Ann Divine, MA, BA (hons),
Founder and CEO, Ashanti Leadership and Professional Development
Ann is an accomplished professional. She is an advisor to government, academic institutions, business and communities. She is respected for her work in the areas of leadership, immigrant women and girls, diversity and inclusion, employment equity, human rights, sexual harassment, systemic discrimination, addressing unconscious bias and other social justice issues.
Her combined skills, knowledge and expertise in these areas have been
recognized province wide, nationally and internationally.
Ann’s knowledge and expertise is in high demand and as a result she is often invited to speak at diverse cultural events. The Department of National Defence, Trade Unions and other business organizations for her knowledge and skills have engaged Ann.
Annʼs work features being invited as conference speaker, keynote speaker, guest lecturer in colleges and universities, workshop presenter, facilitator, and a strong media presence. She has led research in areas such as employment equity, diversity and Inclusion and consumer racial profiling on behalf of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (NSHRC), and other organizations. Her current work includes working with the Department of National Defence
Ann also spearheaded the flagship five days training program “Creating
Culture and Organizational Change” while at the NSHRC. Her expertise in curriculum building attracted organizations from across the province to help businesses function better. Ann is also a recognized instructor for the Black Business Initiative and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education a Nova Scotia, government sponsored training program for the business community. This involved designing, developing and presenting. She is also a member of the Adult Workers Educator of Nova Scotia and an affiliate of the Nova Scotia Careers Development Association.
Ann started a study on Black and Immigrant Women in Business to raise awareness about the challenges and successes of doing business in Nova Scotia. The research centres on the absence of Black and Immigrant women voices from the decision making table at all levels of government and business community.
Ann is known for her innovativeness and creative style of leadership.
Her groundbreaking work with the Black Business Initiative, led to the development of a new training program for women called the “Business Cohort for Women Leadership Training.” This is five weeks program was designed and delivered for women by Ann.
Ann was recognized and congratulated by Megan Leslie, a former Member of Parliament of Canada for Nova Scotia, by a letter encouragement in March 2015.
In 2014, Ann was also commended by the Honourable Diana Whelan, Deputy Premier, Minster of Justice, Attorney General and Member of the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly, for “demonstrating extraordinary leadership and determination in her efforts to empower black and immigrant women.”
In addition, Ann was also recognized for her “outstanding contribution to the Nova Scotia Correctional Services” and received the Ministerial Award in 2012, by the Honourable Ross Landry. This was in relation to a training initiative for all correctional staff.
After leaving her position in government as Manager, Race Relations,
Equity and Inclusion, with the Nova Scotia Human Right Commission, in 2014, Ann decided to hone her combined expertise from the United Kingdom and Nova Scotia to focus on developing her own business that she founded in 2011.
The empowerment of women, especially women of colour, is a passion for
Ann, and her goals are to share, learn from and inspire others. Ann has designed and led numerous training initiatives with outstanding results. Ann has been featured in the Chronicle Herald Newspaper in 2014 for her work.
Ann is also the founder and chair of the Black and Immigrant Women
Network. Ann uses her expertise in leadership and negotiating to leverage with the business community to host networking events. She has partnered with the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, Halifax Partnership, Black Business Initiative, YMCA Immigrant Services, Keshen Goodman Library, International Personnel Management Association – Canada and other community organizations to host events such as International Womenʼs Day, business networking sessions for women who do not have access or opportunities to engage with the wider business community to grow their businesses, as well as community conversations on social justice issues.
In 2015, Ann hosted her 2nd annual International Womenʼs Day event for
Black and Immigrant Women (home-based) Business to showcase their products. These were highly successful.
Ann is also a Board Member of Enactus Canada Saint Mary’s University, and a member. Ann is a member of the International National Womenʼs Forum (IWF) and recently appointed to the Community Development Investment Fund for the Black Business Initiative.
Ann has been a keynote speaker for several high profile days; the Department of National Defence, CFB Halifax, International Women’s Day, 2016, Saint Mary’s University Leadership Summit 2016,as well as the keynote speaker at the International Women’s Forum, International Womenʼs Day breakfast on March 4, 2015.
As a global thinker, Ann wants to take her unique leadership style around
the world. She came to Canada from London, UK, in 2004, with her husband professor David Divine, former James R Johnston, Chair in Black
Canadian Studies, at Dalhousie University, their three (now adult) children, and four grandchildren.
Prior to her arrival in Canada, Ann was the Aide to the Chief Officer of the
London Probation Service, She also managed the largest Approved
Premises in Europe and worked for several years as an Education Social Worker.
Annʼs qualifications also include: Masters Degree in Human Resource
Management (UK), Bachelors Degree in Sociology with honours, (UK),
Post-graduate Diploma in Social Work (UK) Certified Coach (Cdn), and
Human Rights Education and Training (Inʼt).