Speak Truth to Power: Racism, Mental Health & Healing
The 3rd of the series on Systemic Racism is scheduled for Thursday, July 30th, 6-8 pm (link below). The topic will be Racism, Mental Health & Healing and was selected because we feel that it is extremely important to talk about the trauma of those who have experienced the deadly impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and anti-Black violence, particularly in the Black, Indigenous, low-income and other marginalized communities locally, nationally and internationally.
Winnie Grant is the mother of two beautiful Afrikan Nova Scotian women, Kyiaisha and KaSteva Benton, enjoys her 5 ½ month old grandson and is married to her partner, George Grant. Winnie holds the position of Senior Advisor on African Nova Scotian Issues, with the Department of Community Services and is an Adjunct Professor at Dalhousie School of Social Work.
Winnie attained her Bachelor and Master of Social Work degrees at Dalhousie University. Winnie’s Master of Social Work thesis is entitled: The Evolution of Afrikan Conscious: The Effects of R.A.C.I.S.M. On Afrikans in the Diaspora. Winnie also completed a Master of Education in life-long learning, with an Africentric focus on policy development at Mount Saint Vincent University.
Winnie is a licensed social worker with the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers and an active member of the Association of Black Social Workers, Winnie mentors social workers seeking licensure with the Nova Scotia College of Social Work and is a Director on the National Board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, where she continues to serve as a big sister to a little guy for the past two years. Winnie works hard at employing an Africentric theoretical perspective and a Critical Race Analysis (CRA) in everything she does: in her full-time employment, her teaching assignments and when reflecting on her lived experiences.
John R. Sylliboy
John R. is L’nu (Mi’kmaq) from the Millbrook Mi’kmaw Community in Nova Scotia. John works in social and cultural development, health and education policy, and research and community development for Atlantic Indigenous communities, especially for Two-Spirits and Indigenous LGBTQIA+. John collaborates on regional and national projects and promotes Indigenous perspectives in health and research.
He is a consultant in First Nations educational governance, Two-Eyed Seeing approach in education and research, post-secondary education needs, and areas that impact the health, well-being and educational outcomes of youth and Two-Spirits. He has led initiatives for curriculum development and cultural safety training in post-secondary education at Mount Saint Vincent, Dalhousie University and McGill University.
John is a co-founder of the Wabanaki Two-Spirit Alliance (W2SA), which helps to build support and awareness of Two-Spirits in Mi’kma’ki and Canada. He is currently in his doctoral studies at McGill University. His research is about gender, sexuality and sex, and the terms 2SLGBTQIA+ to build positive cultural identity through language revitalization that reflects the diversity of gender identities and sexuality of Mi’kmaq and Indigenous youth in a contemporary context.
Lydia Muyingo is a PhD student in Dalhousie University’s Clinical Psychology program. She has published research on the partner influences on alcohol use and is currently preparing a dissertation on the healthy immigrant effect on substance use.
Lydia aspires to be a child psychologist and has experience working with children and adolescents in community mental health settings.
Tyler Simmonds is a film director, TEDx Speaker, and entrepreneur who openly speaks about his experience living with mental illness, reminding people that recovery is possible and emphasizing the importance of vulnerability, mindfulness, and achieving your “flow state” through creativity and meditation. Tyler's is clearly a message that resonates with many. In 2016, the Huffington Post named him one of the “10 Inspirational people under 30" you should be following on Twitter.” Twitter is where Tyler engages with more than 35,000 followers. Through his advocacy work Tyler aims to inspire others. Tyler has found success in film, with his Award-Winning piece “In My Mind”, which is just one of the many artistic projects he has displayed over the years. Through his many channels, Tyler is inspiring people in Nova Scotia, across Canada, and around the world with the power of vulnerability, creative fearlessness, and authenticity.
Naomi Bird is a Cree, Two Spirit person from Montreal Lake FN in Treaty 6 territory. They are a Dalhousie Student in Sustainability and Urban Planning with a Minor in Indigenous Studies and community organizer currently residing in Kjipuktuk. Their organizing, research, and personal interests include Indigenous land sovereignty, Two-Spirit identities, and language reclamation.
A mother, father, child, sibling, extended family, friend, neighbor, colleague, medical professionals, front-line workers and citizen are not statistics but persons. We want our listeners to know that there are people at Dalhousie who not only understand but care. We dedicate this last forum in the series to the Black and Indigenous Faculty and Staff at Dalhousie who take care of Dal’s students and academic programs BUT who also have families, friends and ourselves to take care off along with the additional labor of love and social responsibilities that we share with our respective communities on and off the campus. During these times it may be difficult to seek mental health support but let us reach out to each other and across our communities, as we collectively work to change the structures and systems that disproportionately affect us. We need to heal to keep fighting. Let’s talk.
Online via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89672156910
Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2687148914833386/
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89672156910