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TCDSB Alumna Michele Leering Appointed to the Order of Canada

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TCDSB Alumna Michele Leering has dedicated much of her career and research to helping marginalized and vulnerable populations gain access to legal services and the justice system. For this invaluable work, she has been appointed to the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honours.

Michele is a PhD in Law candidate at Queen’s University and works as a Lawyer and Executive Director of the Community Advocacy & Legal Centre in Belleville, Ontario. 

Michele was a student at Holy Spirit Catholic Elementary School in Agincourt from Grades 5 to 8. In 1977, she graduated from Senator O’Connor College School where she credits (now retired) religion teacher Phil Small for introducing her to social justice issues and liberation theology—a religious movement that emphasizes social concern for the poor and political liberation for the oppressed. 

“Liberation theology strengthened my commitment to the way I have practiced law,” says Michele. “Working in one of Ontario’s non-profit community legal clinics, overseen by a community-based, interdisciplinary, volunteer Board of Directors has allowed me to put my law degree to good use in ways that align with my deeper values to equity, empowerment and human rights.”