Leonie Tchatat

Leonie Tchatat

Toronto Sector Skills Academy, Class of 2016-17, Economic Opportunities Program

Founder & President, La Passerelle-I.D.É., Toronto, ON

Léonie Tchatat, founder and president of La Passerelle-I.D.É, arrived in Canada as a student in the 1990s. Today a Canadian citizen, this Franco-Ontarian of Cameroonian origin takes action to pursue her main goal – to create lasting biridges between the host society and Francophone immigrant communities. She founded La Passerelle-I.D.É, which deploys itself at the local, provincial, national and international levels, with a Paris chapter since 2014. La Passerelle-I.D.É’s bidirectional Cultural Competency skills training program has been recognized as a best practice by the federal and provincial governments, having served and accompanied over 15,000 newcomers fostering their integration. Recognized as a leader by governments, institutions and Francophone communities across Canada, she has developed innovative initiatives anchored in a deep knowledge of crucial inclusiveness issues in an increasingly diverse Ontarian and Canadian society. Her knowledge and her expertise make her a key partner in Ontario. For instance, she has served as a Board member at Group média TFO, as a member of the Planning Council for a French-Language University, as a member of the City of Toronto’s French Committee, and as a recently-appointed Commissioner at the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Over the last 22 years she has invested her passion and intellect to foster undertakings grounded in values such as inclusion, multiculturalism, innovation, and accountability. Her experience has been closely linked to socio-demographic shifts in our communities (Francophone immigrant integration) and the impact and value of technological and digital evolution in all their forms. As a Francophone woman from a visible minority community, and thanks to her global vision and local and international experience, she is knowledgeable about newcomer inclusion issues and challenges. A businesswoman and media player, she founded the first-ever female Francophone magazine (Taloua multiculturelle), providing young Francophone women of all backgrounds with a unique, dynamic forum. She also served for five years on TFO’s Board of Directors, where she was involved in its process toward digitization. She also understands the importance and the role that media must play in order to reflect Canada’s plural realities through content and programming to inform and entertain a multicultural audience from coast to coast, from territories to provinces and from rural to urban Francophone communities. She received an Afroglobal award in October 2017 for her work in social development. She spearheaded two large public awareness campaigns under the slogan “Francophone Immigration Means…”, in collaboration with the federal and provincial governments and in the context of strategies to increase the number of immigrants to Francophone minority communities. She is the mother of two boys, ages 8 and 12 years old.

Leonie Tchatat is a member of the Toronto Sector Skills Academy, Class of 2016-17, one of several Workforce Leadership Academies in localities across North America.

The Workforce Leadership Academies are part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at as.pn/eofn.