“Leading CMSC feels like a homecoming into open curiosity and collective acceptance of the present moment. I’m excited to meet everyone who belongs to this vibrant community.” – Elijah Zimmerman
I’m Elijah Zimmerman, a conscious leader, educator, and collaborator with life experiences as a queer, trans man. I live in unceded Lekwungen Territory, also known as Victoria, British Columbia. I’m originally from the territory of the Mdewakanton, also known as Central Minnesota, from a mixed white European background of farmers and community stewards. My career follows a trajectory of system change and collaboration towards equity and justice in higher education and the non-profit social sector. Mindfulness and compassion are central to my life and professional practices as I hold a deep commitment to all beings finding happiness and freedom from suffering.
I hold a Ph.D. in Communication Studies emphasizing storytelling, culture, and consciousness-raising. I worked eight years at the university level developing curriculum for communication courses, including leadership, intercultural communication, and group skills. I also have professional training in interfaith studies with a value of embracing different ways of making meaning and belonging.
As an executive director, I’ve led organizations delivering service and education. I worked in the subarctic at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre where environmental challenges required continual strategic response, tight teamwork, and appreciation for the solitude of nature. With the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, I led organizational change to meet community needs by shifting services and programs to be more culturally safe and relevant for those most impacted by violence. Through relationship building, I gained a deeper understanding of allyship and the importance of collective healing.
Leading CMSC feels like a homecoming into open curiosity and collective acceptance of the present moment. I’m excited to meet everyone who belongs to this vibrant community. I’m bringing a vision of stability, sustainability, and joy anchored in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for CMSC programs and everyone involved in mindful self-compassion. Working together to alleviate human suffering and improve the collective well-being of the planet through the practice of self-compassion is a critically important and tender task. I’m grateful to join you in this journey of interconnection and heart.