I respond to crises with proactive strategies to transform and invoke change. As an anti-racist, and decolonial advocate, my main pre-occupations are combatting anti-Black racism and euro-white supremacy. We, the teams, collaborators, and allies that I work with, are all dedicated to privileging the experiences and needs of racialized Black peoples, Afro-Caribbean’s alike – who have been too often neglected, excluded, and disparaged by social, and institutional constraints. In complementary ways, my initiatives strive to cultivate safe(r) spaces, opportunities, and resources for Black communities and celebrate Black knowledge. As a Ghanaian-Jamaican Canadian woman, Black empowerment is both my personal and professional joy – grounding my research methodologies, my self-development, and my knack to love, co-conspire with and uplift diverse communities that I am entangled with.
The Black Studies Collective at Concordia has been galvanizing multi-stakeholders to institutionalize Black Studies at Concordia University. We co-design conferences, events and mobilize students, faculty, and staff to celebrate and share their contributions to Black Studies. After joining my colleagues in drafting the Concordia Statement for Black Lives in tandem with the 2020 BLM movements, the President’s Anti-Racist Taskforce was established.
The Black faculty-student-led taskforce collects data and devises action-plans to meet the needs for Black Concordians. In response, my colleagues and I, developed the Concordia Black Caucus – an advisory body of Black Concordians dedicated to sourcing Black needs and voices for the President’s Taskforce and upholding administrative support. I sit on the President's Taskforce as the Black Caucus coordinator.
To maintain Black empowerment and celebration at large – I co-developed an online platform for Black graduate students and students of Black studies to collaborate, share resources, mentor and build solidarity across the country. The National Black Graduate Network offers the connectivity my colleagues and I have longed for in our academic careers. As an executive of the Black Canadian Studies Association since 2019, I have been able to propel my efforts for Black empowerment on a macro-scale – where I work with a dream-team of Black studies faculty, researchers and students across the country to maintain a culture against anti-Black racism and towards Black enrichment, multidisciplinary and cross-human care.
The Decolonial Perspectives & Pratises Hub
The Decolonial Perspectives and Practises Hub is a coalition of QTBIPOC practitioners. We are an established mobile space and community. We advance decolonial pedagogy within higher education, organizations and diverse communities. Our offerings include anti-racist, decolonial and pedagogical consultancy, workshop design, event facilitation and multi-media activism. We also sponsor community/institutional initiatives and guest speakers that celebrate the experiences and knowledge of Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, Asian and other peoples of colour. With our horizontal and collaborative model, we empower members to be active actors of change and commit to anti-oppressive practices personally and professionally. We root our engagement with others, our syllabus structures and research methods in the battle against euro/western/white racial hegemony.
My desire to co-create The Decolonial Perspective and Practises Hub came from my feeling of complete invisibility and marginality throughout my academic career. Too often, coursework overrepresented people like me as marginalized, oppressed and enslaved. For me, decolonial pedagogy is the process of disrupting this euro-western gaze of knowledge by questioning how we think, be, learn and engage with one another differently -- a pluralistic approach.
Connie Phung l Albane Gaudissart l Chesline Pierre-Paul
I am a research analyst experienced in conducting quantitative, statistical analyses and qualitative, interpretive analyses. As an undergraduate research assistant, I led research projects on the intersectional oppression of mothers with postpartum depression, sexism in the dating culture, the relationship between citizenship rights, race and gender, multiculturalism on campuses and racialized youth programming. I transitioned my work into action-research – mobilizing the critical lens my sociological training affords me and the tools to make a difference. I have been pre-occupied with Black empowerment, Black feminism, Black masculinity and decolonial pedagogy; celebrating and instituting value for my identities and others relegated to the margins, whilst, dabbling in projects on popular music and the dating culture to assuage my creative side
My master’s degree ‘Rap and Modern Love: Intimate Masculinity’ sought to enliven inquiry into the intimate lives of black men. I conducted a qualitative, thematic analysis of the non-hypermasculine expressions of black men toward women in mainstream rap songs. Considering my findings, I coined the concept of Intimate Masculinity that I argue, can serve as a working framework to investigate, and signify the emotional diversity of black men.
For my doctoral project, I prioritize the voices and agencies of Black men to join, Black feminist efforts in eradicating the colonial dehumanization of African bodies racialized, enslaved, and exploited as “Black” I intend to uncover that diverse men racialized as Black within Canada, in their day to day lives elevate themselves and empower society at large. Ultimately, countering the perpetual demonization and marginalization of Black men in western scholarship and mainstream media. Instead of adhering to the academic tradition of addressing the ‘problems’ imposed on and experienced by Black men, I am on a quest to demonstrate that the contributions by Black men and their Black female co-conspirators are and have been indispensable to the Canadian social fabric. I stand with Black Lives Matter Movements, dedicating this work to unifying and complexifying Black Canadians and knowledge produced about us.
Alongside my doctoral work, and the Anti-racist pedagogy project – I am developing research on a decolonial course, feminism, COVID19 and Canadian politics.
The Anti-Racist Pedagogy Project
The Anti-Racist Pedagogy Project is an initiative developing a public database of decolonial, anti-racist, and social justice educational materials created by faculty, staff, students, and community activists housed at Concordia University. In response to the crises of COVID-19 and the mainstreaming of anti-Black racism – this project historicizes and offers proactive techniques for combatting systemic oppression, racism, and other injustices within and beyond the classroom. Each video is Montreal-specific and contains a guided resource list to direct the audience to learn and participate further, offline.
By engaging with the platform participants can request our video speakers for live Q&As and lectures. We encourage students to apply as interns for this project to develop their research and video curation skills. This project is dedicated to enriching the educational and research development of students, grounding them in techniques to craft and lead anti-racist and pedagogical reform.
When launched, the platform will be a sustainable educational video repository located at the Centre for Teaching and learning landing page; creating a designated virtual space at Concordia University for interactive anti-racist and anti-oppressive resources, and transform our learning environments by connecting the academy with grassroots activists and organizers.
This project is Supervised by Dr. Kimberley Manning - Principal of Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University
Join the mailing list to be notified of our upcoming launch
Simone Lucas l Barbara Saldana l Sandra Mouafo