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Understanding Diversity: A Key to Impeccable Leadership – Moussa Magassa

Dr. Magassa depicts the pandemic as an opportunity to create a better world. Working, playing and living at home has changed how we connect with people. This linkage is the basis of diversity.

“You are no one without other people”



Dr. Magassa is a multilingual human rights educator at the University of Victoria, Royal Roads University as well as the University of British Columbia. He was born in Senegal Africa to a polygamist family with twenty-two brothers and sisters. Dr. Magassa discusses how growing up in a close family has created positive relationships all over the world.

Kinship. Compassion. Generosity.

From an early age, Dr. Magassa was taught these leadership skills. He attributes such life lessons to his step-mothers and father. Dr. Magassa talks about how his dad was extremely kind and how participating in war intensified this affection.

“We all come from places where there is good and bad”

Effective leaders embrace change. Dr. Magassa talks about the impact of apartheid. He tells of several attempts to bring this change home. Dr. Magassa taught non-violent conflict resolution to the youth in his village and tried to end polygamy. Although this lead to significant tensions for Dr. Magassa, he persisted in making changes.

“Leadership is being cautious of ourselves in the world and that we have ethical responsibility to ourselves and others.”

Dr. Magassa discusses world views and the way that leadership is about being open to other people’s individuality. He believes that we need to accept contradicting expressions of differences. We should be knowledgeable and mindful of other cultures and triggers as well as our own. Outstanding leaders use such awareness to instigate positive change through reflection and learning. Great leaders know that differences are positive. They reflect an ‘us’ mentality.

We should all embrace Dr. Magassa’s philosophy that hope is universal because it is in everyone’s heart. We can use this hope to make a change and become better leaders.


Dr Magassa recommends several books:


Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

The equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities by Frances Henry, Enakshi Dua, Carl E James, Audrey Kobayashi, Peter Li, Howard Ramos, and Malinda Smith

Watch for Dr. Magassa’s own book – Antiracism Training


By Madeline Johnston - Blogger

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