Sankofa Think Tank

The Office of the Associate Vice-President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-racism is launching the Sankofa Think Tank, a new initiative centered on community building for Black folks from across the University of Waterloo as part of our commitment to the Scarborough Charter (an action plan focused on Anti-Black racism in higher learning institutions).

The purpose of the Sankofa Think Tank is to provide Black Waterloo community members who are interested and committed to re-dressing Anti-Black racism an opportunity to build better mechanisms for community building and outreach to our broader Black communities.

Led by co-chairs, Dr. Christopher Taylor and Jennisha Wilson, the key focus of the Think Tank in 2023 will be planning and executing the Scarborough Charter Inter-Institutional Forum next summer (2024) in partnership with Wilfrid Laurier. The Forum is a nation-wide conference with more than 50 universities and colleges attendees that will engage with experts, thought leaders and directors to address anti-Black racism and promote Black flourishing in academia. Participating members of the Sankofa Think Tank will be asked to take part in the planning committee in collaboration with folks from Wilfrid Laurier.

Outside the planning of the forum, the general principles of the think tank are:

  • Decentralized collectivity: Hub for Black university stakeholders from all levels of governance, from administration to students as well as members of the larger Waterloo region community
  • Praxis: Action oriented by engaging with Black communities on and off campus and work to uphold actions of the Scarborough Charter
  • Advancement: collecting and sharing information about career and funding opportunities to racialized communities who may not be aware of them.


Constituency Position Name
Co-Chairs Associate Vice-President, Office of Equity,
Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism
Dr. Christopher Taylor

Director, Anti-racism, Office of Equity,
Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism

Jennisha Wilson
Director, Inclusive Communication, University Relations Tracelyn Cornelius
Faculty & Staff Senior Director, Institutional & Strategic Priorities, Office of Equity,
Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism
Dr. Anita Taylor
Associate Director, Anti-racism Policy & Program, Office of Equity,
Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism
Lauren Burrows
Associate Professor, Fine Arts Jessica Thompson
Assistant Professor, Chemistry Dr. Conrad Giresse Tetassi Feugmo
Assistant Professor, Systems Design Engineering Rodrigo Costa
Career Advisor, Centre for Career Action Eden Mekonen
Media Relations Manager, University Relations Ryon Jones
Undergraduate Academic & Administrative Officer, Peace & Conflict Studies Ndagire Brendah
Postdoctoral Fellow, Electrical & Computer Engineering Dr. Jean Belo Klamti
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pharmacy Dr. Moses Tetui
Lecturer, Communication & Black Studies Lionnell (Badu) Smith
Definite Term Lecturer, Accounting & Finance Miguel King
Manager of Data Analytics & Reporting, Institutional Analysis & Planning Iannois Carroll-Woolery
Associate Director EDI, Library Jermal Jones
Undergraduate Students Arts Undergraduate Student Isaiah Marcus
Legal Studies, Peace & Conflict Studies Undergraduate Student Yasmin Wallace
Undergraduate Student Tray Stay
Undergraduate Student Emelia Assigbey
Undergraduate Student Mary Oladejo
Undergraduate Student Jane-Frances Ugbelase
Undergraduate Student Darren Harry Blaine
Undergraduate Student Celine Isimbi
External Community Congress of Black Women, Waterloo Region Marcia Smellie
Administration Manager of Community Engagement, Office of Equity,
Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism
Ola Idris Ali
Administrative Officer, Office of Equity,
Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism
Madisson McKellar

Meeting Dates

Date Time
Thursday, August 24, 2023 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 21, 2023 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 19, 2023 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 23, 2023 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 21, 2023 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Agendas & Minutes