About jeewan chanicka
jeewan’s career in education began in early childhood education and adult literacy and has spanned a variety of roles from support worker to his current role as Director of Education in one of Ontario’s largest school districts. He served in Canada's largest school board, the Toronto District School Board as the Superintendent of Equity, Anti-Racism & Anti-Oppression and Superintendent of schools. jeewan also worked at the Ontario Ministry of Education.
In 2019, he assumed the role of CEO in Dubai where he was employed to develop the blueprint for a growing district of schools.
He is recognized provincially, nationally and internationally for his work in social justice advocacy, curriculum, anti-racism, human rights and innovation. He is one of a select group of global senior education leaders highlighted as a TED-Ed Innovative Educator and delivered his TED-Ed talk at the TED Summit in Scotland 2019.
He holds a Master of Education degree from York University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Arts with a focus on Culturally Responsive Mediation & Bargaining from York University. jeewan has had a rich career which includes consultation with the United Nations University of Peace as part of a team to develop a curriculum framework on Peace Education in the Islamic context implemented in various parts of the world. He was also a torchbearer for the 2015 PanAm Games held in Toronto.
In June 2015, jeewan was hosted at the Anne Frank House where he shared his work on Inclusive Design with educators from around the world, an innovative model for school improvement. He also worked for two years in Abu Dhabi, UAE where he helped to open an international school and create curriculum following IB requirements with an explicit social justice narrative embedded within it focused on social identities, race and the environment.
He has been a speaker across North America and Europe and a community organizer and changemaker for over the past 25 years on a variety of issues around education, equity, anti-oppression, social innovation, community engagement, youth-parent engagement, anti-Indigenous/anti-Black Racism. jeewan has written articles on human rights, equity and inclusion for various newspapers, books and publications and was a previous blogger with Huffington Post Canada.
He currently serves on the Ontario Human Rights (OHRC) Anti-Black racism in Education Advisory group and formerly, the OHRC’s Community Advisory Group. He served on the Anti-Racism Directorate's Provincial Roundtable on Islamophobia.
In his spare time, he enjoys travelling, cooking (but not doing dishes), landscaping, art, writing, community service and spending time in ceremony, on the land and in water. He enjoys adventure and thrill-seeking and has all types of experiences including running a marathon in the Alps, advanced open water scuba diving, sky diving, parasailing, ziplining, rock climbing and more. He’s a certified Tibetan Sound Bowl therapist. He is a father and co-parent with his ex-wife of 3 children, and is continually working on doing his own personal self-transformation work to be his best self.
jeewan's awards include the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee award for his work in Education and Community Service, a Promising Practices award from the Character Education Partnership based in Washington DC, for the Helping Hands initiative. He has also received a Human Rights Award from the National Council for Canadian Muslims (2017) and the Mary Samuels Educational Leadership Award in Nov 2017 from Harmony Movement.