Co-Chairs: Jessica Bona-Mensah (Student) and Dr. Camisha Sibblis (Faculty)
Widmia Altagracia Riviere
Student, UWSA Representative
My name is Widmia Altagracia Riviere and I was born and raised in Haiti and moved to Montreal, Canada when I was 14 years old. As a transfer student, I have attended University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) for two years, where I gained knowledge that will be useful to me in the professional world. I am currently a senior at University of Windsor, aspiring to graduate with a bachelor’s in business administration, which will broaden my aptitude in numerous aspects. It is my pleasure and honor to be a representative of such an important committee and hopefully I will be able to help you achieve the group's goal.
Student, OPUS Representative
Bio to come.
Jessica Bona-Mensah (Co-Chair)
Student, Making it Awkward Representative
My name is Jessica Bona-Mensah. I received my Social Service Worker diploma at Humber College. I am currently completing my final year of the Social Work program at the University of Windsor.
Faith Enemaku grew up passionate about human rights, especially the rights of women and minorities. In the past two years, Faith has volunteered with feminist organizations to create awareness on issues affecting women and minorities. In 2017, she worked as a program coordinator for a non-profit organization in Abuja, The Train a Girl (TAG) Initiative, a platform seeking to bridge the gap between underprivileged girls and access to education. In 2018, Faith volunteered with As Equals Africa, a non-profit organization specializing in women’s issues and the prevention of abuse of LGBTQ+ individuals in Nigeria. Currently, Faith volunteers with Women in ICT, an organization that provides technology education for Women and young girls. After finishing her degree at Windsor, Faith hopes to devote herself to the field of international economic development and activism in women’s rights. Her career goal is to work with the United Nations someday.
My name is Tabitha Valdez. I am of mixed race, (Afro-Latina and white), and I am also a part of the LGBT community. I live in Sarnia with my 2 children, where I work as a Surgical RPN. I am currently in year 3 of the U of W bridging program to get my BScN. When I graduate, I hope to do travel nursing, working with vulnerable populations. I am super passionate about the Black Lives Matter/anti-racism movement. This past summer, I organized Sarnia's BLM March which saw over 3000 participants! It was such an incredible experience, and it was so nice to see my small community come together for this truly important cause. I can't wait to meet and work with everyone!
Student, African Students' Association Representative
My name is Kevinprecious and I am the current president of the University of Windsor African Students Association. I am going into my final year in the communications, media and film program. I am committed to community building and giving Black students a voice to express themselves.
Student, Black Law Students' Association Representative
I am a first-year law student at Windsor Law and former student-athlete that completed a bachelor's degree in Political Science at the University of Windsor's Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science. After the completion of my undergraduate degree, I spent two years working in operations within multiple tech companies. My main area of interest involves analyzing the pattern of speech which target, disenfranchise, and inhibit the advancement of black liberation.
Student, Graduate Students' Society Representative
Bio to come
Student, Fusion Representative
I want to be a part of the task force because as a Black man, I feel like it is part of my obligation to my race to speak up about the injustices that happen within my university. I am excited to get started and to see what our group can accomplish. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to represent the black voices.
Student, Caribbean African Organization of Students Representative
My name is Rebecca Williams and I am currently a 3rd year Psychology major at the University of Windsor from Toronto, Ontario. I am Ghanian and I am a member of the Caribbean African Organization of Students on campus. I also have competed for the University of Windsor on the Track and Field team. My hobbies include working out and watching Netflix. I am passionate about mental health awareness and social justice reform. I am always looking to learn something new!
Katia Benoit is currently the Assistant Dean (Admissions, Recruitment and External Relations) for the Faculty of Law, and has held the positions Special Projects Coordinator, Faculty of Law, Acting Director for the Centre for English Language Development, Acting Director of Student Recruitment, Student Recruitment Officer, and Coordinator of Co-operative Education. As a two-time University of Windsor graduate, she holds a BSc in Biology and Psychology, and a Master of Education degree in Educational Administration. Throughout her varied experiences and leadership positions, Katia demonstrates passion and commitment to increasing the number of BIPOC students applying to the university. Katia is actively engaged in the university community, as a former elected academic professional on Senate, former canvasser for the United Way campaign, and currently as a member of the EECC Inclusion & Retention Subcommittee, and recently appointed to the ABR Data Collection framework working group.
Radha Patel is a Student Recruitment Officer for the University of Windsor. Within her role she is developing a series of presentations with specific content to address the needs of our diverse students. Radha is a graduate from the Odette School of Business and has her Master’s in Education. More recently (2018) she graduated with the Women in Educational Leadership Certificate from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Professional Education. Radha is passionate about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. She currently sits on the Equity and Outreach in Recruitment Committee – a province wide initiative that include all 21 universities where work is done to unpack systemic barriers diverse students face in the Ontario University System. She is also sitting on the Board of Directors for United Way Windsor Essex where she is helping to lead a Diversity and Inclusion strategic plan.
Kaitlyn Ellsworth is a sixth generation descendent of the Underground Railroad from Windsor, Ontario. She is a local high school educator who works with racialized students to navigate systemic racism that permeates through the education system. Kaitlyn’s post-secondary education includes a BA from the University of Windsor, a BEd from the University of Toronto's OISE specializing in Anti-Racism education and is currently working on an African American Studies degree at Wayne State University. While at the University of Windsor, Kaitlyn served two terms as a Board of Director on the UWSA. Kaitlyn currently is the Scholarship Chair of The Hour-A-Day Study Club, Board member of The Youth Connection Association, a member of The Distinguished Women of International Service, Windsor’s Black Educators Association, Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators, Windsor-Essex County Black Council, Black Women of Forward Action, WSU’s Black Student Union and the social justice group Teachers for Global Awareness.
Dr. Natalie Delia Deckard
Dr. Delia Deckard is an Assistant Professor of Criminology in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. She is from Queens, New York. Dr. Delia Deckard is an alumna of Columbia University (BA - Latin American Studies), the University of South Florida (MA - Sociology), and Emory University (PhD - Sociology). Her research examines the intersection of racialization and migration status, detailing the ways in which criminalization works to delegitimize the presence of BIPOC bodies in the public sphere. Her me-search theorizes afro-Latinidad as a space of both inclusion and exclusion. Dr. Delia Deckard is a founding member of the Canadian Sociological Association's Black Caucus, a Board Member of the John Howard Society of Windsor-Essex, and sits on the City of Windsor Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund Board.
Dr. Richard Douglass-Chin
RICHARD DOUGLASS-CHIN, B.A. (McMaster), M.A. (Western), Ph.D. (McMaster) teaches in English and Women’s and Gender Studies. His monograph, Preacher Woman Sings the Blues, investigates literary connections between contemporary African American authors and their 18th-19th century predecessors. He has been a featured speaker at Isaac Royall House and Slave quarters in Medford, Massachusetts, presenting ground-breaking research on one of the first records of African American women’s experience in writing—Belinda Sutton’s 1783 petition to the Massachusetts Legislature. His short story “Blood Guitar,” about the integral influence of African art on Picasso’s cubism and modernism in general, appears in The African American Review (2015) and his article “Madness and Translation of the Bones in NourbeSe Philip’s Zong!” appears in Madness in Black Women’s Diasporic Fictions: Aesthetics of Resistance (2017). Richard is a founding member of Researchers, Academics and Advocates of Colour for Equity in Solidarity. He was chair of the Senate Advisory Committee for Diversity and Inclusion (2008) and chair of the African Diaspora Youth Conference (2008-2010.)
As a strong, bi-racial, Canadian woman with indigenous roots, I never expected to become an academic professional, but through hard-work, and perseverance, I discovered that all of the significant learning experiences I endured in my personal and professional life, were those that dramatically changed my life course. These experiences allowed me to overcome obstacles and started a fire within me to be the best person I could be for myself, my family, and others like me. I have over ten years of clinical social work experience working in a hospital setting within multiple programs. I have had been employed by the University of Windsor School of Social Work since 2014, as a sessional instructor she has taught several undergraduate courses and I held the role of the offsite field instructor for three consecutive years. As of June 1st, 2020, I have been appointed to the Field Learning Specialist in the School of Social Work.
Dr. Camisha Sibblis (Co-Chair)
Camisha Sibblis' research uses spatial and critical race theories to focus on the anti-Black racism, the politics of race, gender, identity, social exclusion and systemic racism. Camisha has extensive experience working with marginalized children, youth and their families as a school social worker, as a child welfare worker, and as a clinician assessing the effects of anti-Black racism on the lives of the defenders for sentencing hearings. She is an experienced mental health practitioner and a court designated expert on systemic racism. Among her vast community work, she teaches for the Tabono Liberation Learning Academy - fostering activism among young adults, she was a long-standing member of the Council for Adolescent Suicide Prevention in Peel, a suicide intervention trainer, and was a member of the Peel school board’s community advisory council for the board-wide strategy to support Black student academic success and well-being.
Dr. Clinton Beckford
Ex-Officio Academic Administrator
Dr. Clinton Beckford is a professor in the Faculty of Education. He is a former Dean of the Faculty and currently Associate Dean of Teacher Education. He is also the Coordinator of the Global Community Engagement Program which provide experiences for beginning teachers in Jamaica and Tanzania. Through his personal experiences of anti-Black racism at the University of Windsor, Dr. Beckford is acutely aware of its dehumanizing impacts on victims, and is committed to playing an active role in addressing it at the University of Windsor.
Dr. Kevin Milne
Ex-Officio Academic Administrator
Dr. Milne is an associate professor and currently the associate dean of academic programs in the Faculty of Human Kinetics. He is a native of Scarborough, Ontario, and an alumnus of the University of Windsor, playing a season of varsity basketball and receiving a Bachelor of Human Kinetics prior to attaining graduate degrees from Western University. His primary research area is studying the stress of exercise and how men and women may differ in their physiological responses to exercise. Dr. Milne has been a long-standing equity assessor at the University, he is a member of a PDC subcommittee examining how to encourage and enable more people to be thoughtful and intentional in their consideration of Indigenous content in programs and courses across the university, and he is the current chair of the anti-racism subcommittee in the Faculty of Human Kinetics.
Dr. Rajesh Seth
Ex-Officio Faculty, WUFA Representative
Dr. Rajesh Seth is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He joined the University of Windsor in 2002 after spending more than 10 years in research and consulting, both in Canada and India. As a racialized person in Canada, he very well understands the importance of eliminating all forms of racism. He strives for an environment of equity, diversity, and inclusion in his research group, and has successfully graduated students from many different racial backgrounds. Dr. Seth has served as a Windsor University Faculty Association (WUFA) grievance officer from 2004 – 2010, and a member of the WUFA Grievance Committee between 2010 – 2016. He currently serves as the Faculty of Engineering representative on WUFA Council since January 2018.
Lila Iriburiro Happy
Bio to come