Rita Shelton Deverell, CM

Chancellor, independent scholar, author, theatre and media artist

Rita Shelton Deverell is an independent scholar, author, as well as a theatre and media artist, Dr. Rita Shelton Deverell has been named Lakehead University's 10th chancellor, where she currently acts as a member of the President's Council on Truth and Reconciliation in addition to an Adjunct Professor of Education. She is also a member of Act 3, a collective of older professional female actors, is part of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), and is a Director of CBC/Radio-Canada. She also is an Adjunct Professor of Women's Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax.

Over the course of her career, Rita made a name for herself in the media sphere. In addition to hosting several programs for CBC in the 1970's, she was the Director of the University of Regina's Journalism School in the 1980's, and she co-founded Vision TV where she was Vice President of Production, before becoming News Director at APTN until 2005 mentoring her Indigenous successor.

Her many honours include two Geminis, the Black Women's Civic Engagement Network Leadership Award, membership in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and recipient of the Order of Canada (2005). She was named 2018 ACTRA Woman of the Year for her contributions to arts and activism, and she received the ACTRA Fraternal Benefits Society's Award for Volunteerism.
2019 saw the publication of her book American Refugees: Turning to Canada for Freedom, and her play Who You Callin Black Eh? won the Teen Jury prize at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Rita holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Adelphi University, a Master of Arts in the History of Religions from Columbia University/Union Theological Seminary, and her dissertation was on Arts Policy, Ed. D, OISE/University of Toronto.

She is a member of Calvary Baptist Church where her husband Rex is Pastor Emeritus.

Black History Month YP | 2023 > 

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