The Catalyst Anti-racism Newsletter - Issue 14

Wednesday, July 27, 2022
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Welcome to the 14th issue of The Catalyst Anti-racism newsletter.

The Catalyst provides the University community with monthly updates from individuals and teams working across campus to counter systemic racism and oppression and highlights excellence from Black, Indigenous and other racialized groups.  

Click here to read past issues of the Catalyst.  

In this issue:

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Anti-racism across campus

Re-introducing The Curve with Dr. Taylor 

Christopher Taylor

The Curve with Christopher is a podcast series hosted by Dr. Christopher S. Taylor, associate vice-president of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-racism, which features discussions about sports and its intersections with race, history, culture, and society. 

Dr. Taylor will be re-launching “The Curve,” as a resource for starting productive exchanges on topics related to equity, diversity, inclusion, race and identity, expanding beyond just sports.  

Starting September, new episodes of the Curve will be posted monthly on the office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Anti-racism Competency and Capacity Building webpage, as a learning resource.  

Racism can take different forms and understanding this affect individuals, institutions, and systems is an important first step to dismantling racism and building a more inclusive community. The Curve aims to encourage conversation, educate and empower its listeners to act intentionally to eradicate systemic racism, bias and discrimination.  

Dr. Taylor hopes to leverage the podcast as an informal, yet useful tool for increasing engagement and knowledge sharing and providing mentorship, skills training or professional development, while building community in an innovative format.  

“Talking about racism is a necessary step towards addressing discrimination and inequities,” Dr. Taylor said. “For many individuals, particularly those who are just beginning to understand how institutional and systemic racism has affected the lives of others, these difficult conversations can be uncomfortable. The Curve acts as a learning resource for fostering meaningful and productive dialogue.”   

The Curve also provides opportunities for members of the University community to access learning resources, without having to stare at a screen, or be confined to one space.  

“For meaningful learning to occur, I believe all people must be challenged to think critically, to deconstruct their understandings of the world, and the people around them, he said. “I think The Curve is an excellent channel to assist in creating a learning space which encourages growth, while ensuring safety.” 

Dr. Taylor is grateful to past guests of The Curve, who have shared stories, experiences and perspectives. He says that although he brings a wealth of expertise to these conversations, his role in this series will be more of a guide and facilitator.  

Find recent episodes of The Curve here. 

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St. Paul’s University College announces Michaëlle Jean Scholars in International Development 

Originally published by Media Relations on June 26, 2022 

Michaëlle Jean

St. Paul’s University College at the University of Waterloo announced the creation of the Michaëlle Jean Scholars in International Development. 

 “I was sincerely moved by the announcement of the scholarship program created under my name,” said Madame Jean after the announcement. “I am very proud to be associated with a major award in support of the International Development program, which has special meaning for me.” 

Read the entire article here

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Student feature 

Inspiring the next generation of Black STEM leaders 

Originally published in the Waterloo Magazine (Spring 2022) 

Black stem scientist

Black youth have opportunities to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through a new camp called STEMpowered. 

Waterloo’s Engineering Outreach team created the camp in partnership with the Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region (CCAWR) and BrainSTEM Alliance, a network of STEM ambassadors led by award-winning social entrepreneur and engineer D’Andre Wilson-Ihejirika.

Read the entire article here.  

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 Research spotlight

Researchers and Indigenous students learn about Grand River 

Originally published on June 22, 2022, by Waterloo News  

Researchers and Indigenous students learn about Grand River

On June 15, grade nine students from Six Nations Polytechnic (SNP) and the STEAM Academy program donned their waders to join researchers Charles de Lannoy, Karen Kidd and Waterloo Biology Professor Mark Servos to conduct experiments in the Grand River. 

In its first year, this joint initiative led by McMaster University and the University of Waterloo, is a land-based experiential learning approach to science and engineering. The event is a pilot for a micro-credential course in which the students could eventually gain a McMaster University credit by the end of high school. 

Read the full article here.  

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IBET PhD Project 

Originally published by the Office of Research on June 26, 2022 


An innovative new program that provides financial support, mentorship and networking to Black and Indigenous PhD students has been chosen to represent the University of Waterloo in a federal competition for bold and potentially game-changing projects to address persistent systemic barriers in the research ecosystem and academia. 

The Indigenous Black Engineering Technology (IBET) PhD Project, led by Tizazu Mekonnen, associate professor of chemical engineering, is aimed at rapidly increasing the presence of Indigenous and Black academics in engineering and computer science across Canada. Launched only 18 months ago, the program has expanded to 15 universities across Canada with 28 Momentum Fellows in the 2021 and 2022 cohorts. 

Read the entire article here.  

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Alumni feature

Star quarterback shows why it takes more than talent to succeed  

Tre Ford

It might seem strange to talk about Tre Ford’s talent, if only because the conclusion is so evident: of course Ford (BA ’22) has talent. He’s arguably the most talented player in the history of the Warriors football program. 

The awards and accolades speak for themselves: Ford graduates this year with every school passing record and was twice named MVP of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference. Ford became the first Warrior — and first Black quarterback from any school — to claim the prestigious Hec Crighton Trophy as the most outstanding university football player in Canada. Most recently, Ford was named the top male university athlete in Canada by U Sports. 

Read the full article here. 

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Bulletin board 

The Black Alliance Internship Program 

The Ontario Public Service (OPS) is committed to building a workforce that reflects the communities it serves and to promote a diverse, anti-racist, inclusive, accessible, merit-based, respectful, and equitable workplace. 

The Black Alliance Internship Program (BAIP) is a one-year paid internship program, being piloted in 2022, that offers recent Black and Black bilingual (French-English) post-secondary graduates an opportunity to intern across a variety of professional positions within the OPS. 

Learn more here.  

Black participants needed for OA-related research  

Black OA research

Evidence exists that not only are Black people more likely to have been diagnosed with certain types of osteoarthritis, but they experience worsened pain and have greater pain-related disabilities. She believes that the absence of representation is further contributing to a narrow understanding of OA-related pain among racialized groups. 

Researchers are currently seeking out participants who self-identify as Black or White, are 40+ years of age, currently living with knee/hip pain and/or osteoarthritis in those regions. Participants will be expected to attend two virtual meetings and questionnaires can be completed online or via phone. Interested participants are encouraged to reach out to for more information. 


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