Facilitators & Panelists

teachMargaret Alexander

Margaret identifies as a multi-ethnic queer non-confirming person with African Black, Ojibway and Irish heritage who uses gender pronouns of she and they. They have been engaged in anti-violence work as both an activist and educator for over 20 years. Margaret’s experience includes work in both women’s shelters and rape crisis services, where they developed and delivered programs that provided support and advocacy to female identified people who had experienced gender based violence. Margaret also has an extensive community training background, facilitating anti-oppression and diversity training for over two decades to workers all over Ontario. They have particularly enjoyed their work in Northern Ontario. In addition to consultation and training, Margaret is also a Professor and Coordinator the Assaulted Women and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate Program and the Northern Anti-Violence Certificate Programs at George Brown College in Toronto.

Zainab Amadahy

Of African American, Cherokee, Seminole, Polynesian and European heritage, Zainab Amadahy is a researcher, organizational development consultant, author and educator currently based in Toronto. Her background in community service is in the areas of Indigenous knowledge reclamation, curanderismo, non-profit housing, women’s services, migrant settlement and community arts as well as medical and photovoltaic technologies. Among her publications is “Indigenous Peoples and Black Peoples in Canada: Settlers or Allies” (co-authored with Dr. Bonita Lawrence, 2009) and the futurist novel Moons of Palmares. Links to Zainab’s more recent writings can be found at http://swallowsongs.com.

Lisa Amin

Lisa Amin is a mixed race person and human rights lawyer living and working in Toronto. She sometimes takes bathroom selfies at the human rights tribunal.

Sabina Chatterjee

Sabina is a mixed race activist, artist, scholar, and community facilitator. She had the honour of working with street-involved youth for many years and was the director of antidote: Multiracial and Indigenous Girls and Women’s Network. Sabina is currently a doctoral student in Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies at York University. Her own navigation of discrimination and inequity based on gender, orientation, race, and (dis)ability has informed her commitment to creating new ways of mobilizing change that honour our life stories and lived experiences. Decolonization and accountability by non-Indigenous racialized people, social justice, and solidarity are deeply woven within Sabina’s activist work and scholarship, including community-based dialogues exploring the ways in which South Asian diasporic communities are challenging anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and casteism.

lourdes duniam

lourdes is an artist, community organizer, and student currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the Integrated Media program at OCAD University. A native of Chinchaysuyo, Abya Yala, they have been calling Turtle Island home since 2002. Their work as an artist explores themes of coloniality and the decolonial option, with a particular focus on the introspective scrutiny of their experiences as an Afro-Indigenous, non-binary, queer person of colour. Their work aims to create sites for re-existence and empowerment, exposing and seeking to dismantle the interlocking systems of oppression that strive to disempower marginalized, racialized, and sexualized bodies.

Dani Kwan-LafondDani Kwan-Lafond

Dani is a mixed race scholar interested in education, anti-racism, indigenous issues, and community work. She currently teaches sociology, indigenous studies, and global citizenship at both Centennial College and George Brown College in Toronto. She has spent many years working with community groups that serve children and youth in Toronto. For ten years, she has mentored and organized programs for youth at with Drum Artz Canada (a community arts charity) and she is the President of the Board of Directors of CommunityForward (a Jane-Finch youth-led initiative founded by a former student). She is also a social worker, percussionist, and a parent to a mixed race preschooler.

may.jpgMay Lui

May Lui is a mixed race (Chinese and Romanian/Polish/Jewish) cis-woman who is a writer, educator and freelance consultant. She has a Master degree from University of Toronto/OISE in Adult Education with a focus on anti-oppression and anti-racism education. She is a feminist, activist and general troublemaker for social justice. May has worked in the non-profit sector for over 20 years. She is also a volunteer with Parkdale Project Read and an avid amateur dragonboat paddler.

unnamedChristopher McKinnon

Christopher was born a Settler and Uninvited Guest in the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territories, near the settlements of Port Elgin and Southampton. They are of British, Irish, Scottish, Portuguese, Syrian, Indian and African ancestry and grew up on a dairy farm to a Canadian father and a Trinidadian mother, alongside one brother and a two baker’s dozens of cousins who were like siblings. They studied philosophy and biological sciences at the undergraduate level at the University of Toronto and are just beginning a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology. They are grateful to live in Toronto, on land that has been cared for by Indigenous peoples for more than 10,000 years, including the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, the Huron-Wendat, the Petun and other peoples from across Turtle Island (North America). In their professional life, they have made it their goal to build more compassionate and empathetic frameworks for civic discourse. They currently oversee public consultation and engagement for a government-sponsored real estate redevelopment corporation called Waterfront Toronto. Outside of working hours, they devote time to writing, organizing and community development—with a focus on building capacity, compassion, and equity, most especially in the arts and creative community. They are the president of the Music Gallery, Toronto’s centre for creative music. They are also a working group member for the Green Line, a project that hopes to realize a five-kilometre-long linear park and trail that follows Toronto’s Dupont Street hydro corridor.

IMG_0125Rupert Raj

Rupert Raj (65) has been a Eurasian-Canadian, pansexual, trans activist since 1971. As a gender specialist/psychotherapist in Toronto from 2000 to 2015, he counselled transgender, genderqueer, intersex and two-spirit people, and as an expert witness, testified at human rights hearings. In 2013, Rupert was inducted into the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives, where “The Rupert Raj Collection” is housed. He co-edited (with Dan Irving) Trans Activism in Canada: A Reader (Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2014). In 2017, he donated his international poetry anthology, Of Souls & Roles, Of Sex & Gender: A Treasury of Transsexual, Transgenderist & Transvestic Verse from 1967 to 1991 (unpublished, 2017), to the University of Victoria’s Transgender Archives, which can be freely accessed online: http://www.uvic.ca/transgenderarchives/. His memoirs, True Tales of a Eurasian-Canadian Trans Activist, are coming out in 2017.

Lynx Sainte-Marie

Lynx Sainte-Marie, Afro+Goth Poet, is a multimedium artist, activist and educator of the Jamaican diaspora, with ancestral roots indigenous to Africa and the British Isles. A disabled/chronically ill, non-binary/genderfluid person, they currently reside in what’s commonly known as the Greater Toronto Area, stolen land of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississaugas of New Credit, Petun and Seneca peoples. They identify within queer and trans, femme, boi, gender non-conforming, crip and spoonie communities, as well as a survivor of abuse and intergenerational trauma. As a public speaker, Lynx has presented, lectured and served as a keynote speaker at a number of colleges, universities, conferences and symposiums at the national and international level. As a workshop facilitator and consultant, they have trained and educated a plethora of individuals and organizations on various issues related to marginalized communities including but not limited to intersectionality, anti-oppression, sexuality, disability and accessibility, gender diversity, anti-Blackness and decolonization. Lynx’s work is informed by their chosen families, Black feminisms, social justice, disability justice, healing justice movements and collective community love.

Teddy Syrette

Teddy Syrette is an outspoken, 2-Spirit, Ojibway person of Batchewana First Nation. They have delivered numerous lectures, keynotes, and workshops about gender, sexuality and intersectional identities. They combine social justice with a flair of theatre in all that they do. In 2013, they won a crowdfunding event to earn over $1100.00 to reignite the Sault Pride movement in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. This provided the means to reach out, organize and develop the first ever Sault Pride festival that took place in 2014. This year, Sault Pride has already begun organizing their 4th annual pride event in Sault Ste. Marie. Today, Teddy works as a freelance 2-Spirit/Queer- Indigenous advocate and part-time as a Youth Outreach Coordinator for ODE: Remembered Voices, a 2-Spirit youth drop-in program on Friday Nights in Toronto Ontario. They enjoy pugs, poetry and polyamory.