Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat (photo by Moussa Faddoul)

Kelly Hannah-Moffat named 2024 Woman of Distinction by YWCA Toronto

Kelly Hannah-Moffat, the University of Toronto’s vice-president, people strategy, equity and culture, has been named a 2024 Woman of Distinction by YWCA Toronto.

The annual award celebrates extraordinary women who are working to advance gender equity across a range of areas such as business, education, social justice, advocacy, health, arts and philanthropy.

Hannah-Moffat, a professor in the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies who is cross-appointed to the department of sociology, is a world-renowned scholar, administrator and advocate for penal reform who is playing a leading role in pushing for change in the criminal justice system, YWCA Toronto noted.

“Her work advocates for human rights and challenges oppressive practices within the justice system, especially those that harm criminalized women who are disproportionately Indigenous and Black. She has forged a path through uncharted territory since the late 1990s,” the award citation reads. “Kelly’s expertise and recommendations have been sought out for numerous legal cases and inquests investigating women’s prison conditions, solitary confinement and rights violations, impacting policies with the prison system.”

YWCA Toronto also cited Hannah-Moffat’s groundbreaking work on risk algorithms and AI’s potential to reproduce bias, structural inequalities and racial discrimination.

She and four other laureates will be celebrated at YWCA Toronto’s Women of Distinction Awards Gala in May.

"I hope learning about the YWCA Women of Distinction Award and its recipients motivates at least one more person to reflect on what they can do and what changes they can make to create opportunities for women in all areas of society," Hannah-Moffat said.

Read more about the 2024 Women of Distinction awards