Tell us your story
As a Black, queer woman, it is an honour to serve as Member of Provincial Parliament, Toronto-St.Paul’s, member of the Ontario NDP Official Opposition, the culture critic, women’s issues critic, and as a member of the Ontario NDP’s Black Caucus, I am working hard to ensure that the voices and needs of communities underrepresented due to everyday and systemic barriers are centered. It is crucial that as a community dedicated to moving forward that we continue to work together to ensure no one gets left behind.
I was raised by my mother – a determined immigrant woman who always instilled in me the importance of hard work, education and good will. She also made it clear that regardless of the aforementioned, systemic discrimination would make things harder for me. She stressed the importance of community resources, asking for help when needed and she always told me to never be ashamed to ask questions no matter how trite. I try my best to remember and share that advice today as a human and as an elected official. Every time I walk past St. Matthews United Church on St.Clair West where I was baptized many moons ago, I am reminded of my humble beginnings and motivated to continue my journey so others may be inspired while on theirs too. Representation matters.
Your Favourite Quote/Mantra
“I am a big bright burning star and I’m gonna shine forever.” (Favourite Mantra)
“If I didn’t define myself for myself I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” Audre Lorde (Favourite Quote)
What do you enjoy most about working with Skills for Change?
At Skills for Change people find community, a sense of belonging and learners are able to hone their skills towards social, cultural and economic empowerment. I have had the opportunity to host programming such as our 2019 International Women’s Day round table and I’ve also had the pleasure of joining Skills as a guest speaker on various occasions including the 2019 Pioneers for Change Charity Gala and leading a conversation with students on ‘Happiness.’ I look forward to many more memories with Skills for Change!