KBRS is pleased to have assisted Dalhousie University with the appointment of Dr. OmiSoore H. Dryden as the James Robinson Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies within the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Community Health & Epidemiology.

The following is an excerpt from Dalhousie University’s press release.

Dr. OmiSoore H. Dryden, an interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersections of Black Studies, health science, social science and humanities, has been named James Robinson Johnston (JRJ) Chair in Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie.

The James Robinson Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies is an endowed national senior academic chair, established in Halifax to honour and recognize the unique historical presence of African Nova Scotians.

Dr. Dryden earned her PhD in Social Justice Education from the Ontario Institute for the Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, where her dissertation examined how blood donation screen protocols negatively impacted Black people, specifically Black gay and bisexual men. She has served as an assistant professor and Chair of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at Thorneloe University (Ontario) and as a visiting professor in the Faculty of Community Services at Ryerson University.

Dr. Dryden will help the Faculty of Medicine strengthen Dalhousie’s institutional priorities to enhance diversity, foster community outreach, and build a health research mandate that is collaborative, interdisciplinary and nationally recognized.

"I'm thrilled to be appointed the new JRJ Chair, and to be given this great opportunity to work closely with African Nova Scotian communities, and my colleagues in Community Health & Epidemiology," says Dr. Dryden. “I'm excited about the many opportunities for university-community engagements and building on, and expanding, the contributions made by Black and African Canadian people in the fields of medical and health studies, research, and education."

As with many other aspects of the Chair’s work, the hiring of Dr. Dryden was community-focused. The academic search committee had representation from the Dalhousie Black Faculty Caucus and Black student representation. The community presentation asked of each candidate also played an important part: The Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute (DBDLI), in its capacity as the Africentric education and research Institute, and in partnership with Dalhousie University, hosted an African Nova Scotian Community Meet & Greet with each of the three candidates last fall. In this open forum, the public had an opportunity to meet the candidates and talk about their research and community health needs.

Read the full release from Dalhousie University here.