In conversation with Valerie Assoi, School Board Trustee

Valerie Assoi

My name is Valérie Chinan Assoi and I define myself as a bridge builder between heterogeneous groups (who usually do not mix).

My 15 years+ of experience in program coordination/ management and community development make me a committed citizen who devote myself to several community associations.

For the sake of this bio I will focus on activities related to elections and community involvement. I am the first school board trustee from African descent of the Conseil des Ecoles Catholiques du Centre Est (CECCE), the French Catholic school board. I am a proud Franco-Ontarian and feel lucky to be part of the largest Canadian network of French-language schools outside Quebec.


Mother of three wonderful youth (Johanne, Michele and Ange-Kelly), that I am proud of to, because since they were kids, they have always supported me in my different sorts of activism and I am doing my best to teach them to be engaged and responsible citizens. I specifically thank Ange-Kelly’s friends that I consider my own  for their constant support and their respect.

Political and community involvement

I have always had difficulties being actively involved in political parties because my values align with some aspects of what each of the main political parties stands for, but I had to choose one. So I am involved in non-partisan politics. During my 12 years of being in Ottawa, I have been board member of Lowertown Community Centre and the current Rideau Rockliffe Community Centre. I also am board member of MIFO (Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans (MIFO). Former program Coordinator of City For All Women Initiative, an organization that improves political literacy at the municipal level, and I am now member of its Steering Committee. I am sitting on the provincial advisory board of the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan and had coordinated the launch of the coalition of grassroots organisations working with youth from African descent, in Ottawa. I am part of the African Canadian Association of Ottawa, Black Agenda Noir and 613/819, the Ottawa/Gatineau Federation of Black Canadians. 

Profession and employment

I am a professional facilitator in civic engagement and participation. I have a great expertise in planning, organizing and managing group dynamics. I am also specialised in equity and inclusion and develop various workshops to different kinds of audiences in the private and the public sector. I am a front line worker in South East Ottawa Community Health Centre. I hold a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from St Paul university and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Abidjan’s university. I specialized in Project management for Infrastructure projects, particularly in Public Private Partnerships from the Telecommunication sector.

Before coming to Canada I was lead economist with the Telecommunications Regulation Agency of Cote d’Ivoire (the equivalent of CRTC here).

I would love to create an organization I believe in the CECCE’s vision and mission of engaging all students in learning, pursuing their dreams, and building a better world, while  transforming the learning experience through its synergy with the community as well as supporting people in finding their purpose and reaching their full potential socially and spiritually.





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