The 2015 U of T International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Campaign Award Recipients
“Learning from Historical Tragedies to Combat Racial Discrimination Today”
DEPARTMENT OF STUDENT LIFE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SCARBOROUGH
Liza Arnason is the Director of the Department of Student Life at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Liza has made the campus more aware and conscious of anti-racism, equity and anti-oppression. Through Liza‘s tireless efforts, UTSC has its first Aboriginal Elder in Residence and Indigenous programming on campus is flourishing. Liza is a driving support behind the IMANI Academic Mentorship Program which connects Black middle school and high school students to UTSC students helping to demystify post-secondary education. Liza‘s leadership has also introduced multi-faith initiatives and strengthened support for international, new immigrant, and first generation students. Students and staff see Liza as a mentor who inspires them to be committed in advancing an anti-oppression framework and eliminating barriers in the University community.
Liza Arnason advances anti-racism by…promoting cultural development, challenging oppression, celebrating diversity as strength, and creating opportunities for marginalized students. Liza is a mentor, advocate, and fierce asset to the University community.
LA TOYA DENNIE
OFFICE OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS, STUDENT AFFAIRS
FACULTY OF MEDICINE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
La Toya Dennie is the Outreach Coordinator for the Office of Health Professions, Student Affairs at the Faculty of Medicine. La Toya proactively outreaches to over 300 students and parents, annually, in underserved communities across the GTA helping to change perceptions of U of T‘s accessibility for students from marginalized communities. Due to La Toya‘s work, applications have increased three-fold for such faculty programs as the Summer Mentorship Program (SMP); a program defined to provide career guidance through experiential learning for the most underrepresented students in the health sciences (Black and Indigenous young people and students facing financial barriers). La Toya has further shown leadership in anti-racism work by organizing U of T student visits to schools in marginalized communities, where students gain a greater understanding of the complex challenges facing racialized communities. La Toya passionately demonstrates her commitment to developing more socially responsible students and creating a more inclusive environment for current and future members of the U of T community.
La Toya Dennie advances anti-racism by…identifying systemic barriers and being relentless in her pursuit for change.
CO-CURRICULAR DIVERSITY AND EQUITY
FACULTY OF KINESIOLOGY AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
Photo credit: Arnold Lan
Susan Lee is the Assistant Manager, Co-Curricular Diversity & Equity at the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. Susan has done an array of work to support inclusion and equity across the University. Susan‘s leadership has been instrumental in advancing Aboriginal outreach initiatives and cultural awareness training in the faculty. In particular, she supports The Equity Movement team of students, committed to designing, delivering, and evaluating initiatives that tackle equity in relation to co-curricular physical activity, health and sport opportunities. Susan has led equity training and development initiatives with students that help them carefully consider issues of race, creed and culture as it pertains to their health and well-being and their access in the sport context.
Susan Lee advances anti-racism by…examining identity, empowering students to address racial oppression, and advancing advocacy and programming around the intersections of race, indigeneity, gender, sexuality, and religion.
KATHY VI MAC
STUDENT, MA CANDIDATE
SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATION,
ONTARIO INSTITUTE FOR STUDIES IN EDUCATION (OISE)
STUDENT-STAFF, SEXUAL & GENDER DIVERSITY OFFICE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
Kathy Vi Mac is a MA Candidate in the Social Justice Education department at OISE. Kathy also works as student-staff in the Sexual & Gender Diversity Office. Kathy‘s approach to anti-racism is intentional and intersectional, connecting race and racism to experiences of sexuality, gender, language, migration and indigeneity. Kathy‘s most notable contribution is organizing and facilitating of the monthly Queer Students of Colour discussion group, through her work with the Sexual & Gender Diversity Office. The group forges new spaces for student engagement, exploring how racism, exclusion and alienation within mainstream LGBTQ communities affects people of colour. Kathy has also demonstrated her leadership in other programs such as Q21: A Conversation Café, Lead with Pride and Queer Women on Campus where she has incorporated anti-racism efforts into work and challenged her peers in critical and reflective ways.
Kathy Vi Mac advances anti-racism by…generating empowering spaces where students can speak openly about complex experiences of race, culture, sexuality and gender. Kathy seeks to help marginalized students build community by bridging diverse spaces in constructive ways.