diversity and Inclusion strategy. From the outset, Knights’ will guide the AGO as we strive to implement initiatives that address equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility at all levels of the museum. We thank Letecia Rose and the AGO’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility (IDEA) Group for supporting our internal hiring panel to make this appointment possible.
Knights shared that, “I am looking forward to taking on this new role to lead and partner in efforts of equitable transformation at the AGO. This is going to be a journey of introspection and accountability in which we all play a role to create change for more actions of inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, anti-oppression and anti-racism.”
With more than 15 years as an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategist, advocate and community engagement professional, Knights brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience. She holds both a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies and Caribbean Studies from the University of Toronto and an MBA specializing in Community Economic Development from Cape Breton University. The breadth of her experience ranges from working at Unity Health Toronto to drive health equity strategies, to Harmony Movement to address racial equity in education, and to Scarborough Arts by developing inclusive community arts programming.
Through both words and actions, the AGO’s work is ongoing. Knights’ appointment marks how important it is for us to move forward together as we engage our visitors, volunteers and staff. By cultivating an internal culture that prioritizes this work, we remain focused on ensuring that the AGO is a thoughtfully inclusive space for all.