Fouzia Usman

WRC Distinguished Alumna Award Recipient 2024

WRC Award Recipients


Dr. Fouzia Usman, PhD, works as an Educational Development Consultant at the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. She specializes in advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), as well as accessibility, and anti-racism in higher education. Dr. Usman completed her Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Supervision at Loyola University Chicago in 2011, and her Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Studies at Southeast Missouri State University in 2004. She completed her doctorate in Educational Research (Leadership) at the University of Calgary in 2019.

As a Muslim woman of color, Dr. Usman has experienced racism through the intersections of Islamophobia in North America and has witnessed it escalate since September 2001. These lived experiences have informed her approach to advancing EDIA and Anti-racism as she works towards centering marginalized voices and calls for advocacy and activism in her work. Dr. Usman demonstrates deep understandings of systems of oppression, critical theory, and critical pedagogy, which are evident in the work she does to advance EDIA and Anti-racism in teaching and learning.  With a career spanning K-16 across three countries, Dr. Usman’s approach to her role as an Educational Development Consultant is based on her knowledge as an educator, as well as her lived experiences as a visible minority. Dr. Usman has always been drawn to issues of equity, social justice, and empowerment, and that is the foundation for the way she approaches her work.

Dr. Usman has led the development of numerous research-informed initiatives in the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning (TI) to help educators across the University of Calgary further advance equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in their courses, academic programs and teaching practices. These initiatives include: the EDI Badge, the EDI Workshop Series, the Anti-racism, EDI and Positionality in Teaching and Learning open access online learning module, the EDIA Community of Practice, and the Anti-Racism in Teaching and Learning Badge. Hundreds of participants have engaged in these programs, and many have shared their reflections of transformative impact on their learning.  She has also engaged in numerous consultations with groups about how to meaningfully, and systematically consider EDIA within the context of new courses and academic program development. Due to her expertise, she has also been invited by the Provost and Vice-Provost (EDI) to serve on the UCalgary Presidential Taskforce for EDIA to co-lead a working group on teaching and learning.

More broadly, Dr. Usman actively works to advocate for inclusivity and anti-oppression in the community and city of Calgary. She is currently serving as an active member on the Calgary Police Services Anti-racism Action committee, and has previously collaborated with the City of Calgary, providing support as they developed an Anti-racism Strategic Plan. In these spaces Dr. Usman has actively amplified marginalized and racialized women, highlighting how their lived experiences need to be taken into strong consideration when devising these city-wide anti-racism plans. Dr. Usman is a trailblazer as she continuously works to make our campus, and the broader society, more inclusive and equitable specifically for marginalized groups including women.