David Divine

Professor / Author, James Robinson Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS. Born: Scotland.

Professor David Divine is an academic, researcher, writer, international public speaker and lecturer, and traveler. He was the James Robinson Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University (2004-2009). Recruited from the UK, he has occupied senior positions in social work administration and education, and social housing.

Research areas: Community development in impoverished areas; social housing; social exclusion; history of service delivery to particular communities; AIDS/HIV and the social economy as it relates to Black and other ethnic minority groups.

Background: Held the following positions in the UK: Managing Director of his own consulting firm (1994-2003); Visiting Senior Lecturer, Metropolitan University School of Social Work (2001-04); Assistant Director, Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work (CCETSW) (1988-93); Director, Social Services, London-Brent (1987-88); Principal Social Worker (1986-87); Senior Social Worker, London Hackney (1983-86).

Other: Elected to Council, London-Waltham Forest (2002-04).

Affiliations: Include, Board, Canadian Race Relations Foundation (2005-2008); Chair, An Viet Housing Association (1995-98); Chair, Ujima Housing Association, largest Black-led housing association in UK (1991-96).

Works: Community Safety Strategy and Action Plan, Stonebridge Housing Action Trust (2003); co-wrote, for CCETSW: One Small Step Towards Racial Justice (1991); Setting Quality Standards for Residential Child Care (1992). Author of 51 journal and newspaper articles; 7 book chapters; contributor and editor of Multiple Lenses: Voices from the Diaspora Located in Canada (2007). Currently completing the first volume of his autobiography entitled, A Childhood of Sorts (details Professor Divine’s first 19 years of life spent in Scotland; publication earmarked for 2011).

Education: MSc, London School of Economics (1999); MSc, Aston University (1997); BSc, Edinburgh University (1976).

Favourite book? The Quiet Violence of Dreams by K. Sello Duiker. It is a poignant story of living, surviving and thriving, in a virulently violent and unforgiving environment, reflecting the author’s own background. It is beautifully written.

Favourite quote? “Memory’s truth, because memory has its own special kind. It selects, eliminates, alters, exaggerates, minimizes, glorifies, and vilifies also; but in the end it creates its own reality, its heterogeneous but usually coherent version of events; and no sane human being ever trusts someone else’s version more than (their) own.” – Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children.

Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? Travel on a world cruise visiting every country on the planet.

What inspires you? The beautiful serene and moving scenery of my childhood in the highlands of Scotland, on the banks of the river Spey, in Morayshire.

Why do you do what you do? My life revolves around those whose voices are not heard, and my attempts to work with those voices and seek hearing, and hopefully, action. The unheard voices and the journey to an audience which will listen, reflects my own life. I have been successful in life and I wish to share that.