2022 SWAAC STUDENT AWARD IN EQUITY, DIVERSITY WINNER
Crystal Lynne Watson (she/her) is a PHD in Health doctoral candidate at Dalhousie University and the Student Award for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion recipient for 2022. I identify as African Nova Scotian with familial roots in the community of East Preston, a historic Black community in Nova Scotia. My work is shaped by the (his)stories and accomplishments of many people from my community and one of the many reasons I ground my work in equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).
I am a recreation therapist by occupation and have worked with many individuals in clinical and community recreation settings. These experiences provided opportunities for me to see inequities and the importance of addressing them. Throughout my career, I have strived to collaborate with many professionals raising awareness of the importance of diversity of thought and approaches while working with people with different life experiences. Through various board and committee involvement, I have worked to centre the importance of inclusion and access for underrepresented and underserved communities. Whether the sport and recreation sector or education, ensuring that the voices of those often silenced is a priority for me. Some of the work I am currently involved in includes addressing racism and discrimination in hockey and the recreation sector broadly; as a member of advisory council for the African Nova Scotian Strategy at Dalhousie University; and supporting students from various communities through mentorship. As an emerging scholar, I am excited to explore research that will focus on the outdoor and risky play experiences of Black girls which will further amplify the importance of EDI while centring race, gender, and class. As former clinician, educator, and now as an administrator, focussing on social justice in the spaces that I live, work, and play will continue to be a priority for me.