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2021 Black History Symposium: Honoring the Diversity of Black Leaders and Agents of Change

February 8, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join us at the 2021 Black History Symposium as we explore anti-Black racism activism in diverse spaces and the role of post-secondary environments in transforming anti-Black racism advocacy.

Download the event agenda for a full overview of the 2021 Black History Symposium [PDF]

With Opening Remarks by:

Dr. Njoki Wane

Professor & Chair, Department of Social Justice Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education,
Co-Chair, Anti-Black Racism Taskforce

Dean Dexter Voisin

Co-Chair, Anti-Black Racism Taskforce,
Dean & Professor, Factor-Interwash Faculty of Social Work

Keynote and Q&A


Dahabo Ahmed Omer, Executive Director of the Black North Initiative

Dahabo Ahmed Omer, Executive Director of the Black North Initiative

Ms. Ahmed Omer has accumulated a wealth of experience and accomplishments in the performance measurement, policy development, HR planning analysis and employment equity and diversity sectors. She was recently appointed as the Executive Director of the Black North Initiative. In her previous role, Ms. Ahmed was the Human Resources Specialist within the Public Sector and primarily responsible for the Visible Minority Advisory Steering Committee of the Agency and working in the agency-wide Employment Equity Action Plan and Anti-Racism Strategy. Among the many other organizations of which she has been a part of, Ms. Ahmed is a founding member of the Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, which advocates securing justice for the late Abdirahman Abdi and his family. Ms. Ahmed is also the Chair of the Federation of Black Canadians, which is a national non-profit organization that is driven by Black organizations across Canada, which advances the social, economic and cultural interests of Canadians of African descent. Ms. Ahmed has been the recipient of notable awards over the years including the exceptional service within the Federal Public Service, the Canada150 Community Builder Award, The Hope Academy community contribution award, the Ottawa Black History Community Leadership Award and most recently the top 100 under 40 Most Influential Person of African descent in support of United Nations decade.

Njoki Kamau

Following the keynote address, Ms. Ahmed-Omer will engage in Q & A moderated by Njoki Kamau.

Njoki Kamau is a 4th year Political Science Specialist and African Studies Major, with a focus in Comparative African Politics and Indigenous relations. Njoki advocates for the safety, protection and rights of over 2500 Black undergraduate students at the University of Toronto as the President of the Black Students’ Association. Njoki is pursuing research on the political and social effects of COVID-19 on Black Communities in the Greater Toronto Area and hopes to continue this research in Graduate School.

Panel Discussion: Pathways and Initiatives – Reinventing Anti-Black Racism Activism


  • To provide a space for Black leaders from our community to share the lessons they have learned in being agents of change in the anti-Black racism movement.
  • To share any strategies, resources, and tools to advance our understanding and engagement with anti-Black racism activism.
  • To deepen the exploration of anti-Black racism activism in diverse spaces and understand the role of post-secondary environments in transforming anti-Black racism advocacy.

Registration closed

Format: Keynote followed by a panel discussion with community leaders and agents of change.

Platform: Virtual – Zoom

Audience: Free of cost to students, staff, faculty, and external community

If you require accommodation, please email Saimah Baig and we will work with you to make appropriate arrangements. Live captioning will be available to all participants during the session.

For any other inquiries about this event, please contact Natasha Prashad.


Black History Month 2021
Viola Desmond

Viola Irene Desmond was a businesswomen and activist who challenged racial segregation in Nova Scotia in 1946.

View details from last year’s event


Cam Litchmore, Moderator

EDI Coordinator, Equity Diversity and Inclusion Office,
University of Toronto Scarborough

Biko Beauttah, Panelist

Trans Workforce


Stachen Frederick, Panelist

Executive Director,
Weston Frontlines Centre

Paul Taylor, Panelist

Executive Director,
FoodShare Toronto

Download all Panelists’ biographies



February 8, 2021
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category: