Keynote Panel

Blackness, Indigeneity, Colonialism, and Confederation: 21st Century Perspectives

May 11–13, 2017
Brandon University, Manitoba

Along with two keynote speakers, we are proud to present a keynote panel.

Our keynote panel features three strong voices: Sandra Hudson, Cecily-Belle Blain and Amina Abawajy. They will be discussing the BlackLivesMatter movement in Canada.

The date and time of the keynote panel are TBA.

Sandra Hudson

BLM Toronto

Sandy Hudson is a community organizer who has spearheaded anti-racism and anti-violence initiatives.

Sandy founded Black Lives Matter – Toronto in 2014. The organization is resolutely committed to Black liberation through a trans-feminist lens, and has secured victories across the province after two years of very public direct action strategies. As a result of some of her efforts, the province’s Special Investigations Unit is under review, the province committed to eliminating carding and changes are occurring at Pride Toronto to meet the needs of racialized, indigenous and disabled communities. The organization also runs a summer program for Black primary school-aged children.

As a graduate student at the University of Toronto, she is also a co-founder of the Black Liberation Collective – Canada, a campus-based extension of the Black Lives Matter movement. With chapters on campuses from the University of British Columbia to Carleton University, the organization has already secured significant victories from the University of Toronto.

Sandy makes regular appearances in the media to discuss race issues and has had pieces published in the Toronto Star, Huffington Post and TVO.org. Her contributions to two volumes; Upping the Anti, and New Framings on Anti-racism are to be published this year.

Cicely-Belle Blain

Cicely-Belle is a Black, non-binary queer who has been a settler on Coast Salish lands for four years. They are of Jamaican and Gambian heritage and grew up in London, England. They are a youth worker at QMUNITY, BC’s queer, trans and two-spirit resource centre, a columnist for Daily Xtra and run their own art business called Black Peony Creations. Cicely-Belle founded Black Lives Matter Vancouver in May 2016 with a group of black women and femmes from the University of British Columbia. BLM Vancouver’s projects have included organizing vigils for the victims of police brutality in both Canada and the United States, holding healing spaces for the Black community as well as queer people of colour after events like the Orlando shooting and other racialized tragedies, sending care packages to affected families and campaigning for the removal of the police force from the Vancouver Pride Parade.

Amina Abawajy

Amina is a Computer Science and International Development Studies student at Dalhousie University. She is currently the Chair of Global Humanitarian Initiative Association, Vice President of the Dalhousie Muslim Student Association and Treasurer of the Black United Students Association. She is also the Vice President Academic and External of the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) making her the first female Muslim and the first black executive in the history of the DSU.