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Joanne St. Lewis is a Law Professor at the University of Ottawa where her work examines the operation of social justice principles and legal culture. Her interests include African women, critiques of international trade, and art, culture and the law. She is a lecturer in the University of Southern California, Executive Program on Counter-Terrorism. She is also the Director of the POWER: Africa-Canada project which focuses on equality rights issues facing African women and girls.
Joanne is the first and only Black woman to be elected as a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the governing body for over 41,000 Ontario lawyers in its 214 year history. She was co-chair of the CBA Working Group on Racial Equality and author of the report Virtual Justice: Systemic Racism in the Canadian Legal Profession.
She has held positions with the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ontario Race Relations Directorate. She has served as Executive Director of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). She was also the Special Assistant Government Affairs to the Grand Chief of the Crees of Quebec.
Ms. St. Lewis is the recipient of the 2012 National Hero Award from the Black Law Students Association of Canada, the United Nations Association of Canada 2009 Honoured Champion Award for International Women's Day, the 2009 Canadian Association of Black Lawyers Celebrating Excellence Award, the 2008 DreamKEEPERS' Life Achievement Award from the Martin Luther King, jr. Day Coalition, the 2004 Ottawa Life Magazine Top 50 People in the Capital, and the 2001 Canadian Association of Black Lawyers Recognition of Black Women’s Contribution to the Law Award.