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Advisory Committee

Our Advisory Committee is comprised of professors, staff and students who each bring unique perspectives to LA&PS' efforts to combat anti-Black racism. Its role is to assist in putting forth strategies that prioritize equity and diversity across the Faculty. Learn more about each Committee member here.

Paul Lawrie

profile photo of Paul Lawrie

Paul Lawrie is the LA&PS Black Inclusion Advisor and a historian of Afro-America whose research examines the intersections of race, labor, disability, urbanism, and time in modern America. His current SSHRC funded project, The Color of Hours: Race, Time and the Making of Urban America traces how time -as both lived experience and a category of analysis- mediated racial difference and identity in the American city from the time-work management of the factory floor to the vagrancy statues of the streets.

Michele Johnson

profile photo of Michelle Johnson

Michele Johnson is a professor in the Department of History and Associate Dean, Students in LA&PS. She has served as the coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Programme, York’s Affirmative Action Officer and as the Director of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas. Her research interests focus on Jamaican cultural history in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Daniel Kikulwe

Daniel Kikulwe is an assistant professor at the School of Social Work, York University. His area of academic interest is in child welfare practices, policies, families, and immigration. Other areas of research interests relate to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children and its applicability to the global south, as well as kinship care trends in Canada.

Jellisa Ricketts

Jellisa Ricketts profile photo

Jellisa Ricketts is a Ph.D candidate in Social and political Thought through the Black Studies and Theories of Race and Racism stream. Her research focuses on spatial theory, architecture, and Black geographies. As an aspiring spatial theorist and scholar activist, she hopes to work with members of Black communities both within and outside of academia, to create Black affirming spaces that foster inclusivity and opportunity.

Awwal Abass

Awwal Abass is a third year Law and Society student. His interests include the proliferation of Black students success in education and leadership. Specifically, to accelerate youths interest in pursuing post secondary education and post graduate studies.

Orlene Ellis

Orlene Ellis

Orlene Ellis is a proud York alumni and has been an employee of the university for the past 26 years. During this time, she held various positions including Chair’s assistant, undergraduate program assistant and is currently the Graduate Program Administrator in International Development Studies. She is truly honoured to be on this committee as it allows her to work with the Faculty to implement new programs and initiatives to address anti-Black racism and other forms of oppression.

Paulette Wilson-Franks

Paulette Wilson Franks

Paulette Wilson-Franks is the Manager of Faculty Affairs in the LA&PS Dean's Office. Engaged with LA&PS since its creation in 2009, she brings tremendous strength to the Advisory Committee. Over the years, she has volunteered at the Jamaican Canadian Association, and has served as Treasurer on the Steering Committee for the Children and Youth Dance Theatre of Toronto.

“The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind.” - Marcus Garvey

Clifton A Grant

Clifton A Grant profile photo

Clifton A Grant is an award-winning 2nd year Law and Society Major with aspirations of attending Law School. He is passionate about the mature and Black student experience. He embodies the notions of engagement and service with his various roles as Podcast host with Student Counselling, Health and Well-being (SCHW). He is also a volunteer Peer Mentor at the Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-time Students (ACMAPS) and VP of YUMSO (York University Mature Student Organization) as well as a Student Ambassador and Peer Mentor for LA&PS.