Renison University College installed Jodey Porter as its 10th Chancellor on Wednesday, November 29, 2023.
Porter brings to her new role a long and esteemed career in social justice and advocacy work, having served as Assistant Deputy Minister of Health for the Province of Ontario and three terms as Ontario Human Rights Commissioner. She was also a staff member at the United Nations Human Rights Commission; Executive Director of the Canadian Diabetes Association; and Director of Development for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.
Porter, who lives with blindness, maintained the theme of togetherness and gifts of wisdom throughout her inspiring remarks. She spoke of the donum non gratum, the unwanted gift, or the dark side of wisdom. She spoke of disability as an epistemological advantage: you are able to see the world differently and, therefore, hold a different wisdom. “I see Renison of a sanctuary of those with diverse wisdoms. This is a safe place for the wisdom of the other.”
“Jodey Porter shares the values and Mission that Renison holds so deeply. Renison is committed to working towards a more fair and more equitable future for the next generation,” said Renison President, Dr. Wendy Fletcher. “The work of Renison is to help plant the seeds for a brighter future; a future that we may not see first-hand, but we know will be well stewarded due to the industry and commitment of our students. We welcome Jodey into our garden and know that she is committed to nurturing these seeds of tomorrow.”