Congratulations to Kelly Hannah-Moffat, winner of 2024 YWCA Women of Distinction Award

March 11, 2024 by Patricia Doherty

Congratulations to CrimSL's Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat, who has been chosen to receive a 2024 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the field of Education!

Professor Hannah-Moffat has served as U of T's Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture since 2021.

The citation for the award reads:

As an internationally respected scholar, administrator, and advocate for penal reform, Kelly Hannah-Moffat is a leading voice for change in the criminal justice system. Her work on challenging oppressive practices within the justice system—especially those that harm Black and Indigenous women—has forged a path through uncharted territory since the late 1990s.

Kelly’s expertise and recommendations have been sought out for numerous legal cases and inquests investigating women’s prison conditions and rights violations, impacting policies with the prison system. Her more than 70 publications—including the award-winning article “Prisons that Empower”—and work on solitary confinement, criminal records disclosures, and risk assessment have influenced countless scholars, as well as litigation and government agencies. She also shares her talents with human rights and community organizations such as the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Elizabeth Fry Society Toronto, where she once served as president.

In her role as a professor of Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto, Kelly has amplified the talents of countless young women and played a fundamental role in launching important equity and Indigenous initiatives at the university. She currently sits as the University of Toronto's Vice-President of People Strategy, Equity & Culture, championing diversity in hiring, the expansion of affinity groups for 2SLGBTQ+ staff, and changes that serve and support the Indigenous community.

Lastly, while Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to influence the criminal justice system negatively, Kelly is poised to rally against the narratives of bias and racial discrimination that underscore this technology to ensure that the future is more just for Black and Indigenous women and gender diverse people. 

— Citation for Kelly Hannah-Moffat, 2024 YWCA Women of Distinction Award - Education

Other 2024 winners include:

  • Natasha Ferguson - Labour
  • Jaspreet Gill - Advocacy & Social Justice
  • Gillian Riley - Corporate Leadership
  • Nadia Ladak - Young Woman of Distinction

All winners will be honoured at the 43rd YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Awards Gala in Toronto on May 23, 2024. A limited number of tickets are available for sale. The Gala will honour and celebrate the achievements of these remarkable women as well as raise essential funds to support women, girls and gender diverse people in need.

Congratulations, Kelly!

About the Women of Distinction Awards

For over 40 years, YWCA Toronto has applauded the remarkable lives and work of women through our Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony. They are your colleagues, teachers, friends, mentors and neighbours. Women of Distinction are visionaries committed to creating a place at the table for women, girls and gender diverse people and shattering glass ceilings. Each year, YWCA Toronto celebrates extraordinary women who advance gender equity in a range of areas such as business, education, social justice, advocacy, health, arts, philanthropy and more.