MONTREAL, Quebec (Thursday, December 9, 2021) — National Film Board of Canada (NFB) Chair, Claude Joli-Coeur, announced, recently, that Rachel Décoste has been appointed as Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, a newly-created position.
Décoste will be a strategic diversity leader, subject matter expert, change agent and lead advisor to the NFB, in support of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) goals and objectives, aligned to an organization-wide strategy.
She will also lead the execution of strategic DE&I initiatives and programs, and coach and guide all levels of NFB leadership, to build cultural competency and inclusive leadership skills.
The new DE&I Director will also ensure that the NFB’s programs and policies are equitable and inclusive, and implement and evaluate the organisation’s anti-racism policy and procedures.
Her duties will include developing initiatives to create a pipeline of talent as well as retain talent from underrepresented groups, while overseeing relationships established across the NFB with organizations serving underrepresented groups. “As Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Rachel will guide us in our diversity, equity and inclusion objectives and help us to ensure the NFB fully reflects the full diversity of Canada, on-screen and off,” remarked Chair Joli-Coeur.
“At the NFB we’re committed to an organizational transformation that will have a profound impact on who we are and how we work, and the way we connect with all Canadians. I’m excited to start work with Rachel on developing and implementing this vision.”
Décoste will also collaborate with J’net Ayayqwayaksheelth, the NFB’s recently-named Director of Indigenous Relations and Community Engagement, to implement and execute the Indigenous Action Plan.
Additionally, she will be part of the NFB’s Executive Committee and report directly to the Commissioner. This nomination fulfills one of the NFB’s key commitments on diversity, equity and inclusion, and reflects the NFB’s dedication to lasting change and ensuring that it is an egalitarian, open and diverse organization.
“NFB founder John Grierson wanted the NFB to be ‘the eyes of Canada.’ In the more than 80 years since, that lens has widened as Canada has evolved into a diverse multicultural nation.
“With this role comes the opportunity to strengthen the NFB’s commitment to operationalize equity, diversity and inclusion. It’s an honour to be an agent of change at the NFB, and I look forward to beginning the important work of ensuring that the perspectives and stories of all Canadians are reflected in all that we do,” Décoste asserted.
A writer, educator and social policy expert, Décoste has been a community activist since her youth, working with organizations, such as the Children’s Aid Society, S.O.S. Montfort Hospital, the Famous 5 Foundation and the Black Canadian Scholarship Fund, to name a few.
She has also provided aid in South and Central Americas and West Africa, and worked on Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.
Décoste lived and worked in Washington, DC, where she managed a national bipartisan tech education initiative on behalf of the US Congress. She has published over 150 op-eds on diversity, race and immigration policy, and is cited in a dozen academic research papers.
She has lectured on diversity and inclusion at several top universities in the USA and Canada, and holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the George Washington University.
Named one of Ottawa’s Top 50 Personalities in Ottawa Life magazine’s 2010 annual edition, Décoste was named one of the Top 100 Accomplished Black Canadian women in 2018.