Senior Advisor, Toronto District School Board, Toronto, ON. Born: Trinidad & Tobago.
Lloyd McKell has been an educator with the Toronto District School Board for thirty-five years, and is a member of the Senior Executive Team. He currently holds the position of Senior Advisor at the Toronto District School Board. In this position and in his previous position of Executive Officer for Student and Community Equity, Lloyd has been responsible for providing leadership and direction for equitable and inclusive school policies and practices. These policies and practices are designed to equalize opportunities for students who face barriers to school success as a result of their marginalization based on differences in race, gender, culture, socio-economic circumstances, physical and developmental abilities, sexual orientation, language, religion, and other characteristics which reflect the backgrounds and identities of the TDSB community.
Lloyd’s role is to work with central and school leaders to help build awareness of how systemic inequity impacts student achievement, as well as promote initiatives which create culturally-sensitive and supportive learning environments for students of diverse backgrounds and needs.
Prior to his position as Executive Officer for Student and Community Equity to which he was appointed in 2005, Lloyd was the TDSB Central Co-ordinator for Parent and Community Involvement following amalgamation of the Toronto school boards in 1998. In this position, he was responsible for co-ordinating policies and procedures which support the engagement of diverse parents and communities in the school system. He supervised the work of over 40 school community advisors who worked with local schools and communities. Lloyd co-ordinated the consultation process to develop the Parent and Community Involvement Policy adopted by the new TDSB in 1998.
Lloyd has frequently represented the TDSB’s work in equity and inclusive education in various international forums. In 2008, he presented the Board’s experience in this area in Germany on the occasion of the international award for excellence in equity and inclusion given to the TDSB by the German-based Carl Bertelsmann Foundation. In 2009, he was invited by the Canadian Embassies in Sweden and Norway to give lectures in equity and inclusion in those countries, and in January 2011, Lloyd led a TDSB team on a return visit to Germany to make presentations in four cities on the TDSB’s work in equity and education in inner city schools.
Background: In 1967, Lloyd McKell, emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago to Canada to attend the University of Toronto where he obtained a BA/Honours in Economics. At the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus, Lloyd was elected President of the International Students’ Association which, among other campus activities, organized seminars and debates on various issues of concern to the national and global community in the 1960s and 1970s. These issues included the Civil Right’s Movement in the United States, the Black Panther Party, the Vietnam war, apartheid in South Africa, and the Arab-Israeli war.
Lloyd’s introduction to community service began in 1973, when he joined the Harriet Tubman Organization which operated a multi-service community centre in the Oakwood-St. Clair area of Toronto. The Harriet Tubman Centre served primarily the African-Canadian and West Indian immigrant community. Lloyd was responsible for developing social and educational programs designed to address the needs of the youth of the community,
In working with the youth of the community and their parents, Lloyd soon became aware of the issues faced by new immigrant students within the school system. In the middle-to-late 1970s, the Toronto Board of Education embarked on a number of policy initiatives designed to enhance school responsiveness to the rapidly changing demographics of the Toronto community. In 1975, the Toronto Board of Education approved a Report on Multicultural Programs, which among several directions, recommended the establishment of a School Community Relations department.
In 1976, Lloyd McKell was hired by the Toronto Board of Education as one of 20 staff in the School Community Relations Department. The role of the department was to assist the Board in developing strategies and programs for involving diverse parents and communities more effectively in the school system. He supervised a team of school community advisors to work in school communities in Toronto’s west area. The School’s Community Relations staff worked at the frontline of school community problem-solving and advocacy to create innovative strategies for improving public participation in the educational process. In 1986, he was appointed Co-ordinator of School Community Services in the Toronto Board of Education.
Other: While a student at the University of Toronto in the late 1960s, he became actively involved in advocating for an end to apartheid in South Africa; chaired the Toronto Arts Against Apartheid Foundation which organized an 8-day festival of the Arts in Toronto (1986); in the former Toronto Board of Education, played a major part in developing the Report on the Education of Black Students in Toronto Schools, a seminal report which proposed a series of directions for the Board to address the issues affecting Black students in the school system (1988); played a key role in the establishment of the Race Relations Advisory Committee made up of community members, staff and trustees; organized a major event for students and teachers of Metro Toronto schools at Central Technical High school to hear an address by Nelson Mandela (1990); co-ordinated the participation of 45,000 students and their teachers from the Greater Toronto Area to attend the Mandela and the Children event at Toronto SkyDome in an event billed as “the world’s largest classroom lesson” (1998); spearheaded the re-naming of a Toronto public school in honour of President Mandela: the Nelson Mandela Park Public School; instrumental in writing the draft for the TDSB Equity Foundation Statement adopted in 1998 by the newly amalgamated Toronto District School Board.
Affiliations: Advisory Board member, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund–Canada, which raises funds to support disadvantaged children in South Africa.
Honours: Inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Canada 2 (2006); received African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Education, for his dedication to improving the lives of children and families in the African-Canadian community and other communities in Toronto (2005).
Education: Bachelor of Arts/Honours, Economics, University of Toronto (1973).