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Session 1.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 
6:00 - 8:00 PM EST

Policing ecologies:
Lessons from the plantations

Speakers: Dr. Camisha Sibblis, Dr. Beverly Bain, Dr. El Jones

This panel explores the interconnections of colonialism at the intersection of policing and public life as they impact the lives of Afro-Indigenous, Black and Indigenous women and non-binary people. The focus of this panel is looking at the continuum and contemporary iterations of policing and colonial logics as they manifest in increasingly disrupted and imbalanced power structures.

Dr. Camisha Sibblis          University of Toronto

Absenting Black Women’s (social) Work Expulsion Programs as Colonizing Spaces of Exception

The field of Social Work has undergone several transmogrifications, beginning with white women’s charity and continuing to become a (pseudo) profession and academic discipline ostensibly concerned with social justice and the redistribution of power. Throughout and despite these shifts in ideology over time, social work has held steadfast to its raced and racist, classed and classist, deeply gendered roots. More recently, the bid to be a respected contender in the arenas of traditionally recognized professions such as law, medicine, and education, has social work desperately betraying the values it espouses to become legible and relevant to its counterparts. Not withstanding, the field remains at the bottom of the professional hierarchy, lacking both respect and prestige, because of its feminization, relative novelty, humanitarian ethos, and its hypocritical relationship with/denouncement of capitalism. This talk contributes to the panel by illustrating what happens to Black women social workers who labour in other fields, by centering the events leading to, and following the social work authoring of the Sibblis/Morris (Impact of Race and Culture Assessment) report for the criminal courts.


Dr. Beverly Bain          Assistant Professor, Historical Studies - Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

The Unbearable Heaviness of Police Surveillance and Brutality Against Black Feminist Activists In Canada. Then and Now!

The past year and a half were marked by a Black reckoning following the police killings of George Floyd and D’Andre Campbell and the suspicious death of Regis Korchinsky Paquet in the presence of police here in Canada. Black Radical Queer Feminists in this city who organized in support of justice for Korshinsky Paquet and who provided mutual support for the unhoused in encampments were heavily surveilled, brutally beaten, and arrested by police.

Dr. El Jones          Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies, Mount St. Vincent University

Title to be Announced

More information to announced.

Session 2.
OCTOBER 20, 2022 
6:00 - 8:00 PM EST

Understanding Black women and non-binary people’s lives today

Speakers: Dr. Treisha Hylton, Dr. Lahoma Thomas, Black Deaf Canada Research Team (Dr. Jenelle Rouse, Amelia Palmer, and Amy Parsons)

Dr. Treisha Hylton          Assistant Professor, School of Child and Youth Care

The Contested Academy: African Canadian Women’s Experiences as Tenured, Tenure Stream and Non-Tenured Faculty

The lives of Black women are emanated across multiple institutions. Using the university as an entry point, this paper discusses and takes up the continuities of Black women's lives from the hood to hallways. Drawing on African Canadian feminist theorizing, and anti-colonial theory, I will exploring the ways in which Black women's lives are consistently tethered to policing and surveillance through institutional processes. Specifically, I will discuss how Black women professors negotiate policing, surveillance, and gender-based violence in the academy while dealing with the demands and pressures of hypervisibility in a time of increased attention towards Black lives through policies of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

                                        Black Deaf Canada Research Team Co-presenters:

                                        Dr. Jenelle Rouse          Western University / George Brown College

                                        Amelia Palmer             Gallaudet University

                                        Amy Parsons               Western Oregon University

                                        The Surveillance of Black Deaf Women and Non-Binary People

This presentation will detail Black Deaf women’s experiences and experiences of state and educational surveillance at the intersection of gender, Blackness, and Deafness. Other than Black Deaf Canadian author: Evelyne Gounetenzi’s (2015) published report Multiculturalism and the Deaf, there is a great narrative disparity of the Black Deaf Canadians relating to attitudinal semantics of “inclusion” in any contexts. Through a historical and contemporary lens, this panel explores the history and legacy of Black Deaf education in Canada and adjacent policies, practices and disconnection. Uniquely, this talk is a group presentation by three members of the established Black Deaf Canada research group to share and relate their distinct geographic, cultural, and scholarly knowledge.

There is a long history of Black women and non-binary people’s lives being left out of historical and political realities in Canada while, at the same time, such lives are actively surveilled by the state, its actors, and designates. This panel seeks to look at the expansive and wide-ranging experiences of Black women and non-binary people that preceed the current conditions of surveillance in Canada. Deaf researchers from Black Deaf Canada will share critical expertise and histories on the ways in which Black Deaf women and non-binary people, for example, experience policing and imposed state, medical, and educational surveillance. 

Session 3. 
NOVEMBER 17, 2022 
6:00 - 8:00 PM EST

Race Medicine, Algorithms 
and Artificial Intelligence

This panel focuses on the experience of Black women and non-binary people at the intersection of emerging trends in artificial intelligence, specifically taking up issues in facial recognition algorithms, individually-targeted health and risk-based AI, decreasing privacy, and potential technological backlash.

LLana James          PhD Candidate, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Racism’s trojan horse: race-based data, health care, and risks to Black and racialized populations

Demands for race-based data in the healthcare system facilitate rather than inhibit race-medicine being practiced in Canada. Race-based data are not inherently compatible with ‘equity,’ and self-determination, and are unlikely to align with authentic efforts to end structural anti-Black racism. Data collection involves opportunities for both profit and recognition at different scales. For example, electronic medical record companies sell personal health data that belongs to the patient on the open market; insurance companies may use algorithms derived from race-based data to hike rates, or deny claims; while police departments in Canada have used healthcare data both for surveillance purposes and seemingly for their own personal amusement. I argue that while health care decision-makers may not be aware of all the implications of these contracts, they are responsible for the ethical, privacy, and legal consequences.

Dr. Idil Abdillahi          Assistant Professor of Disability Studies and Social Work, Ryerson University 

Pathology and System platforms: algorithms of anti-blackness

Based on results from an empirical study conducted with 20 Black women in Toronto Canada, this talk brings forward the experiences and reflections of Black women who are entangled with, and impacted by, healthcare-based algorithms in and outside of healthcare settings. This talk focuses on the ways in which visits to the emergency room, particularly for mental-health-related reasons, is often related to police services calls. Even though, in the Ontario Mental Health Act, a police apprehension does not correlate to inherent risk or increased danger to those around them, I draw attention to the ways in which healthcare algorithms mark these women as higher risk due to the frequency of visits to emergency rooms coupled with police apprehension. 

Dr. Ijeoma Opara          Affiliation: Pending

Presentation: Information to come.

Jackie Girgas          Affiliation: Pending

Presentation: Information to come.

Session 4. 
DECEMBER 15, 2022 
6:00 - 8:00 PM EST

Transnational geographies:
gendered violence and the movement of Black women
and non-binary peoples

Speakers: Arij Elmi, amber williams-king, and Mubeenah Mughal

This panel centres the intersections of disability, anti-Muslim gendered surveillance, and anti-Blackness globally and locally. Focusing on the increased prevalence of anti-Muslim violence and state legislation against Black women and non-binary people (for example, the hijab ban in Quebec), speakers will interrupt the dominant framing of disabled, Muslim and Black subjects. This brings into focus the possibilities of critical Muslim Studies and the cartographies of catastrophe and transnational migration.

Arij Elmi          CLA, School of Social Work, McMaster University

Theorizing Violence and Subjection from a Position of Blackness

Info to be announced.

amber williams-king          PhD Candidate, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

When Palm Trees Break: the Fractured Horizons of Black Caribbean World-Making in the Midst of Crisis

For communities pressed to the margins of society and the globe, particularly those of Black women and non-binary people who are poor, racialized or of the Global South, ecological crisis is not some unimaginable elsewhere but rather an omnipresent, pervasive reality. In the Caribbean basin, the increasingly powerful storms brewing in the warming waters of the Atlantic decimate various parts of the region yearly; volcanic activity darkens the sky and earth; landslides reconfigure geographies; drought and pestilence breed scarcity; and now pandemic wreaks havoc in spectacular fashion. My artistic and scholarly presentation explores the space that crisis takes up in the social and political imagination, and how these imaginings frame the Black woman and non-binary migrant or perceived ‘foreign’ subject (i.e. Black Caribbean, African, and Muslim Canadian). Using found images and text, I discuss the ways artistic traditions may be used to ‘fracture’ this presumed coherency by offering new ways of imaging and imagining Black women and non-binary people.


Mubeenah Mughal          Affiliation: Pending

Presentation: Information to come.

Session 5. 
JANUARY 19, 2023 
6:00 - 8:00 PM EST

Disabled, Queer Re-mixing: Radical responses to surveillance
in education

Speakers: Dr. Ciann Wilson, Tanitiã Munroe, Yasmine Simone Gray

This panel focuses on responses by Disabled, queer, and trans Black people to increased surveillance and the role of Big Data in education and healthcare, specifically as it impacts and intersects with AI and issues of privacy and access. Disabled and queer Black people have always found ways of surviving and resisting violent systems, this panel will offer some current research and interventions that create liveable ways of being for disabled and queer people within the education and healthcare sectors.

Dr. Ciann Wilson          Associate Professor, Community Psychology, Wilfred Laurier

The Impact of the Criminalization of HIV Non-Disclosure on the Health and Human Rights of Black Queer People.

Wilson will reflect on her 15 years of engaging in sexual health and HIV research with Black communities. A particular focus will explore the intersectional realities of, and challenges faced by Black youth and queer communities. Further, the increasingly privatized health care system, fiscal conservatism, and health data as capital currency that contextualizes the realities of Black health and death will also be explored. 

Tanitiã Munroe          PhD Candidate at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

Understanding Queer and Trans Young Black Women Activisms

As a researcher with the Toronto District School Board, I explore how institutions, such as school boards, can gather and deploy student data ‘ethically’. More specifically, what tensions and contradictions must be considered within research, from an anti-Black racism perspective, in order to examine the barriers Black women and non-binary queer people have in education. This presentation draws on critical anti-Black racism advocacy done by and with Black queer youth in Ontario K-12 education spaces. I argue that these youth-led advocacies and activisms offer important insights towards novel methods of understanding and handling student data in educational spaces.  

Yasmine Simone Gray         Toronto Metropolitan University

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