Dr. Avis Glaze is an international leader in the field of education. As one of Canada’s outstanding educators, she has been recognized for her work in leadership development, student achievement, school and system improvement, character development and equity of outcomes for all students. As Ontario’s first Chief Student Achievement Officer, and founding CEO of the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, she played a pivotal role in improving student achievement in Ontario schools. Her primary focus in education is on building capacity to ensure that all students achieve, regardless of background factors or personal circumstances. It is her core belief that educators play a fundamental role in sustaining democracy.
Avril Vanessa Jno-Baptiste-Jones, was born on the lovely nature island of Dominica in the Caribbean, and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic. Avril says, as a young girl, she was very quiet and quite shy. She spent her formative years in Dominica under the guidance of an amazing mother Josephine, who raised her children with many great values. She continued to say that the values that stood out most were: work hard at whatever she does,; work hard for what she wants,; always be honest, because if you get in trouble someone will know how and where to start helping you and also, always treat others the way you want to be treated. She attributes her life’s successes to her mother who equipped her with the tools to face this world with confidence. She attended the Dominica Grammar School and was an avid Track and Field athlete. Her dream, however, was to become a nurse. She migrated to Canada to be with her father, who had immigrated to Canada. He was determined to provide a better future for his daughter, and she was equally determined to use these opportunities to secure a career in nursing by taking co-op courses in high school. She attended Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School in Scarborough, Toronto. Later, she returned to Dominica for a few years and then moved back to Canada where she re-enrolled at Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School to complete her secondary studies. She continued pursuing her dream to become a nurse. Unfortunately, through circumstances beyond her control, that dream had to be put aside.
Bernice Carnegie, Co-founder of the Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Foundation and Professional Educational and Life Enrichment Speaker, enjoys revisiting the rich history of her grandparents, who chose Canada as their home more than 100 years ago. As immigrants from Jamaica in 1912 and the United States in 1913, she is proud of their achievements and ability to cultivate a strong home environment for their children during racially challenging times. Both her parents were born in Toronto in 1919, and continued the family tradition of contributing to society in positive ways.
Dr. Camille Logan has been an educator with the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) for 25 years. Camille was born to proud parents of Jamaican heritage and grew up in York Region, where she still resides with her husband and two sons. As a proud product of the YRDSB, she began her career as a classroom teacher committed to equity, inclusion and social justice initiatives at the school and community levels and has been well known for her strength and leadership in this area. As a result, she is frequently called upon to provide input and expertise at a variety of different levels in education to support the development of policy and procedures, in addition to professional learning for students, staff, parents and community.
As a strong school leader committed to student achievement and well-being, equity, human rights and social justice, these principles serve as the pedagogy for ensuring that all students, regardless of circumstance or social identities, are provided with the opportunity and necessary supports to achieve. Currently, Camille assumes responsibilities at the Ontario Ministry of Education as a Student Achievement Officer on secondment from YRDSB. At the Ministry level, Camille has been a contributor to a number of resource documents for educators. She is featured in an Equity of Outcome webcast on the Literacy Numeracy Secretariat website and was a member of the Ministry Equity Strategy Round Table, which developed the internationally renowned Ontario Equity Strategy,; A Promise of Diversity. Previous to Camille’s secondment to the Ministry, she had district responsibilities in Leadership Development and was the founding principal of the YRDSB’s first Inclusive School and Community Services department. This newly revised service department within the YRDSB is dedicated to supporting the work of equity and inclusive education practices across the school district.
Carol Sutherland is an award-winning activist, trade unionist, teacher, volunteer, veteran, wife, mother, and proud Black, West Indian/Canadian woman. Carol is a Client Service Representative in the Office of the Registrar at Ryerson University. She holds a B.A. in Public Administration and Governance (Minor in Business Communication), with Certificates in Human Resources Management and Occupational Health and Safety, and a Grad Certificate as a Teacher/Trainer of Adults. Carol is currently pursuing a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate at the University of Toronto, Woodsworth College.
Carol migrated from Trinidad & Tobago in the 1980’s with a sense of social responsibility already firmly planted in her mind. This was thanks to her mother who, in the 1960s and 1970s, would use their household to provide shelter for marginalized members of Trinidad’s LGBTQIA community. This meant that from an early age, Carol had internalized the message that we are our brother’s and sister’s keeper. And today, Carol Sutherland remains committed to the advancement of black people within both the academic environment and the wider society.
Carolynn Wilson, co-owner of the Sheffield Park Black History and Cultural Museum in Clarksburg, Ontario, February is not the only month when Black History is celebrated. It is a prominent part of the whole year, and Carolynn together with her sister Sylvia, are kept busy moving artifacts, setting up displays, giving talks and arranging presentations. Carolynn co-founded the museum in Collingwood with her late Uncle Howard Sheffield and it moved to Clarksburg three years ago. The Wilson and the Sheffield families were two of the first to settle in Collingwood. Both families were famous in the Grey County area in the late 1700s. “We’ve been here” said Carolynn, adding that the community always accepted her family. She also said that, although as a young girl, the portrayal of Black people in books-caricatures with exaggerated facial features – was difficult; her parents worked extra hard to ensure that she knew her self-worth.
A Career Strategist, Retirement Coach, Corporate Mentor, Speaker and owner of Cosmic Coaching Centre and ProMentoring; Cecile appeared numerous television networks, including Global News, BNN and CTS. As well, her career management advice has been featured in; The Wall Street Journal, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Canadian Living, HR Professional, Women’s Post and scores of online and offline publications.
Cecile has turned over 17 years of corporate management and mentoring experience, into two highly successful career management companies. Her team of career experts’ work together with her to create, develop, and manage career initiatives for Middle Managers, Mid-Career Professionals and Executives throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Hundreds of professionals have successfully navigated their career path towards their next level of career success through the services her companies provide.
Cecile has written a number of career development e-books, and has a weekly Internet talk show on BlogTalkRadio.com. She is a committed volunteer in the community and sits on Non-Profit Boards. She is a mentor to youth in Toronto, and voluntarily provides free workshops aimed at helping young women and youth in at-risk communities. She has done much work for new college and university graduates, helping to prepare them for their first jobs. Her primary goal has been to follow the advice of Henry Kissinger: “The task of a leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.”
Cecile has been a volunteer, and a community program leader, for most of her life. She has worked tirelessly on issues important to Toronto and its residents, especially the disadvantaged amongst us.
Christine Williams, with a career spanning over 38 years with Scotiabank, is a seasoned and highly accomplished executive, who combines incisive strategic leadership talents with a proven ability to build and develop high performance teams. She has maintained a focus on helping individuals develop to their maximum potential. As Vice President of Scotiabank, Christine is responsible for marketplace management and the delivery of retail and small business banking services in Toronto Region. Her training from The Richard Ivey School of Business Leadership program and her Fellowship with the Institute of Canadian Bankers and Canadian Securities Institute (F.C.S.I.) help her achieve Scotiabank’s employee, customer, operational and financial goals.
Christine is highly regarded by colleagues and community stakeholders as a positive, vision-orientated leader and motivator, who brings innovation and resourcefulness to an endeavor. She supports initiatives in diverse communities, including the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival, where she has represented the bank. Christine’s dedication to the community has led to sponsorships for the University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus Student Centre and The Scarborough Hospital Foundation, among others. Her community involvement includes directorship roles at The Scarborough Hospital Foundation, and The College Compensation and Appointments Council. Christine served as Chair of the Scarborough Chamber of Commerce and for the period 2001-2007, has been President of Tropicana Community Services, a social services organization in Toronto.
Cynthia Reyes has been blessed with a career as a creative leader and writer, and as a business leader of large, complex projects in Canada and other countries. Presently a writer of literary non-fiction, her work has been published in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Toronto Life and in Arabella Magazine. With the spring 2013 publication of her book A Good Home, and a second book in Spring 2016, Cynthia now adds ‘author’ to her career achievements.
Cynthia is a former executive producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. More than a hundred episodes of her programs have been broadcast on network television. A fearless leader of complex projects, Cynthia has won several awards for trailblazing, outstanding career achievement and mentoring. Uplifting others as she has risen in her own career is something she practices. In 2000, drawing on her strengths in change management, training, writing, public speaking and organizational development, Cynthia co-founded DiversiPro Inc. with CEO Hamlin Grange. DiversiPro is privileged to consult with some of Canada’s best-known companies and agencies.
A graduate from Ryerson University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Cynthia was a journalist and award-winning broadcaster at the peak of her career when, in 2005, a devastating car accident changed all that. Reyes was rear-ended and the accident injured her foot, leg and back and left her with chronic pain and other long-term impacts.
Debbie Douglas is the Executive Director of OCASI -the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, Canada’s largest umbrella organization for agencies working with immigrants, refugees and other migrant populations. Through her work in the NGO sector and particularly at OCASI, Ms. Douglas has highlighted issues of equity and inclusion including the areas of race, gender, economic class and sexual orientation within the immigration system and promoted the creation of safe, welcoming spaces within the immigrant and refugee settlement and integration sector.