"Equity and inclusion are the goal, but they are also the process. We must attempt to embody the future we wish to create, and engage with each other with honesty and humility, to make meaningful, sustainable change." ~ Shereen Samuels
Head of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at Gowling WLG, Shereen Samuels has over 23 years of experience in EDI change work, curriculum development, and group process facilitation. She offers over 20 years of experience in leadership, policy development, strategic planning, communications, board governance, and risk management. She also has 10 years of experience in senior management and academic research.
Shereen identifies as a Black, queer, first-generation immigrant ciswoman of South African heritage. She is grateful to live and work in Moh’kinstsis (also known as Calgary), in the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy, Treaty 7 territory, which is also home to the Tsuu T’ina and Iyarhe Nakoda nations, and the Metis nation, Region 3.
Prior to joining the firm, Shereen gained over 17 years of progressive leadership experience, working collaboratively to build inclusive community resources, spaces and programs in a post-secondary campus environment. This included her role as both a member and subcommittee chair of Mount Royal University’s Indigenization Strategic Plan Steering Committee.
In her past role as an EDI consultant, she designed and facilitated EDI learning sessions for clients such as the City of Vernon, the Social Planning Council of the North Okanagan, CMHA Vernon, the Okanagan College Library and the Calgary Folk Music Festival Society. She was also a chair of the Calgary Public Library Governance Committee, and achieved the board’s inclusive recruitment goal to diversify representation to include Indigenous, youth and newcomer perspectives.
Shereen is the creator of the Meaningful Inclusion Matrix, a framework to guide organizations in becoming more inclusive.