Join Professor Tasha Beeds and President of the Black Law Students’ Association of Windsor, Jhanel Dundas, as they welcome guest panelists for a public conversation about Black-Indigenous solidarity.
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About the Speakers:
Professor Tasha Beeds is an Indigenous scholar of nêhiyaw, Scottish-Metis, and Bajan ancestry from the Treaty 6 territories of Saskatchewan. She activates from various, connected roles: as a mother, a kôhkom (Grandmother), a creative artist and poet, a Water Walker, and a Midewiwin Kwe (woman) from Minweyweywigaan Lodge out of Roseau River First Nations and Wiikwemkoong Unceded Reserve. She belongs to the Makwa (Bear) Clan and is also a traditional daughter to Daabaasanaqwat (Peter Atkinson), Turtle Clan. Tasha’s collective work highlights and celebrates Indigeneity while promoting Indigenous nationhood, sovereignty, care and protection of the land and waters and all of Creation based on carrying Indigenous Ancestral legacies forward for the generations to come. She asserts Indigenous intellectual bundles, legal orders, cultural legacies, and spiritual traditions have survived and will continue to flourish.
Jhanel Dundas is a third-year law student at Windsor Law. Jhanel’s experiences witnessing the parallels in Black and Indigenous suffrage in Canada through her work with Children’s Aid Society and undergraduate research inspired her to pursue law. Throughout her time at law school, Jhanel has engaged in a number of projects to support the upliftment of Black and Indigenous communities. Jhanel has been an involved member of the Black Law Students’ Association throughout her three years at Windsor Law and is now the President of the organization. In the transition period from Vice President to President of the organization, Jhanel co-founded and is presently the co-chair of the Anti-Black Racism Committee of Windsor Law. Jhanel was a mooter representing defence counsel in the Kawishimhon Aboriginal Law Moot and advocated for reform of the Crown Policy Manual to better address systemic anti-Indigenous racism in the criminal justice system in Canada. Jhanel is also a research assistant in both the Law, Disability, and Social Change project, as well as the Kanehsatà:ke Land Justice Project.
Alex Kimball Williams is a multicultural artist, writer, scientist, speaker, & community organizer. They received their B.S. of Environmental Science from Haskell Indian Nations University & their M.A. of Indigenous Studies from the University of Kansas with departmental honors. Kimball Williams is the recipient of the 2018 MLK Dreamer's award & depicted in the Womxn of Color Mural installed on the Lawrence Public Library. Ethnopolitics & medical activism are often the focus of their work. Whether it's performing protest songs, guest teaching, or facilitating restorative conversations, Kimball Williams radically stirs up their community with multicultural & scientific approaches to issues of social & environmental justice.
Erica Violet Lee is a nēhiyaw writer and scholar from west side Saskatoon. She holds an MEd in Social Justice Education from OISE at the University of Toronto. Erica tweets @ericavioletlee.
Aja Sy is Black and Anishinaabe from Peterborough, Ontario. Currently, Aja is a student-athlete in British Columbia, where she studies Human Kinetics and plays volleyball. Her interests include reading and laying out at the beach. In the future Aja hopes to work in healthcare, specifically working with marginalized communities.
David Pitawanakwat is a student in the Dual JD Program, he is a tri-citizen of the United States, Canada, and Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory. David currently lives in Waawiiyaataanoong (Detroit) where he leads the Detroit Indigenous Peoples Alliance, a political advocacy group that helps navigate urban Native issues.
Tasha Spillett draws her strength from both her Inninewak (Cree) and Trinidadian bloodlines. She is a celebrated educator, poet, and emerging scholar. Tasha is most heart-tied to contributing to community-led work that centres on land and water defence, and the protection of Indigenous women and girls. Tasha is currently working on her Ph.D. in Education through the University of Saskatchewan, where she holds a Vanier Canada Award. In her work as a doctoral student, she is weaving in her cultural identity, and commitment to community to produce a body of research that echoes Indigenous women’s demands for justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People. Her work is a continuation of the resistance against the assault of colonialism that she has inherited.
Caleb Stephens is a LMSW (Licensed Master Social Worker) and a LMAC (Licensed Master’s Addictions Counselor). He graduated from Bethel College, Kansas, in 2011, and graduated from the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare in 2014. Caleb worked in Child Welfare as a Reintegration Case Manager and then an Intensive In-Home Therapist, from 2011 through 2014. He is an activist for Social Justice and specializes in Intrapersonal Conflict, Identity, and the different intersectionalities of Race, Substance Abuse, Coping, and Hope; he implements those through his company called IdentiFight. Consequential to Caleb's formerly noted foci he is competent in specialized work encompassing the Black Narrative. His emphasis centers around the understanding of Safety, Truth, and Hope. He utilizes various sources of strength and connection, to create safe spaces to empower authentic, intentional Truths. Caleb enjoys working out, writing, speaking on various issues, and pouring into the Lawrence and University of Kansas community. Oh, and he loves food.
Brian Provo is a first-year law student at Windsor Law. He is also a mixed Black and Metis man with deep historic roots in Canada and a profound interest in social justice work, the criminal justice system, and improving the living conditions of Black and Indigenous communities across the country. After graduating from the University of Toronto majoring in political science and African studies Brian was hired by reBOOT Canada Charity to help create a mentorship program teaching aboriginal youth and high school students how to run a business and repair used computers for individuals on social assistance while also volunteering in a restorative justice program called community council at Aboriginal Legal Services. In the year prior to law school, Brian worked full-time at Old city hall and several other courthouses downtown Toronto as an Indigenous Youth court worker.