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Plenary Speakers

Collaborating With African Elders to Envision Possibilities for
Anti-Colonial Practices Within Canada

Heidi Safia Mirza

Keynote Speaker

Heidi Safia Mirza is Emeritus Professor of Equality Studies in Education at UCL Institute of Education and Visiting Professor of Race, Faith and Culture at Goldsmith’s College and Race Policy at LSE. Heidi is a daughter of the Windrush generation from Trinidad and one of the first and few female professors of colour Britain. Read more about Heidi here.

Jean Augustine

Jean Augustine immigrated to Canada in 1960 and worked as a nanny, teacher, principal, and later chair of the Metro Toronto Housing Authority while raising two girls. In 1993, she became the first Black Woman elected to Parliament.  Her distinguished tenure included service as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister; Minister of State for Multiculturalism and the Status of Women; Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

Her legislative successes include the historic Black History Month Motion; and the ground-breaking Famous Five Motion, which authorized the first and still the only statues on Parliament Hill depicting women - - other than Queen Elizabeth. From 2007 to 2015, she served as Ontario’s first-ever Fairness Commissioner. In 2008, the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora was launched at York University to help advance education, equity and inclusiveness. Also in her name are a Girls' Leadership Academy in Scarborough; a Centre for Young Women's Empowerment and a municipal park in Etobicoke; a Secondary School in Brampton, and a multi-purpose complex and district park in Vaughan. A member of the Order of Canada, Order of Ontario and Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Jean Augustine holds honourary doctorates from the universities of McGill, Toronto, York, Windsor, Guelph, Trent and Ryerson; is a senior fellow at Centennial and Massey College; and supports scholarships at George Brown, Centennial and Humber College.

Paul Banahene Adjei

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Dr. Paul Banahene Adjei is an Associate Professor and the Interim Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Research) at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He was previously the Interim Dean of the School of Social Work, Memorial University. Paul received his undergraduate degree in Social Work from the University of Ghana, and his Master and PhD degrees from the University of Toronto specializing in Social Justice Education. He specializes in the areas of equity, diversity, inclusion, indigenization, and anti-Black racism education. He has presented over 70 papers at national and international conferences; featured on several newspapers, radio and television programs and has organized several trainings for federal and provincial government employees on issues around equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism.  In 2022, he was honoured as one of the Most Inspiring Immigrants in Atlantic Canada

Phiona Lloyd-Henry

Phiona Lloyd-Henry (she, her) is coordinating principal for leadership, capacity building and school partnership at the PDSB - she migrated from Jamaica and has worked with the Peel District School Board for more than ten years. She has been a classroom teacher, department head and has served as the instructional resource teacher and instructional coordinator for equity and inclusive education. Phiona is dedicated to serving students and creating educational environments that are equitable, inclusive and free from discriminatory practices. She is interested in critical democratic pedagogy and anti-oppressive forms of teaching and learning; she values positive partnerships with families and caregivers. She also values the development of student efficacy and social activism. She has recently joined the Jamaican Canadian Association as the Education Chair and she serves as a board members of the Black Youth School Success Initiative in Peel. In February 2019, Phiona was awarded with the United Way’s Community Leadership Award for her work as a Black community advocate. Phiona is an executive member of PAACE - the Peel Association of African Canadian Educators

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Global Indigeneities and Contemporary Diasporic Embodiments

Cristina Jaimungal

Cristina Sherry Jaimungal is an unstoppable force in the world of education and advocacy. She is an educator, researcher, writer, editor, event organizer, speaker, and creative from Trinidad and Tobago dedicated to fighting for social justice. Cristina is pursuing a PhD at the University of Toronto (OISE) with a collaborative program in Comparative, International, and Development Education and is driven to reveal and shatter systemic, institutional, and cultural barriers.Her research is anchored by anti-racism, anti-colonialism, and decolonial praxis. Cristina is not just an academic. She is a scholar-activist and a cycle breaker who utilizes her expertise to advance social justice, dismantle racial and gender-based violence and empower BIPOC communities. Cristina is the Co-Editor of the book Indigeneity and Decolonial Resistance and has a forthcoming chapter in the International Research Handbook on Anti-Colonial Education.

Glen Coulthard

Keynote speaker

Glen Coulthard is Yellowknives Dene and an associate professor in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program and the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition. Read more about Glen here.

Vanessa Andreotti

Keynote speaker

Vanessa Andreotti is a professor at the Department of Educational Studies at UBC. She currently holds a Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change and the David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education. Read more about Vanessa here

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Cross Racial Solidarity

Donna Ford

Donna Ford is an anti-racist educator.  She has held teaching and leadership assignments in classrooms, schools, a Faculty of education and system leadership opportunities with the TDSB and YRDSB.  In the roles of Equity and Indigenous Education superintendent and currently as a superintendent of a family of schools in the Peel District School Board (PDSB), she leads schools to implement and establish anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices co-developed through the Equity department, collaborating with other departments and community partners.  Donna takes every opportunity to surface inequities and transform practices at all levels of the organization to guarantee the complete engagement, wellbeing and success of students who experience exclusions disproportionately to those students who do not.

Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández 

Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández research and scholarship are concerned with questions of symbolic boundaries and the dynamics of cultural production and processes of identification in educational contexts. He draws on cultural studies, decolonial/postcolonial and feminist theory, and critical sociology to inform his understanding of curriculum and pedagogy as encounters with difference. He is the Director of the Youth Research Lab at the Centre for Urban Schooling of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, where he oversees and supports youth-oriented and community-based research projects with a focus on school-based youth participatory action research. At OISE, Gaztambide-Fernández is Professor of Curriculum and Pedagogy and Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Curriculum Inquiry. His theoretical work focuses on the relationship between creativity, decolonization, and solidarity, and he has published widely on the topics of the arts in education, the sociology of elites, and pedagogies of solidarity.

Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui

Dr. Ghaffar-Siddiqui is a globally recognised multiple award-winning public speaker, well-known media pundit, renowned researcher, and a passionate social justice advocate. As well as being a professor of sociology, criminology, and criminal-psychology, she is currently Senior Advisor on one of Canada’s largest government-funded Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives at Colleges and Institutes Canada’s National EDI Knowledge Mobilization Centre hosted at Sheridan College. She is also leading a national study with Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington, DC, that both quantifies and analyses in-depth the influence and impact of a right-wing extremist political group on U.S. institutions and American attitudes. As a postcolonial scholar, her intersectional research concentrates on the impacts of colonialism and imperialism on the lives of diasporic peoples in the West. Focusing in the areas of migration, race/ethnicity and ethno-religio identity, Dr. Ghaffar-Siddiqui’s doctoral research explored the ways in which Muslim communities in the West navigate their social worlds in a post 9/11 climate. Her previous research includes a qualitative analysis of South Asian people's experiences of discrimination and healthcare seeking behaviours in traditionally colonial healthcare structures and settings in Ontario.

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Nelson Maldonado- Torres

Keynote Speaker

Nelson Maldonado-Torres is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut, Professor Extraordinarious at the University of South Africa, and Honorary Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. A former President of the Caribbean Philosophical Association, he co-chairs the Frantz Fanon Foundation with its founder, Mireille Fanon Mendès France. Read more about Nelson here.

Vidya Shah

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Dr. Vidya Shah is an educator, scholar and activist committed to equity and racial justice in the service of liberatory education. She is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at York University, and her research explores anti-racist and decolonial approaches to leadership in schools, communities, and school districts. She also explores educational barriers to the success and well-being of Black, Indigenous, and racialized students. Dr. Shah teaches in the Master of Leadership and Community Engagement, as well as undergraduate and graduate level courses in education. She has worked in the Model Schools for Inner Cities Program in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and was an elementary classroom teacher in the TDSB. Dr. Shah is committed to bridging the gaps between communities, classrooms, school districts and the academy, to re/imagine emancipatory possibilities for schooling. You can learn more about her work at https://www.yorku.ca/edu/unleading/.

Intersected Decolonization: Connecting the Francophonie,
the Struggle against Islamophobia, and Higher Education

Anne-Marie Livingstone

Dr. Anne-Marie Livingstone is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at McMaster University. After completing her doctorate at Johns Hopkins University in 2018, she was a postdoctoral fellow with the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. Dr. Livingstone’s research examines the significance of politics and public policy to the reproduction of anti-black racism and racial inequality in the settler colonial context of Canada.

Clint Bruce

Dr. Clint Bruce holds the Canada Research Chair in Acadian and Transnational Studies (CRE AcT – for its French initials) at Universite Sainte-Anne in Nova Scotia, where he teaches in the Department of Social Sciences. His research deals with the Acadian diaspora, Francophone cultures of Louisiana, and the Atlantic world. In 2021, his book Afro-Creole Poetry in French from Louisiana’s Radical Civil War-Era Newspapers: A Bilingual Edition (Historic New Orleans Collection, 2020) received the Modern Language Association’s Lois Roth Award for literary translation.

Handel Kashope Wright

Professor Handel Kashope Wright is Senior Advisor to the President on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence https://antiracism.ubc.ca/ Director of the Centre for Culture, Identity and Education and Professor of Educational Studies  at the University of British Columbia. He is co-editor of the book series African and Diasporic Cultural Studies (University of Toronto Press) and Associate Editor of the journal Critical Arts. Prof. Wright has published extensively on continental and diasporic African cultural studies, cultural studies of education, anti-racism, multiculturalism, decolonial thought and qualitative research, including being author of A Prescience of African Cultural Studies (Peter Lang, 2004) and co-editor of Precarious International Multicultural Education (Sense, 2012) and The Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy (University of Toronto Press, 2021). His work in progress includes a co-edited book on Black British Columbia (Fernwood, forthcoming) and his community engagement includes service on the City of Vancouver External Advisory Committee on Equity and Diversity.

Jasmin Zine

Jasmin Zine is a Professor of Sociology and Religion & Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her recent book: Under Siege: Islamophobia and the 9/11 Generation (McGill -Queens University Press) explores the experiences of the millennial generation of Canadian Muslim youth who came of age during the global war on terror and times of heightened anti-Muslim racism. She is author of a major report on the Canadian Islamophobia industry that examines the networks of hate and bigotry that purvey and monetize Islamophobia. She served as a consultant on combating Islamophobia for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Council of Europe (COE), and the Office for the Democratic Institutions and Human Rights at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (ODHIR/OSCE). She is a sought-after media commentator and has given numerous invited talks and keynotes in Istanbul, Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Berlin, Madrid, Cordoba, Nairobi, Uppsala, Baku, as well as in Pakistan and across the U.S.  Dr. Zine is co-founder of the International Islamophobia Studies Research Association (IISRA).

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