Councillor James

Colleen James was elected to Regional Council in October 2022, representing City of Kitchener residents.

Colleen’s professional career includes more than 15 years of experience in municipal government at both the city and regional levels. As the founder of Divonify Incorporated, Colleen is a leading consultant on equity and inclusion. Locally, nationally, and internationally, Colleen partners with a wide range of public, private, and not-for-profit organizations and businesses that are committed to change.

Colleen’s values are central to her work as a leader. These values determine her approach to making decisions as a Councillor on behalf of the community. These values include building trusted relationships; having equity-informed community discussions; listening and collaborating; empowering and amplifying; taking meaningful action, and being accountable.

Colleen graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours B.A. in history, political science, and Caribbean studies. She holds a master’s degree in leadership, higher, and adult education from U of T’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).

In 2020, the Canada International Black Women Event named Colleen one of the Top 100 Black Women to Watch. In 2021, she was named one of the Top 25 Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Persons of the Year by the Canadian Multicultural Group.

Colleen is a graduate of Leadership Waterloo Region and serves on several local boards and committees, including the Kitchener Public Library (2020-2022), KW Oktoberfest (2020- present) and the selection committee for Leadership Waterloo Region (2019-present). She is also involved in many collaborative community projects, including the Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region, where she established the James STEM scholarship.

Born and raised in Kitchener, Colleen’s family immigrated to Waterloo Region more than 50 years ago. She currently lives in Kitchener with her partner Daren and daughter Maleigha.

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