Associate Dean for CDI, Leela MadhavaRau
Leela MadhavaRau was born in England and immigrated to Canada as a child. After completing her undergraduate degree in Anthropology at McGill University, she returned to England for graduate work in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. The focus of her work has been on second-generation Hindu women living in the diaspora – how do individuals transmit culture when living outside their homeland, particularly when living as a “minority” population.
She first began working in the diversity field as the Race Relations Officer at the University of Western Ontario. After immigrating to the United States, she worked as an Advisor on Diversity Issues at Michigan State University in East Lansing MI. In August 2002, she came to the University of Redlands to head what is now Campus Diversity and Inclusion.
Leela always been involved in community activities outside work. In London Ontario, she was on the Board of Directors for the Cross Cultural Learner Center, a non-profit organization that specialized in helping refugee and new immigrants adapt to life in Canada. In Lansing, she was responsible for a neighborhood organization, and as an offshoot of that, wrote the application to develop a 501(c)(3) organization with the goal of renovating run-down and decaying homes in our neighborhood to decrease urban decay and the accompanying issues. When she left Lansing, she was honored by both the City Council and the County Board of Commissioners.
In Redlands, she is the President of the Board of Trustees for Montessori in Redlands and has taken on responsibility for the One City, One Book program, including writing and receiving a grant from the national Big Read program to help with this initiative. She was honored by Redlands Town and Gown as a 2009 Woman of Distinction.