Thunder Bay·Audio

Lakehead's new director of human rights brings international experience

Dreeni Geer will serve as the first director of human rights and equity for Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Dreeni Geer has worked with international organizations including the UN and War Child Canada

Dreeni Geer comes to Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, Ont. with 18 years of experience working with human rights organizations both in Canada and internationally. (Lakehead University)
She's worked on human rights issues in Canada, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. And now Dreeni Geer is coming to Lakehead University to take on the role as the first Director of Human Rights and Equity.

Dreeni Geer has travelled around the world promoting human rights, but her latest position will bring her back home to Canada, to serve as the first director of human rights and equity for Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont. 

Geer will arrive in the city to begin her new role this summer, after wrapping up a four year position with War Child Canada in Uganda. 

The key function of her new role will be to make sure Lakehead University complies with Ontario's human rights code, and that there is a "human rights culture" at the university, said Geer.

That means making sure students and staff know their rights, and what constitutes appropriate behaviour. 

The office will also handle complaints, she said, in a way that's "respectful, supportive and protective."

Lakehead created the new position in response to a recommendation made by its sexual assault task force in 2014.

Geer said she hopes to make the office as accessible as possible. 

"I think the more accessible and accommodating and warm the space is, to be able to receive these complaints is definitely the model that I would like to support," she said. 

Geer is originally from Mississauga, but she is also familiar with Thunder Bay. 

"The funny thing is I used to come to Thunder Bay for Christmas and the summertime when I was a child," to visit grandparents, said Geer.

"So when I saw the position open up at Lakehead and it was a really great position that I felt that I could really bring my experience and expertise, I was very excited about it." 

Geer will begin her new role in August.