El Jones, current Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University will host a panel presentation titled “Imagining Black Justice” on Monday, June 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. in rooms 105/106 of the Margaret Norrie McCain Centre on campus [map].

All are welcome.

What does justice look like?

The session will feature four of Canada’s leading Black thinkers and activists in a discussion about state violence, policing, incarceration, Black mental health, and Black feminism.

At a time when street checks are being challenged by Black communities, in the wake of reports on policing and Black incarceration, and inspired by the Movement for Black Lives, this session will ask the question of what worlds are possible beyond prisons and policing.


Desmond ColeDesmond Cole – Journalist, writer, and activist
Winner of the 2017 PEN Canada/Ken Filkow Prize for freedom of expression in Canada. His essay, “The Skin I’m In” in Toronto Life led to a documentary on CBC, a column in the Star, and a publishing deal for his forthcoming book. Desmond left his column at the Toronto Star when his editor told him to choose between journalism and activism. He continues to be a leading voice in the movement against police profiling.

Yusra KhogaliYusra Khogali – Co-founder, Black Lives Matter Toronto
The daughter of a Sudanese diaspora from Regent Park, Toronto, Yusra is a black feminist multi-disciplinary educator, writer, performance artist, activist, public intellectual, MC and grassroots community organizer. She has performed at over 1,000 events. She co-founded Black Lives Matter Toronto and Black Liberation Collective Canada. As a published author, she has recently been in conversation with Dr. Angela Davis. Yusra completed her Master of Arts degree in social justice education at the University of Toronto OISE with a thesis research focus on Black diaspora, Black African, Anti-colonial, Trans*feminist Liberation thought.

Carl JamesCarl James – Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora, Faculty of Education, York University, Toronto
Carl is also the Affirmative Action, Equity & Inclusivity Officer. His scholarly interests include examination of how race, ethnicity, gender, class and immigrant status/ citizenship intersect and mediate schooling opportunities and educational outcomes of racialized students, and Black students in particular. James holds a PhD in Sociology and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. One of his forthcoming publications is: Colour Matters: The Experiences, Education and Aspirations of Black Youth.

OmiSoore DrydenOmiSoore Dryden – James Robinson Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies, Dalhousie University
Dr. OmiSoore H. Dryden’s research interrogates Black life, health equity, illness, and belonging, as demonstrated through the systems and tools of blood donation, including screening questionnaires. Dr. Dryden is the Principal Investigator of a two-year research project that seeks to identify the barriers African/Black gay, bisexual, and trans men encounter to donating blood in Canada. Her forthcoming monograph examines Canadian Blood Services’ blood donation questionnaire and how the blood stories assembled within this document, and in the larger blood system, intersect with and depict Black people, queer sexualities, and the precarious conditions of Canadian citizenship.

El JonesEl Jones – Poet, educator, journalist and advocate
She was the fifth Poet Laureate of Halifax, and currently holds the 15th Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University. El is a co-founder of the Black Power Hour, a radio show developed collectively with prisoners. Her advocacy and work fights anti-Black racism in Canada, walking in the path of our great-grandmothers who resisted relentlessly.