Clayton Shirt is a Father, Husband and Knowledge Keeper. He is from the Wolf Clan of Saddle Lake Alberta, Treaty 6. Since 2017 Clayton is supporting spiritual, emotional, personal and knowledge journeys of students and health researchers at the Waakebiness-Bryce, Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Clay also offers traditional knowledge available to Indigenous community members. He had been working as a Knowledge Keeper for more than 15+ years in the Native and multi-cultural community in Canada. He was taught in the old way, working for many years with the guidance of a number of First Nation Elders in Canada and the USA, and was taught to do traditional ceremonies, teachings, circles, one to one work and to help all people to “walk in a good way” though life.
Clayton Shirt is speaking in the “Opening, Remarks & Keynote” session on Day 1: Thursday, November 12, 2020 and the “Remarks and Traditional Closing” session on Day 3: Saturday, November 14, 2020.
Dr. Roberta Timothy
Dr. Roberta Timothy is an Assistant Professor in the Teaching Stream, and is the new Director of Health Promotion at Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and an Adjunct Professor in Critical Disability studies at York University. Specializing in the areas of intersectionality and ethics in health work; health and race; art-based methodologies ; transnational Indigenous health; and anti-oppression/anti-colonial approaches to mental health. Dr. Timothy has worked for over 30 years in community health working on resisting anti-Black racism and intersectional violence strategies. Dr. Timothy is also co-founder and consultant at Continuing Healing Consultants where she implements and teaches her intersectional mental health model “Anti-Oppression Psychotherapy”. She is an interdisciplinary scholar, health practitioner, and political scientist who examines global health and ethics from a critical trauma-informed decolonizing framework. She has been living with disabilities for over 25 years.
Dr. Roberta Timothy is speaking in the “Opening, Remarks & Keynote” session on Day 1: Thursday, November 12, 2020.
Maya Menezes is a migrant and climate justice organizer from Tkaronto, currently living on unceded and unsurrendered territories in Mi’kma’ki, K’jipuktuk, so-called Halifax. For years she organized with No One Is Illegal- Toronto fostering coalitions and camaraderie between climate organizing and status for all. She was a climate justice intervenor at the UNFCCC COP22 Marrakech and COP24 Katowice and was an advocate for the Pact for a Green New Deal Canada. She is a supporting comrade in the drafting of the in-process Global Green New Deal and the current Program Director at The Leap, directing both Canadian and US programmatic work. She believes in abolishing prisons, borders and the police.
Maya Menezes is speaking in the “Keynote” session on Day 3: Saturday, November 14, 2020.
Albert McLeod is a Status Indian with ancestry from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and the Metis community of Norway House in northern Manitoba. He has over thirty years of experience as a human rights activist and is one of the directors of the Two-Spirited People of Manitoba. Albert began his Two-Spirit advocacy in Winnipeg in 1986 and became an HIV/AIDS activist in 1987. He was the director of the Manitoba Aboriginal AIDS Task Force from 1991 to 2001. In 2018, Albert received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Winnipeg. Albert lives in Winnipeg, where he works as a consultant specializing in Indigenous peoples, cultural reclamation, and cross-cultural training. Email: www.albertmcleod.com
Albert McLeod is speaking in the “Lessons Learned: How Our Responses to Public Health Emergencies Inform Our Current Realities” session on Day 2: Friday, November 13, 2020.
Dr. Michaela Beder
Dr. Michaela Beder is a psychiatrist in Toronto. Her work is focused on improving the system for, and providing care to, people who experience severe mental illness, homelessness, substance use, criminalization, and immigration related difficulties. She is the Mental Health Lead for Inner City Health Associates, the Social Justice Postgraduate Education Lead for the Department of Psychiatry, an ACT team psychiatrist at St. Michael’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. Dr. Beder is also a community organizer working together with allies at Health Providers Against Poverty and the OHIP for All Campaign, and on issues of immigration detention.
Dr. Michaela Beder is speaking in the “Lessons Learned: How Our Responses to Public Health Emergencies Inform Our Current Realities” session on Day 2: Friday, November 13, 2020.
Dr. Jeanette Bowles
Dr. Jeanette Bowles is a postdoctoral fellow with the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation located in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital. She is a longtime harm reduction advocate, researcher, and frontline practitioner; with work and collective experience in Philadelphia, Puerto Rico, San Diego, and now Toronto, where she is working on a number of studies, including an evaluation of safer opioid supply programs. She is also an active board member of Project SAFE, a harm reduction collective in Philadelphia that engages in mutual aid for women, queer, and transgender individuals involved in street economies, particularly drug use and sex work. Overall, her work involves applying theoretical lenses to conceptualize upstream and downstream factors that produce harms associated with drug use, particularly examining how stigma has created an environment that exacerbates harms onto people who use drugs.
Dr. Jeanette Bowles is speaking in the “Lessons Learned: How Our Responses to Public Health Emergencies Inform Our Current Realities” session on Day 2: Friday, November 13, 2020.
Vass Bednar (@VassB) is a public policy solo-preneur working at the intersection of technology and public policy. She is an interdisciplinary wonk focussed on ensuring that we have the regulatory structures we need to embrace the future of work and new ways of living. As an enthusiastic and perpetual student of the policymaking process, she has held leadership roles at Delphia, Airbnb, Queen’s Park, the City of Toronto, and University of Toronto. Vass is recognized as a creative, data-driven thinker and was the Chair of the federal government’s Expert Panel on Youth Employment. A graduate of McMaster University’s Arts & Science Program, Vass holds her Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Toronto and successfully completed Action Canada and Civic Action DiverseCity Fellowships. Passionate about public dialogue, she was also the co-host of “Detangled,” a weekly pop-culture and public policy radio show and podcast that ran from 2016-2018. She currently writes a newsletter about Canadian startups and public policy called “regs to riches” and was recently recognized as an outstanding alum with a McMaster “Arch” award.
Vass Bednar is speaking in the “The Politics of Data” session on Day 3: Saturday, November 14, 2020.
Dr. Angela Mashford-Pringle
Dr. Angela Mashford-Pringle is an Algonquin (Timiskaming First Nation) Assistant Professor and the Associate Director at the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She is the Program Director for the MPH in Indigenous Health and the Collaborative Specialization in Indigenous Health. She works with Indigenous communities in urban and rural settings with issues related to Indigenous health including culture and cultural safety, language, land-based learning, climate action and policy analysis and development.
Dr. Angela Mashford-Pringle is speaking in the “The Politics of Data” session on Day 3: Saturday, November 14, 2020.
Dr. Akwatu Khenti
Akwatu Khenti* is a scientist in CAMH’s Institute for Mental Health Policy Research and an Assistant Professor with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. He has a specialist degree in economics and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Toronto, and he is completing a PhD in health policy and equity at York University. He is involved in a wide variety of international initiatives on mental illness including addictions in primary care. He previously led CAMH’s development of a specialized drug treatment and prevention program for Black youth in Toronto, called the Substance Abuse Program for African and Caribbean Youth (SAPACCY).
He is a recipient of the Harry Jerome Award for Professional Excellence, the Ethno-Racial Education Initiatives Award from the Department of Public Health Science at the University of Toronto, the Educational Excellence for Community Health Care award for excellence in teaching from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, the William P. Hubbard Award from the City of Toronto for “pioneering work in community development, human rights and promotion of the African-Canadian heritage,” and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for innovative use of culture in substance abuse programming.
Dr. Akwatu Khenti is speaking in the “The Politics of Data” session on Day 3: Saturday, November 14, 2020.
*Biography from CAMH. Learn more about Dr. Akwatu Khenti here.
Fatah Awil is passionate about health, education, and employment equity and is dedicated to broadening his knowledge in the field of public and health policy. Fatah recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Epidemiology from McMaster University and is currently completing a Master’s in Public Policy and Management from the University of York. His work with the University of Toronto’s Health Systems Performance Network on innovative improvements to healthcare in Ontario expanded his understanding of healthcare as a tool for empowerment. In the Spring of 2019, Fatah was a youth fellow working in the Office of Councillor & Chair of the Board of Health Joe Cressy on health policy issues ranging from vaccine hesitancy to public health funding, building skills necessary to effectively advocate for marginalized communities. Currently, Fatah is a program coordinator with the Urban Alliance on Race Relations where he manages and oversees the development of the Diversity Youth Fellowship Program at City Hall in hopes of building the next civic leaders and decisionmakers.
Fatah Awil is speaking in the “The Politics of Data” session on Day 3: Saturday, November 14, 2020.
Carolina Jimenez is a community organizer with a passion for racial justice and health equity. She’s a registered nurse, public health professional and the coordinator of the Decent Work and Health Network.
Carolina Jimenez is speaking in the “Building a ‘Just Recovery’ from COVID-19” session on Day 3: Saturday, November 14, 2020.
Seán Kinsella (pronouns: they/he) is a crip two-spirit/queer/aayahkwew Plains/Woods/James Bay Cree/Saulteaux (ê-akimiht nêhiyaw/otipemisiwak/Nakawé/Irish) born in Tkaronto. Seán is Centennial’s first Director, the Eighth Fire and works with the Place of Reconciliation for All Our Relations to support the implementation of Centennial’s Indigenous Strategic Framework and the success and wellbeing of Indigenous students, employees and alumni more broadly. Seán is also a published author and poet and has won awards on Indigenous inclusion and equity work in Post-Secondary education.
Seán Kinsella is speaking in the “Building a ‘Just Recovery’ from COVID-19” session on Day 3: Saturday, November 14, 2020.
Rabia Khedr is dedicated to equity and justice for persons with disabilities, women and diverse communities. A member of the Board of Directors of Accessibility Standards Canada, Ms. Khedr previously served as a Commissioner for the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Rabia co-chairs the Canadian-Muslim Covid Task Force and is a part of the Covid Disability Advisory Group to Minister Qualtrough. She is the Chief Executive Officer of DEEN Support Services and Executive Director of the Muslim Council of Peel.
A founder of the Canadian Alliance on Race and Disability (CARD), Ms Khedr is also a member of the Mississauga Accessibility Advisory Committee and a board member of the Federation of Muslim Women. She has received numerous awards for her humanitarian services, including a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Metal. A motivational speaker and a documentary commentator, Ms. Khedr has campaigned in municipal elections to serve as a city councillor in Mississauga. Ms. Khedr holds a Bachelor of Arts (University of Toronto) and a Master of Arts (York University).
Twitter: @RabiaKhedr and Facebook: facebook.com/rabiaskhedr
Rabia Khedr is speaking in the “Building a ‘Just Recovery’ from COVID-19” session on Day 3: Saturday, November 14, 2020.
Thilaxcy Yohathasan is a Tamil-settler 2nd year student in the Master of Public Health in Indigenous Health with a collaborative specialization in Public Health Policy at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Her interests include work rooted in anti-colonialism in subject areas including Indigenous health, health data, law, and public policy. Thilaxcy is also a co-founder of www.translations4ournations.com, a space for COVID-19 precautionary documents that have been translated into various global Indigenous languages by Indigenous translators.
Thilaxcy Yohathasan is moderating the “Opening, Remarks & Keynote” session on Day 1: Thursday, November 12, 2020.
Ronaz Remtulla completed her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Guelph and is in her first year of the Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology program at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include Indigenous health and health equity. Along with research, she thoroughly enjoys volunteering and being an active member of her community. Some of her volunteer activities include being the co-Director of the Events subcommittee for the Infection Disease Working Group, helping mentor at risk youth through the organization Youth Assisting Youth and acting as an epidemiology stream representative for the Public Health Students Association.
Ronaz Remtulla is co-moderating the “Lessons Learned: How Our Responses to Public Health Emergencies Inform Our Current Realities” session on Day 2: Friday, November 13, 2020.
Kiera Murison is a first year Master’s of Public Health student specializing in Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She did her undergraduate degree at Queen’s in Life Sciences. She is the co-director of events for the Infectious Diseases Working Group.
Kiera Murison is co-moderating the “Lessons Learned: How Our Responses to Public Health Emergencies Inform Our Current Realities” session on Day 2: Friday, November 13, 2020.
Victoria Haldane is a 3rd year PhD Candidate at the Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation with a Collaborative Specialization in Global Health at DLSPH. She is a founding member and Co-President of Emerging Leaders for Environmental Sustainability in Healthcare (ELESH), intern at the Centre for Sustainable Health Systems and Planetary Health Alliance Campus Ambassador. Her research interests include implementation science, health systems resilience and making our health systems better for people and the planet.
Victoria Haldane is moderating the “Keynote” session on Day 3: Saturday, November 14, 2020.
Kahiye Warsame is a Somali-Canadian, public health professional and health equity advocate. He holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Toronto and is currently working at St. Michael’s Hospital’s MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, evaluating the effects of COVID-19 responses on marginalized communities. He serves as an affiliate member of the Black Public Health Collective, a group committed to Black freedom and justice through Black resistance. In addition to his work at MAP, he is a researcher in the Social Epidemiology Research Group. His work focuses on conceptualizing and measuring societal conditions that produce population health disparities.
Kahiye Warsame is moderating the “The Politics of Data” session on Day 3: Saturday, November 14, 2020.
Dorothy Apedaile is an MPH epidemiology student with an undergraduate degree in mathematics. She is interested in how we can use data to reduce health and social inequalities through relevant and accessible research that is grounded in community needs. She has conducted research on healthcare policy, workplace violence, and educational attainment. Before grad school, she worked in sexual health education and sexual assault prevention and response.
Dorothy Apedaile is moderating the “Building a ‘Just Recovery’ from COVID-19” session on Day 3: Saturday, November 14, 2020.
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