Communications Specialist, University of Waterloo
Krista Henry’s career path is woven with a thread of altruism. Since starting her career as a journalist in Jamaica and moving to Canada, Krista has worked in a variety of non-profit roles for more than 15 years, including as a national communications specialist for the Salvation Army Thrift Store. This passion for community-focused communication has extended to creating and leading inclusion, equity, diversity and accessibility (IDEA) programs, education and development initiatives.
As a Communications Specialist in the University of Waterloo’s Co-operative and Experiential Education department, Krista assists business development in finding job opportunities for university students and improving communications through an IDEA lens. This experience, combined with a Certificate in Leadership and Inclusion from Centennial College, has brought a greater understanding of how IDEA is applied to communications. “It’s about researching how IDEA is used in communications,” says Krista. “It can mean strategizing ways to create inclusive events or crafting messages directly with that community.”
These experiences have been particularly useful as Chairperson for IABC/Toronto’s new Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility (IDEA) committee. In response to the surveys and focus groups in 2020, the committee works to raise the profile of communicators who are part of IABC/Toronto, but don’t necessarily have the same opportunities in the communications field, or who communicate within a different cultural framework. “The objective we are driving home is that IABC/Toronto is a chapter that includes everyone,” says Krista. “We’re providing a sense of belonging, whether it is for professional development or a safe space to meet with communicators from similar backgrounds. This is what communication is about. We are the changemakers.”
From crafting proposals to forming affinity groups and working with different portfolios, Krista emphasizes the IDEA committee has some exciting projects in development to increase diversity and amplify marginalized voices across the membership. For anyone who wants to get involved with IDEA, there are many opportunities to volunteer and start the change they want to see.