Leading in Spaces That Were Not Built for You: Race, Identity and Leadership

Culture Chats

Written by Nathan Hall |


What does it look like, feel like or even mean to lead in a space that was not built for you? Many racialized people face the challenge of leading in systems that were not historically built for them to lead in. Whether it be a Dean at a university, a Manager at a health clinic, or a Mayor of a small city; racialized people is such roles challenge what leadership looks like and offer representation for many diverse communities.

In this Culture Chat session, we have a discussion with the Mayor of Timmons, Ontario - Kristin Murray about leadership, race, identity and making history as the first Black and Indigenous Mayor of the City of Timmins, Ontario.

Speaker Bio

Mayor Kristin Murray was appointed as Mayor of the City of Timmins on August 09, 2022 for the remainder of the 2018-22 Term of Council. Kristin also made history as the first Indigenous and Black Mayor of the city.

In 2001, Kristin graduated from Chapleau High School and set her sights on Timmins for post-secondary studies, where she earned a dual diploma in Social Service Work and Drug and Alcohol Counselling from Northern College. In 2012, she was one of 25 women selected from across Canada to participate in a Leadership Program at St. Francis Xavier University. This program paved the way for her entry into politics. In 2022, Kristin graduated from Laurentian University with a BA in Equity, Diversity, and Human Rights.

Aside from her educational background, Mayor Kristin has a passion for contributing to communities. She has a deep understanding of northern communities and has dedicated her 19-year career to the City of Timmins’ non-profit sector. Kristin's contributions have led to the development and support of numerous social planning programs, art endeavours and successful community initiatives. Kristin is a registered member of Chapleau Cree First Nation and a descendant to a signatory of Treaty 9.


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