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Insights: A speaker series on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

Insights: A speaker series on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) DEDI Data in Canadian Higher Education can be viewed below. The discussion was moderated by Sheila Cote-Meek, Vice President Equity, People and Culture with opening remarks from President Rhonda Lenton. The panelists for the discussion included: Dr. Carl James, Senior Advisor on Equity and Representation, Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora and Professor in Faculty of Education, York University; Dr. Jan Hare, Dean pro tem and Professor, Assoc. Dean Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia; Dr. Malinda Smith, Vice-Provost and Assoc. Vice-President Research, University of Calgary. 

Insights: A speaker series on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) DEDI Data in Canadian Higher Education, November 21, 2022


Dr. Carl James

Dr. Carl James, Senior Advisor on Equity and Representation, Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora and Professor in Faculty of Education, York University. 

Carl E. James is the Senior Advisor on Equity and Representation in the Office of the Vice President of Equity, People and Culture, and also holds the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora in the Faculty of Education at York University. His research interests include examination of the educational, social, and occupational experiences, opportunities and achievements of Black and other racialized Canadians – noting the ways in which societal and institutional structures mediate their lived realities. He is the 2022 Killam Laureate for Social Sciences awarded by Canada Council for the Arts. His most recent publication released two weeks ago is: First Generation Student Experiences in Higher Education: Counterstories with Leanne Taylor (Fall 2022). 

Dr. Jan Hare

Dr. Jan Hare, Dean pro tem and Professor, Assoc. Dean Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia. 

Dr. Jan Hare is an Anishinaabe-kwe scholar and educator from the M’Chigeeng First Nation, located in northern Ontario. She is Professor and Dean pro tem in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. In addition, she holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Indigenous Pedagogy. Her research is concerned with transforming educational institutions from early childhood, K-12 schooling through to post-secondary education by centering Indigenous knowledges and pedagogies in teaching and learning. This work has led to the development of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education, which has been taken by over 70,000 people worldwide. Her current research explores the instructional practices of post-secondary educators incorporating Indigenous knowledges and perspectives in to higher education classrooms through collaborative inquiry. In addition, she is engaged in theorizing Indigenous-led teacher education through programs narrating their own story bundles. 

Dr. Malinda Smith

Dr. Malinda Smith, Vice-Provost and Assoc. Vice-President Research, University of Calgary 

Dr. Malinda Smith (she/her) is the Vice Provost and Associate Vice President Research (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) and Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary. Dr. Smith holds a PhD in political science from the University of Alberta, an MA, MDA, and a BA magna cum laude in political science and criminal justice from Western Michigan University. 

Dr. Smith is the author or editor of seven books. She is a coauthor of The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities (2017). She is coeditor  of Critical Concepts: An Introduction to Politics, 6/E (OUP 2023), Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy (UofT 2022), and States of Race: Critical Race Feminism for the 21st Century (2010). She is also editor of three books on Africa, including Securing Africa: Post-9/11 Discourses on Terrorism (2010).  

She serves on several national bodies, including the External EDI Advisory Board, Innovation, Science and Economic Development;  Governor, SSHRC Council and Executive; Member, Statistics Canada’s Immigration and Ethnocultural Advisory Committee, and Member, Scarborough Charter Inter-Institutional Advisory Committee. 

Dr. Smith is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including a Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa from Simon Fraser University (2021), a Compelling Calgarians (2021), the Susan S. Northcutt Award from the International Studies Association (2020), 100 Accomplished Black Women Honouree (2020), the Rosalind Smith Professional Award (2020), a 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellowship, the ISA-Canada Distinguished Scholar Award (2018-19), and the Equity Award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers (2015). 

Past Speaker Series Events

The Centre for Human Rights, Equity, & Inclusion (REI) Inclusion Week series ran from February 28 to March 3, 2022. It featured free talks and interactive, skills-based workshops that explored solidarity and equitable sustainability. 

Keynote (Insight Series):

The Call to Solidarity: Contingencies and Incongruities in Working Toward Justice

Solidarity has figured prominently in the wide range of responses to the many crises of recent years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing anti-Black racism, colonization, climate catastrophe, and vast economic inequality. Calls to solidarity appeal to our sense of moral duty, group cohesion, and social justice, yet such calls are usually vague about what solidarity entails and abstracted from the realities of doing social justice work. What are the meanings of solidarity, and how might solidarity figure as a framework for working toward just, caring, equitable, and sustainable futures? 

Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández’s 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. 

Who Get’s To Rest?

Labour is political, and so is rest. This panel invites speakers to engage in a thoughtful conversation about the question: “Who gets to rest?” through various critical perspectives. 

Moderator: Carolina Ruiz, Communication and Education Advisor, Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion.

Ethel Tungohan is the Canada Research Chair in Canadian Migration Policy, Impacts and Activism, and Associate Professor of Politics and Social Science at York University. She has also been appointed as a Broadbent Institute Fellow. Previously, she was the Grant Notley Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta’s Department of Political Science. She received her doctoral degree in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. 

Her research looks at migrant labor, specifically assessing migrant activism. Her forthcoming book, “From the Politics of Everyday Resistance to the Politics from Below,” which will be published by the University of Illinois Press, won the 2014 National Women’s Studies Association First Book Prize. 

Soma Chatterjee an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work (cross appointed to Interdisciplinary Studies), York University. Soma is broadly interested in migration and mobility, sovereignty and borders, and their ideological and material implications for contemporary Western nation building. She works at the disciplinary intersections of sociology (studies of nationalism and the diaspora), education (specifically, Adult and Higher Education), social work (social policy and global justice) and geography (migration & mobility studies). 

Dr. Chatterjee’s doctoral research looked at the labour market integration of skilled immigrants, and how through the practices of training and learning, a specific 'immigrant' subject distinct from Canadian 'nationals' emerged in the decades following liberalization.

Alanah Broomfield is in her fourth year with the York Lions Track and Field Team, where she is one of the captains. Aside from majoring in French Studies and obtaining a certificate in law and social thought, Alanah is the current co-president of the Black and Indigenous Varsity Student Athlete Alliance.  

Olamide Olatoye is a fifth year health studies student, specializing in health policy. She is on the York Varsity Women’s Soccer team and an 2019 OUA champion. She is now the co-president of the Black and Indigenous Varsity Student Athlete Alliance. 

Solidarity and Liberation – How do we Organize Across Difference? 

Struggles for racial justice and liberation are made possible through the efforts of organized and dedicated people who identify overlapping interests and find common causes, even when their perspectives may differ. Beyond holding a belief that a better world is possible, struggles undertaken in solidarity involve dialogue, mutual support, and the recognition of interdependence.    

This panel discussion on solidarity will include explorations of historic and current, global and local efforts toward building more equitable and caring futures. 

Sabina Chatterjee, Doctoral Student, Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, York University. Her research interests include decolonization and accountability by non-Indigenous racialized people, social justice and solidarity, and arts-based community dialogues that explore the ways in which South Asian diasporic communities are challenging anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and casteism. 

Shanese Anne Steele is a writer, activist, facilitator, and equity consultant with Shaneseanne Consulting. She is also the founder of the non-profit Aazhganan Project, where she works to educate Racialized and Indigenous peoples on their shared histories. 

Wazhmah Osman is a filmmaker, writer, and assistant professor at Temple University, Department of Media and Communications. Her research focuses on global and transnational media. She has written on how Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian (MENASA) people and African Americans can create solidarity and unified movements in the face of the US military-industrial complex and stereotypes from the media industry.  

On Tuesday, September 28, the York community is invited to attend the third speaker series event – a panel discussion about the intersection of disability and the arts. The panel will be moderated by Jenifer Papararo, Director and Curator of the Art Gallery at York University (AGYU). Panelists are:

  • Dr. Mary Bunch, Assistant Professor in Cinema and Media Arts (AMPD) and affiliated with Theatre Studies, and Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA), York University
  • Dr. Rachel da Silveira Gorman, Associate Professor & Graduate Program Director, Critical Disabilities Studies, York University
  • Dr. Eliza Chandler, Assistant Professor, School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University
  • Dr. Syrus Marcus Ware, Assistant Professor, School of the Arts, McMaster University


Event Moderator

Jenifer Papararo headshot

Jenifer Papararo

Director/Curator of the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU)

Papararo joined York University from Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art on the campus of the University of Winnipeg, where she has held the position of executive director for the past five years. At Plug In, she provided leadership for its mandate of research and education, fostering new artistic works, expanding audiences and conducting strategic planning. Her initiatives include the STAGES biennial, a public art exhibition throughout Winnipeg; the Interpreting Youth program; and several other community-based lectures, screenings and performances. Prior to her appointment at Plug In, she served as curator of the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver from 2004 to 2014. She has been engaged in the contemporary art field in a range of roles for more than 15 years as a curator, writer, institutional director, and member of the service-oriented curatorial and artist collective Instant Coffee. Throughout her positions, she has undertaken production and distribution of contemporary art, partnership building, publishing, and promotion of interdisciplinary approaches and interactions.

Papararo holds a master’s degree in art history from Western University. She is a frequent presenter and moderator for a variety of audiences in and beyond universities, and has published several exhibition-related catalogues, an anthology of collected writing and two artist book works.


Bunch Mary Headshot

Dr. Mary Bunch

Assistant Professor, PhD, Theory and Criticism, Western University

Dr. Mary Bunch is a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Vision, Disability and the Arts an Assistant Professor in Cinema and Media Arts and affiliated with Theatre Studies, and Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA). Dr. Bunch’s teaching and research interests include interdisciplinary and collaborative critical disability, feminist, queer studies and critical theory and research creation. She works at the intersection of the political imagination and its visual / sensory expressions. Her current project on Ecstatic Freedom engages theoretical, activist, and arts epistemologies as these re-envision the forms that democratic participation, political belonging and justice take. She has published articles in the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies; Feminist Theory; Culture, Theory and Critique; and the Canadian Journal of Human Rights. Dr. Bunch has taught at McGill University, the University of Toronto and Western University.

Rachel da Silveira Gorman headshot

Dr. Rachel da Silveira Gorman

Associate Professor & Graduate Program Director, Critical Disabilities Studies; PhD, University of Toronto

Dr. Rachel da Silveira Gorman is Associate Professor and Program Development Lead in Racialized Health and Disability Justice at York University, and an artist working in dance theatre, performance, and curating. Dr. Da Silveira Gorman’s research engages theory and method from fine arts, humanities, and sciences. Their writing has appeared in Auto|Biography Studies, American Quarterly, Somatechnics, thirdspace, and the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. Da Silveira Gorman has created and choreographed 14 dance-theatre and site-specific productions, ten of which have been remounted or screened at festivals. From 2007-2009 they were on the editorial committee of Fuse Magazine, and from 2009-2019, they were on the curatorial committee at A Space Gallery in Toronto, where they curated four exhibitions. Da Silveira Gorman spent the nineties working in social services and as a feminist and union organizer; and the aughties in anti-occupation organizing and in disability and queer arts scenes.


Eliza Chandler headshot

Dr. Eliza Chandler

Assistant Professor, School of Disability Studies, Ryerson

Earning her PhD in Social Justice and Education from the University of Toronto in 2014, Eliza Chandler leads a research program that centres disability arts. This research interest came into focus when, from 2014-16, she was the Artistic Director of Tangled Art + Disability, an organization in Toronto dedicated to showcasing disability arts and advancing accessible curatorial practice. Chandler is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Disability Studies in Toronto where she teaches and researches in the areas of disability arts, critical access studies, social movements, and crip necropolitics. Chandler participates in a number of research projects, including co-directing the SSHRC-funded partnership project, Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life and leading the SSHRC-funded insight development project, Accessing the Arts: Centring Disability Politics in Critical Access Design. Chandler regularly gives lectures on disability arts, accessible curatorial practices, and disability politics in Canada. She is also a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars.


Syrus Marcus Ware

Dr. Syrus Marcus Ware

Assistant Professor, School of the Arts, McMaster; Artist; Activist; Scholar

Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, a visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate and educator. For 12 years, he was the Coordinator of the Art Gallery of Ontario Youth Program. Syrus is currently a facilitator/designer for the Cultural Leaders Lab (Toronto Arts Council & The Banff Centre). He is the inaugural artist-in-residence for Daniels Spectrum (2016/2017). Syrus is also a core-team member of Black Lives Matter Toronto.

As a visual artist, Syrus works within the mediums of painting, installation and performance to challenge systemic oppression.  Syrus’ work explores the spaces between and around identities; acting as provocations to our understandings of gender, sexuality and race.   His work has been exhibited at the Toronto Biennial of Art (2019), the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Art Gallery of York University (AGYU), Gladstone Hotel, ASpace Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, SPIN Gallery and other galleries across Canada.  His work has been reproduced in FUSE Magazine, The Globe and Mail, THIS Magazine, and Blackness and Sexualities, amongst others. His work has also been included in several academic journals including Small Axe and Women and Environment International.

Syrus holds degrees in Art History, Visual Studies and a Masters in Sociology and Equity Studies, University of Toronto. Syrus is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University.


Moderator: Rebecca Pillai Riddell, Assoc. VP Research, York University

Panelists: Arig al Shaibah, Assoc. VP Equity and Inclusion, McMaster University & Wendy Therrien, Director, External Relations and Research, Universities Canada


headshot of arig
Arig al Shaibah
Wendy Therrien

Dr. Shaibah is McMaster University’s inaugural Associate Vice-President (Equity and Inclusion) and she is currently also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology.
Arig holds a Master’s in Public Administration and a PhD in Education with a focus on Cultural and Policy Studies. Arig has over 17 years of experience in higher education. Prior to joining McMaster, Arig held the roles of Vice-Provost Student Affairs and Acting Executive Director Human Rights & Equity Services at Dalhousie, and Assistant Dean Student Life and Learning at Queen’s University.
Arig oversees the Equity and Inclusion Office, which includes: the Human Rights & Dispute Resolution Program; the Sexual Violence Prevention & Response Program; and Accessibility, Equity and Inclusion Education Programs. Arig is also responsible for championing and leading the development and implementation of institution-wide strategic equity, diversity and inclusion priorities at McMaster.
Through her professional and academic work, Arig is interested in questions of how to foster critical intercultural and inclusive leadership and to mobilize campus communities towards organizational change for more equitable and inclusive academic ecosystems.

Wendy Therrien is director, external relations and research at Universities Canada, leading the government relations, international and public policy work of the association. She is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of the organization’s strategies to advance member interests in priority areas including: research and innovation; skills and talent; Indigenous education; international mobility; and equity, diversity and inclusion. Through her engagement with officials, Wendy promotes the important role Canada’s universities play in addressing the priorities of Canadians. Ms. Therrien joined Universities Canada in January 2017.
Prior to joining Universities Canada, Ms. Therrien worked at the Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Colleges and Institutes Canada and World Vision Canada. She was responsible for overseeing a team of professionals involved in diverse activities including public policy engagement and government relations.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (Political Science) from McMaster University, a Master of Arts in political science from York University and a Bachelor of Social Work from McGill University.

Date: April 22, 2021

Woman in red named Naki Osutei

Naki Osutei

Bio: Naki Osutei is the Associate Vice President, Social Impact Canada in TD's Global Corporate Citizenship team. She works to leverage the strength of TD's corporate philanthropy, colleague engagement and business to help build a more equitable tomorrow.

Date: February 25, 2021