COVID Conversation discussants

Opening Ceremony:

Joanna Meawasige-Vautour headshot

Joanna Meawasige-Vautour

is an Anishinaabe Kwe (Ojibway Woman) from Serpent River First Nation. She is of the Turtle Clan, which comes from her maternal Grandmother. Joanna was raised by her Anishinaabe mother (Meawasige). My Anishinaabe family names are Meawasige (& Naogabow from Manitoulin Island) and Bissaillon (& McCoy & Mathias from the Algonquin Nation Maniwaki Quebec). As a registered Social Worker, she works through an intersectional and trauma-informed lens and integrates her Anishinaabe teachings into her role as a ‘Helper’ in the Indigenous Community. In carrying the Anishinaabe original instructions, Joanna’s mother taught her the ceremonies of the Purification (Sweat) lodge, fasting, and pipe.

Joanna has her Bachelors’s in Social Work, and she is currently completing her Masters of Social Work in the Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency program at the University of Toronto. Joanna has 20 years of Social Work experience working in the Toronto Indigenous (i.e. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) community in the areas of family & community development, youth recreation, child welfare, mental health, cancer care and palliative care. Her experience includes direct client care and system-level planning, where she was the Lead for First Nation, Inuit and Métis Engagement building relationships at the local, regional and provincial levels. Currently, Joanna resides in her First Nation community Serpent River and been engaged in community health-based research with First Nation communities and organizations.

Closing Ceremony :

Denise Bladwin Headshot

Denise Baldwin

is a Black-Anishinaabe citizen from the Chippewa’s of Nawash First Nation located within the beautiful Bruce Peninsula. She is of the Turtle Clan. She has over twenty years of experience working on the front lines in prevention, supervision, mentorship, and community service for vulnerable populations specifically Indigenous people affected by the war on drugs. Denise is dedicated to community building and providing services to diverse communities, both socioeconomically and culturally. Denise is currently developing the Indigenous Harm Reduction Network that will be the leader in Indigenous Harm Reduction philosophy and practices. To learn more about Black-Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island please go to Proclaiming Our Roots

Session 1 July 22nd, Wednesday 2:30 – 3:30pm EST

llana James Headshot

LLana James

is a public intellectual and scientist. Her career spans the private sector and public service. She examines how AI disrupts the practice of health care, and medicine, while increasingly redefining rehabilitation, public health and health care systems. Her research lies at the intersection of race-ethnicity, health, data privacy, AI and the law. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto, in the Faculty of Medicine.

Jack Poulson headshot

Jack Poulson

Jack Poulson received his PhD in applied mathematics in 2012 before working as an Assistant Professor or Mathematics at Stanford and a Senior Research Scientist at Google. He is now an independent computational scientist, with a focus on open source mathematics software, and an advocate for scientists negotiating the ethical boundaries of their work.

Part 3: Session 2 July 23rd, Thursday 2:30 – 3:30pm EST

Cathy Oneil Headshot

Cathy O’Neil

earned a Ph.D. in math from Harvard, was a postdoc at the MIT math department, and a professor at Barnard College where she published a number of research papers in arithmetic algebraic geometry. She then switched over to the private sector, working as a quant for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw in the middle of the credit crisis, and then for RiskMetrics, a risk software company that assesses risk for the holdings of hedge funds and banks. She left finance in 2011 and started working as a data scientist in the New York start-up scene, building models that predicted people’s purchases and clicks. She wrote Doing Data Science in 2013 and launched the Lede Program in Data Journalism at Columbia in 2014. She is a regular contributor to Bloomberg View and wrote the book Weapons of Math Destruction: how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy. She recently founded ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company.

Part 3: Session 3 July 24th, Friday 2:30 -3:30pm EST

Nishan Zewge-Abubaker

 is one of the co-founders of the Black Public Health Collective, which is a collective of critical Black public health researchers, and practitioners committed to better conditions for Black Life. Born and raised in Toronto, Nishan has organized for many years with young Eritrean and Ethiopian communities, and is committed to strengthening deeper networks of care beyond public institutions. Nishan has a Masters of Public Health in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences from the University of Toronto, focused on mixed methodologies and evaluation. Nishan’s work is primarily concerned with critically examining interventions that attempt to address the spatial distributions of health and Black wellbeing.

Ciann Wilson Headshot

Ciann Wilson

is an Assistant Professor in Community Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University. Ciann is of Afro, Indo, and Euro- Jamaican ancestry. She has over a decade of experience working within Indigenous, African, Caribbean and Black communities in Canada, first as a youth programmer and now as a researcher. Ciann is the Director for the Access and Equity Research Interest Group and a Co-Director of the Centre for Community, Research, Learning, and Action (CCRLA) at Wilfrid Laurier University. Ciann has a proven track record of work with Indigenous and Black communities, having published pieces such as: Narratives of resistance: (Re) Telling the story of the HIV/AIDS movement – Because the lives and legacies of Black, Indigenous, and people of colour communities depend on it. Ciann works with LLana James on the Research, Evaluation, Data Collection, and Ethics (REDE) Protocol for Black Populations in Canada

Leave a Reply