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

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

A new speaker series organized by the President’s Advisory Council on EDI and hosted by the VP Equity, People and Culture, Dr. Sheila Cote-Meek. The President’s Advisory Council on EDI is developing an institutional EDI Strategy, informed by speakers, research, practice, and community consultation.

These events are designed to inspire community members to action, to provoke thought and conversation across the York community about issues related to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Featured Speakers:

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.


Past Speaker Series Events

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