We are a partnership of diverse people, who are learning and DEI professionals with years of experience working with various organizations, including departments of the Canadian provincial and federal government, non-profit organizations, and some of North America's top corporations.
We know what it is to experience inequities, and have seen that to overcome conscious and unconscious bias, we must first know our authentic selves and value the gift that we are to the world. In the words of Alice Walker, "We are the ones that we have been waiting for." This perspective has enabled us to bring to our clients greater knowledge and experiences of who we are, while providing real interactions and data to replace biases and misconceptions, which affect our success and that of the organizations we serve.
I am Dawn Armstrong, founder and leader of Nudaan Learning Center. I am BOLD, which is my acronym for a Black, Older, Lady, with a Disability. Equipped and informed by invaluable perspectives and experiences of DEI, I partner with professionals and organizations to create workplaces where diverse people are seen, heard and valued for the knowledge and experiences that they bring to the workplace.
I have a passion for people, research, and developing multi-media learning modules. I am skilled in the areas of research, communications, group leadership, needs assessment, self-directed learning, as well as various aspects of virtual and onsite learning and development. I have over 20 years of experience in Learning & Development, with specialization in DEI, communications, self-directed learning, virtual learning and knowledge brokering. I have a Bachelors of Arts (Political Science with a minor in Mass Communications), a Masters in Information and Library Science (MLS), and a Masters in Theological Studies (MTS).
When I was a little girl, my mother brought me and my sister from England to live with my grandmother in Jamaica. A lot of people thought my much lighter skinned sister was so pretty that they would often praise her and never noticed me. Instead of being overwhelmed by, or stuck in, the invisibility I felt, I put everything into school, where I was recognized for top performance.
After 1971, when I came to live with my mother in Canada, racism devalued me and caused me again to become invisible in public. For years, no one, except close family or friends, truly saw me or knew who I was. In 2007, I became even more invisible when I had a brain-attack. Following six months in the hospital and four months in out-patient care, my doctor filled out a document classifying me as permanently disabled and never able to work again.
In the years that followed, my mind had to fight against historical beliefs that devalued my race, my disability, my gender and my age. With consistent exercise, belief in my self, and belief in a higher power, I began to heal. As my thinking slowly improved, a more creative version of my communication skills (multimedia focused) showed-up, and I became better and better at sharing my story, and helping others share their stories, with gratitude for all our challenges.
My healing led me to Tyndale University, where I was able to obtain my third university degree in 2020, a Master in Theological Studies. As a result, I began to better see my authentic self. I saw that I had to let go of the negative things that others say I am, as this was in complete contrast to the gift that I, a black older lady with a disability, am to the world. It became clear that while I cannot let my past experiences define my world, I also cannot live without them for succeeding in face of them is my gift to the workforce.
Now, more than ever, I am inspired and committed to not only valuing all that I am, but also the differences that all diverse individuals bring to the workforce. To do so requires sharing the stories of our achievements and our setbacks, and valuing the wealth of knowledge and experience that we all bring to the workforce and the world. Nudaan Learning is my gift and my contribution to this global effort.