July 6, 2021

Professor, alumna named to Alberta Human Rights Commission

Professor Evaristus Oshionebo and alumna Wilma Shim, JD'10 were appointed on June 30.

The Alberta Human Rights Commission is an independent commission of the Government of Alberta, which is established under the Alberta Human Rights Act (the Act). The Chief of the Commission and Tribunals of the Alberta Human Rights Commission (the Commission) is responsible for keeping the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, who has responsibility for the Act, informed about human rights issues and the Commission’s activities; providing the members of the Commission with guidance regarding their tribunal hearings and other functions; providing guidance to the Director of the Commission and the Director of Communication, Education and Engagement regarding the Commission’s overall goals and direction; and rendering appeal decisions pursuant to section 26 of the Act.

"The statutory mandate of the Alberta Human Rights Commission is to promote and ensure access to justice, advance equity and inclusion, and uphold human rights principles in Alberta," says Oshionebo. "To accomplish this mandate, members of the Commission must not only be professionally competent but also reflect the society they serve. Discrimination, racism and inequality in any society can only be properly addressed when those who are vested with the legal authority to address these issues are diverse and reflective of the different communities that make up the society. Prior to my appointment, the Alberta Human Rights Commission lacked diversity in terms of membership of its Tribunal."

My appointment to the Alberta Human Rights Commission is important because, as a person of colour, I am able to bring a different perspective to the Commission. My hope is that my appointment represents the beginning of the diversification of the membership of the Commission.