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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Special events

Understanding and Talking About Anti-Black Racism in Canada - online discussion

Date: Tuesday, August 11*
Time:  11 a.m. to 12 p.m.*
Location: Google Meet - link will be sent to all registrants

Note: This session is being recorded.

*This session has been rescheduled to the above date and time.


As Canada and the rest of the globe grapples with the legacy and contemporary implications of racism, many non-racialized Canadians hope to have a better understanding of the theory and practice that informs anti-racism efforts and calls for institutional reform. This session will unpack some of the terminology that is often referenced and offer demonstrative examples of how this discourse is relevant in present day Canada. Finally, we hope to leave you with some tools to inform your own anti-racism thinking and practice.

What is covered?

  •  What is racism and specifically how does anti-Black manifest in everyday society?
  •  What is the difference between interpersonal, institutional, and structural racism?
  •  What is White privilege and White supremacy
  •  How does racism intersect with other systemic oppressions in society?
  •  What are micro-aggressions?
  •  How can I better understand my role in tackling racism?

You can also submit questions to the panel anonymously through the above "Submit a question for discussion" button.


  • Sharifa T. Wright
    Sharifa T. Wright is the Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusive Engagement at Ontario Tech. Ms. Wright is a diversity leader with over 15 years’ experience engaging and supporting underrepresented, disenfranchised, and marginalized communities in the higher education, government, and non-profit sectors in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. Ms. Wright holds certifications in Project Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Anti-Oppression Training; she graduated from Williams College in the United States with a bachelor's degree in Political Science, Africana Studies, and Math and has completed graduate coursework in Social and Political Thought at York University.  
  • Shailene Panylo
    Shailene Panylo is a community social justice activist and organizer that was awarded the prestigious Lincoln M. Alexander Provincial Award for her anti-racism and discrimination work. She works with organizations across the GTA to develop and deliver diversity and anti-bullying workshops and facilitates her Naturally Crowned natural hair workshops in partnership with the Durham Catholic and Public school boards. Shailene is a public speaker, a former federal candidate, and has also sat on the Community Advisory Council Board for the Durham Children’s Aid Society. She has been a youth mentor for 7 years and takes great pride in her role as a director for the Durham Black Students’ Network, a not-for-profit that bridges the gap between racialized youth and their communities for all-around excellence. Shailene is also a co-founding organizer of the Durham Black Accountability Coalition, a group focused on implementing legislated frameworks for all levels of government to address anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism in public institutions.
  • Moderator: Dr. Tess Pierce
    Dr. Tess Pierce, Moderator. Associate professor in Communication & Digital Media Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities. Dr. Tess is a community activist who writes and teaches about gender and identity.

Additional information

  • Photo/Video consent

    We will be recording during camp that may be posted publicly, or used in whole or in part for future marketing materials or for educational purposes.

    *Registrants are responsible for reading and understanding the detailed information on the Ontario Tech University Photo/Video Release form before providing consent on the Understanding and Talking About Anti-Black Racism in Canada - online discussion registration form. The notes below do not contain all of the information on the form - they are only meant to help clarify some of the information.

    Notes about how it works*:

    By completing the Photo/Video Release form you give Ontario Tech permanent permission:

    • to take photos and video
    • to use all photos and video taken in various ways for marketing, promotion and  advertising
    • to fully own and edit all photos and video taken
    • to use all photos and video taken without the need for approval from you of its use or how it is used
    • to not be prevented from using all photos and video taken
  • Technology requirements
    1. Internet or data connection
    2. Device with a microphone and camera*
    3. Distraction free envrionment

    *Camera access is preferred but not required.

  • Google Meet

    We use Google Meet to organize virtual “face-to-face” meeting spaces. It's free, effective and easy-to-use.

    Don’t know how to use Google Meet? We can show you! See the Google Meet section on our How to page. 

  • Online discussion rules
    1. Be safe
      • Examples:
        • Don't share personal information
        • Don't click links unless they are postede by the discussion facilitator or moderator
    2. Be kind
      • Examples:
        • No bullying, discrimination or harassment
        • No harmful "jokes"
    3. Be respectful
      • Examples
        • No explicit speech
        • Respect other people, their feelings and ideas
    4. Be a good listener
      • Examples:
        • Listen to discussion facilitators and moderators
        • No spamming or all caps in the chat
    5. Be inclusive
      • Examples:
        • Give everyone a chance to speak
        • Create a safe environment for everyone
    6. Be relevant
      • Examples:
        • Keep conversation relevant to discussion topics
        • No advertising/promotion
        • No argumentative speech

    *Examples are not an exhaustive list. 

    Not following discussion rules can lead to removal from the current discussion and/or future discussions.