Anti-Racism: the urgency of action

Presented in partnership with the Waterloo Public Library. The Honourable Bardish Chagger and an esteemed panel of experts and activists came together for an action-oriented discussion around exploding the barriers to equity and decolonization within our organizations.

Tuesday September 1, 2020, 7:00 – 8:30pm

Online - part of the Renison University College/WPL Public Lecture Series


The honourable Bardish ChaggerThe Honourable Bardish Chagger

Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth
Member of Parliament for Waterloo

The Honourable Bardish Chagger was elected in 2015 as the Member of Parliament for Waterloo.

Minister Chagger is devoted to inclusion and community building. From assisting with recreational sports for kids to volunteering with seniors, she is committed to strengthening the bonds of the Waterloo community.

In an earlier role with the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre, Minister Chagger worked to foster diversity within the community and provide opportunities for social and economic engagement. As an executive assistant to former Member of Parliament Andrew Telegdi, she gained a deep understanding of the issues of importance to residents of Waterloo, including manufacturing, technology, and innovation.

Passionate about community involvement, Minister Chagger has lent her support to many different causes and organizations, including the Rotary Club of Waterloo, Interfaith Grand River, and the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin.

Minister Chagger considers herself part of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms generation, and has participated in policy conferences on many issues, including the advancement of same-sex marriage rights and a national manufacturing strategy.

She graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Science. In 2012, the Waterloo Region Record recognized Minister Chagger as one of “40 under 40” who would lead the Region of Waterloo into the future.

Kofi CampbellKofi Campbell

Vice-President: Academic, and Dean, Renison University College

Kofi Campbell is Vice-President: Academic, and Dean at Renison University College. His research focuses on postcolonial and medieval literatures, gender theory, and the histories of anti-black racism in the modern world. His first book, Literature and Culture in the Black Atlantic, examined the medieval histories of European colonization of Africa and the Caribbean. His second book, The Queer Caribbean Speaks, sought to give voice to those working to improve the lives of queer folk in the region, which lives exist under the constant threat of erasure.  He was co-convener of the ConversAction conference, which brought together university administrators from across the country to further anti-racism work in the Canadian higher education sector.

Jean Becker

Jean Becker

Acting AVP Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion, and Senior Director, Indigenous Initiatives, University of Waterloo

Jean Becker is Inuk and a member of the Nunatsiavut Territory of Labrador. A grandmother, Jean has lived in Ontario for forty years and has been involved in grassroots urban Indigenous community building throughout that time in Wellington and Waterloo regions. Jean is currently a member of the Mayor’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce in Kitchener and a member of the Wellbeing Waterloo Region First Nations, Metis and Inuit Advisory and Advocacy Circle. She is the Senior Director Indigenous Initiatives at the University of Waterloo. Actively involved in Indigenous ceremonies and advocacy work for Indigenous people outside of the academy locally and nationally, Jean is passionate about her work to implement decolonization in the academy.

Malinda Smith

Malinda Smith

Vice Provost, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Professor of Political Science
University of Calgary

Dr. Malinda S. Smith is the inaugural Vice Provost (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion), and a professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary. Previously, Dr, Smith was a professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta, and prior to that at Athabasca University. She is a 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow researching trailblazing Black Canadian women in higher education, law and politics.  

Dr. Smith is the coauthor of The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities (2017); editor of Globalizing Africa (2003), Beyond the ‘African Tragedy’ (2006), and Securing Africa (2010); and co-editor of States of Race: Critical Race Feminism for the 21st Century (2010) and Critical Concepts: An Introduction to Politics (2013). She is also co-editor of the forthcoming book, The Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy (forthcoming, UofT Press, 2021).  

In July 2020, Dr. Smith served as the co-chair with Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra of the City of Calgary’s hearings on systemic racism. She serves on the Canada Research Chair's Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy (ACEDIP), Statistics Canada Advisory Committee on Immigration and Ethnocultural Statistics and Working Group on the Black Communities in Canada; and the Inter-Institutional Advisory Committee: National Dialogues for Action on Inclusive Higher Education and Communities.  

Over the past years she has been recognized with numerous awards, including: the Susan S. Northcutt Award from Women’s Caucus for International Studies of the International Studies Association (2020), and the Rosalind Smith Professional Award from the National Black Coalition of Canada (2020).  University of Alberta's Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Award (2018), Ryerson University's Viola Desmond Award Honouree (2018); Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion's HSBC Community Contributor of the Year (2016); Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Equity Award (2015); 'Woman of the Year' Award from the Academic Women's Association (2011); Anti-Racism Award (Individual) from the Centre for Race and Culture of Alberta (2010); and Educator of the Year from the Black Achievement Awards Society of Alberta (1998).

Jasmin ZineJasmin Zine

Professor of Sociology and Muslim Studies
Wilfrid Laurier University 

Jasmin Zine is a Professor of Sociology and Muslim Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is author of the forthcoming book tentatively titled: Under Siege: Islamophobia and the 9/11 Generation based on a 6 year study funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. She is currently working on another SSHRC funded study mapping the Canadian Islamophobia Industry. She has given numerous invited talks and keynotes at conferences and forums in Istanbul, Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, Cordoba, Cuba, Nairobi and Uppsala as well as in Pakistan and across the U.S. She is a faculty member in Critical Muslim Studies Institute on Decolonial Struggles and Liberation Theologies in Granada, Spain.  She has worked as a consultant with the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (ODHIR/OSCE), the Council of Europe (COE), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on guidelines for educators and policy-makers on combating Islamophobia.  

In Canada, Zine served as the co-chair of the Islamophobia sub-committee of the Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate and has testified at the Canadian Heritage Parliamentary sub-committee meetings on Motion 103 addressing Islamophobia, systemic racism and religious discrimination as well as the Parliamentary Hearings on On-Line Hate. ​She is also a sought after media commentator on Islamophobia, Racism, and Muslims in Canada. Dr. Zine is an affiliated faculty member with the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project (IRDP) at the University of California, Berkeley and serves on the editorial board of the Critical Muslim Studies journal Re-Orient.

Ethan CandlerEthan Candler

Alumni, University of Waterloo
Previous Advocacy Director and Coordinator of RAISE
Student Chair of ConversAction: Race Matters conference

Ethan Candler is an alumni of the University of Waterloo who has been intimately involved in anti-racism organizing and advocacy throughout his degree. As the previous Advocacy Director and Coordinator of RAISE, UW’s first and only racialized student service run by the student association, he’s been involved with numerous on and off-campus projects focusing on racial justice, anti-poverty, and 2sLGBTQ+ issues. He was the Student Chair of ConversAction: Race Matters, a national conference that aimed to develop a national anti-racism task force for post-secondary institutions, and then served as the Anti-Racism Task Force Coordinator with Renison University College. He is now pursuing medicine at the University of Alberta and hopes to continue his advocacy work in the realm of migrant health, harm reduction, decolonial education, and BIPOC communities.

Please Note: Ethan Candler was unable to attend due to a family emergency.