Darrell Adams

Darrell Adams is the Associate Head Football Coach at the University of Waterloo, a role he has held since 2016.   Originally from N.Y., U.S.A, He came to Canada in 2007 to pursue a career in the CFL.  Upon retiring Darrell elected to stay in Canada permanently under the false pretense that this country isn’t as overtly racist as it’s neighbors to the south.  The past few years have opened his eyes to the truth and ever since, Darrell has committed himself to fight oppression and anti-black racism here in Canada. 

Darrell is a co-founder of The Alliance, a progressive group of University of Waterloo staff & students working together using their voices and platforms to create change within the Waterloo network.   In addition to this on campus initiative, Darrell is a member of the Black Canadian Coaches Association (BCCA) comprised of professional, university & amateur sport coaches across the country.  He is also a member of two provincial groups: the Ontario University Athletics Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (OUA EDI) Committee & the Indigeneity, Diaspora, Equity & Anti-racism in Sport (IDEAS) lab.   All these committees/groups are working towards dismantling anti-racism while striving for equity & representation amongst a slew of other institutional changes. 

Greg K. Campbell

Staff Representative

Greg K. Campbell is an Academic Advisor in the Faculty of Mathematics and PhD student in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo (UW). With a background in Rhetoric and Communication Design from the Department of English Language and Literature at UW, Greg brings a praxis that synthesizes academic and artistic investigations that informs knowledge translation discourses. Greg’s area of interest, as a knowledge translator, is at the intersection of experiential learning, human-nature relationships, onto-epistemologies, learning science, rhetorical theory, leisure productions, and research-creation methodologies. His PhD work focuses on exploring leisure as a space for learning how to challenge individual and societal experiences of exclusion through human-environment frameworks.

Trevor Charles


Professor Charles, a bacterial geneticist, teaches and runs a microbiology research program in the Department of Biology, and is also director of Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research. He is co-founder and Chief Science Officer of the Agricultural and Environmental Tech company Metagenom Bio Life Science Inc., which applies synthetic biology, metagenomic and microbial community analysis to agricultural and environmental challenges, with an orientation towards Circular Bioeconomy. He obtained his B.Sc. in Microbiology from University of British Columbia, his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from McMaster University, did postdoctoral work at University of Washington, and held an Assistant Professor position at McGill University before moving to University of Waterloo.

Clive Forrester

Dr. Clive Forrester is a lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo where he teaches courses on academic writing, technical writing, and linguistics. Clive’s research looks at the intersection between language and the law, and his dissertation tackled the issue of judges’ interpretation of Jamaican Creole speakers in the courtroom. He has done research in this area in both Jamaican and Ontario courtrooms, even serving as an expert linguistic witness in a Toronto murder trial. Clive is also interested in language rights and language advocacy in Caribbean territories. A Jamaican by birth who moved to Canada in 2008, Clive loves to cook some good Jamaican food and enjoy the nostalgia of 90s Dancehall and Reggae music. 

Aaron Francis

Student Representative, @mraaronfrancis_

Aaron Francis is a doctoral student at the Balsillie School of International Affairs researching the political economy of China-Jamaica relations.  As the equity coordinator for the Graduate Student’s Association, Aaron is also a member of the President’s Anti-Racism Task Force (PART) as well as the University’s Equity Data Advisory Committee. A multidisciplinary artist and a curator, Aaron has also exhibited works from his Vintage Black Canada initiative at the BAND Gallery Toronto, the Gladstone Hotel Toronto, the Contact Photography Festival and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). The former chair of the City of Kitchener’s Arts and culture advisory committee, most recently in June of this year Aaron co-organized and marshaled the KW Solidarity March for Black lives that saw an estimated 30,000 attendees.

Kathy Hogarth


Dr. Kathy Hogarth is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work. 

Naila Keleta-Mae

Dr. Naila Keleta-Mae is an Associate Professor with expertise in race, gender and performance and an artist who works in theatre, literature and music and performed in Canada, France, Jamaica and South Africa. Her research-creation project Black And Free, focuses on Black expressive culture and is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts and the University of Waterloo.

Her scholarship has been published in journals including Theatre Research in Canada; Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice; and Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal and books including bestseller Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada (2020); and award-winning Performance Studies in Canada (2017). Her music albums are: Fire Woman (2020); Bloom (2009) and Free Dome: South Africa (2001); and her plays are What We Deserve (2020), No Knowledge College (2005); and Stuck (2001). One of her articles was one of the most read stories for a week across Vice Network’s Noisey websites in 15 countries (2016) and another one broke The Globe and Mail’s opinion section record for most shares (2015). She’s commentated for outlets including The Canadian Press, The National Post, The Fader, BBN, CTV, CBC and BBC. 

Tiz Mekonnen

Tiz Mekonnen is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and inaugural director of IBET PhD project at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Waterloo. Mekonnen’s PhD and Postdoctoral research work entailed renewable polymer design and modifications, sustainable nanomaterials, polymer processing, and structure- property correlations of polymers for material applications (thin films, coatings, rubber products, engineering composites, and adhesives). Prior to his faculty position, he has worked as a Polymer Engineering and Nanomaterial Scientist at E.I. DuPont, a global fortune 500 company. In his current position, he runs a Sustainable Polymers lab and trains graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in next generation sustainable polymer systems. He developed strong collaboration with polymer, rubber/elastomers, composites, agroforestry, and confectionery & food industries. 

Richard Norman

Richard Norman is a researcher + lecturer + futurist + strategic consultant who works with people to affect change towards a more socially just, sustainable, and resilient future. His work is focused on the lived experiences of peoples who have been marginalized in our society. Richard’s doctoral research at the University of Waterloo explored the intertwining of “race,” whiteness, and colonialism in the sport of curling, and the deconstruction of dominance within sporting cultures. The research privileges the use of narrative forms aligning with oral traditions held by First Peoples around the world, to explore new ways of knowing and understanding. Richard’s research is committed to approaches that can open up dialogue and discourses towards a more humane and morally driven worldview. His commitment to research continues now through post-doctoral fellowship for the Future of Sport Lab (FSL) in the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University and as a sessional instructor at the University of Waterloo.

Christopher Stuart Taylor


Dr. Taylor currently teaches in the Department of History and the Arts First program. He is also a facilitator with the City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit.

His book, Flying Fish in the Great White North: The Autonomous Migration of Black Barbadians, is available from Fernwood Publishing.

He also worked in the Ontario Public Service (OPS). He was the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator in the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Diversity, Inclusion & Accessibility Office; a Senior Policy Advisor in the Indigenous Justice Division, followed by the Anti-Racism Directorate; and Manager of Social Justice & Change Cluster at the Ontario Correctional Services College.

Jessica Thompson

Jessica Thompson is an Associate Professor of Hybrid Media and teaches in the Department of Fine Arts and the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business. Her artistic practice investigates the ways that sound reveals spatial and social conditions within cities, and how the creative use of urban data can generate new modes of citizen engagement. Her family escaped to Canada from the US during the Civil War and settled in Chatham-Kent.

Her interactive artworks have shown in exhibitions and festivals such as the International Symposium of Electronic Art (San Jose, Dubai, Vancouver), the Conflux Festival (New York), Thinking Metropolis (Copenhagen), Beyond/In Western New York (Buffalo), New Interfaces in Musical Expression (Oslo), Audible Edifices (Hong Kong), Artists’ Walks (New York), Locus Sonus (Aix-en-Provence), the Art Gallery of Windsor Triennial (Windsor), InterACTION (Kitchener), HASTAC (Vancouver) and Re:Sound (Aalborg). She is a 2019 recipient of an Ontario Government Early Researcher Award for ‘Borderline’, a research-creation project that uses sound, data and algorithms to create new understandings of place.

Vershawn Ashanti Young

Professor Young a.k.a dr. vay, is a writer, actor, and educator, who is Professor in the Departments of English Language and Literature and of Communications Arts at the University of Waterloo where he teaches communication, race, gender, literature, writing, and performance. 
dr. vay is the author, co-author, or editor of ten books, including This Ain’t Yesterday’s Literacy: Culture and Education After George Floyd; Other People’s English: Code-Meshing, Code-Switching, and African American LiteracyThe Routledge Reader of African American RhetoricNeo-Passing: Performing Identity After Jim Crow; and Your Average Nigga: Performing Race, Literacy, and Masculinity.
dr. vay also regularly tours his one man show titled, “Your Average Nigga” after his autobiographical study of Black identity; works as a diversity consultant to schools and other organizations; and chairs the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the largest educational organization dedicated to college literacies of communication and writing.

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