(Zoom Webinar) February 24, 2021, 8:00 pm In honour of Black History Month, Holy Blossom’s Women’s Advocacy Group and the Anti-Racism Group are delighted to co-host a conversation celebrating three impressive
(Zoom Webinar) February 24, 2021, 8:00 pm
In honour of Black History Month, Holy Blossom’s Women’s Advocacy Group and the Anti-Racism Group are delighted to co-host a conversation celebrating three impressive women leaders and advocates in the Black community. Join us as we welcome Dr. Jill Andrew, Charlene Theodore, and Tema Smith as they discuss the unique personal journeys that brought each of them to advocate for meaningful change in relation to anti-black racism through political action, leadership in the legal profession, and community building and engagement. The discussion will be moderated by Megan Stephens.
This program is generously sponsored by the Stephens-Iny Family
Dr. Jill Andrew is the MPP for Toronto-St. Paul’s. First elected in 2018, Jill serves as the Ontario NDP Critic for Heritage and Culture, and Women’s Issues. Jill is also a member of the Ontario NDP Black Caucus, a first of its kind in Ontario legislative history. She also sits on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
Jill is the first Black and Queer person to be elected to the Ontario Legislature and reportedly in Canada. Outside of politics, Jill is the co-founder of Body Confidence Canada and is an award-winning educator and former columnist, equity and body-image advocate, speaker and writer.
She is passionate about documenting, celebrating and advocating for people’s human rights and their right to social, cultural and economic access.
Charlene Theodore is President of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) and a workplace lawyer currently serving as in-house counsel to one of Ontario’s largest teachers associations. One of Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers of 2020, she is known for tackling some of the most challenging issues facing the bar and the justice system, as well as bringing about positive change throughout the profession for women and people of colour.
As the OBA’s first Black president, Charlene has embraced her role in improving equality, diversity and inclusion in the justice sector and beyond. Her ground-breaking initiative – Not Another Decade – is focused on moving the dial on equality for Black and Indigenous people and people of colour. She is also committed to working with lawyers and law firms to re-imagine workplaces through her Work that Works initiative – building productive, profitable, healthy and inclusive work environments for all lawyers.
As she likes to say: “Our best chance for a just society is diverse and dedicated lawyers working at their best.”
Tema Smith is a diversity advocate, writer and Jewish community builder. She is currently the Director of Professional Development at 18Doors (formerly InterfaithFamily). This comes after seven years as a synagogue professional, most recently as the Director of Community Engagement at Holy Blossom Temple.
Tema is also a contributing columnist at The Forward whose writing has been published in MyJewishLearning, the Globe and Mail, and the Canadian Jewish News. Tema is dedicated to building a meaningful and inclusive Jewish community through research, training, writing and relational engagement work.
Over the past ten years, Tema has worked to advance the conversation on racially diverse Judaism, working with organizations like Be’chol Lashon, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the Miles Nadal JCC, CJPAC and conducting trainings and presentations for numerous synagogues and Jewish organizations.
Megan Stephens, who will moderate the discussion, has recently stepped down from her role as the Executive Director and General Counsel at the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). She is returning to full-time legal practice where she will continue to advocate for the rights of women and gender-diverse people through criminal and constitutional litigation. She and her family are members of Holy Blossom Temple.
(Wednesday) 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm