Banner with the text: MGH celebrates Black History Month, Speaker Event Series.

MGH Inclusion Alliance hosts 2023 Speaker Event Series for Black History Month

Michael Garron Hospital's (MGH) Inclusion Alliance and Black History Month Planning Committee would like to invite the East Toronto community to an Inclusion Alliance Speaker Event Series.

In celebration of Black History Month, join us for important conversations highlighting diverse voices and dialogue in arts, education and healthcare.

Speaker Event #1: Thursday, February 16, 2023 from 12 to 1 p.m.

Featured Speakers: Robert R. Small and Anne-Marie Woods (Amani)

Robert Small

Topic: Robert will talk about the importance of African-Canadian contributions, focusing on history, societal influences, introspection, reflection and forging a path for honest dialogue.

Amani will share spoken word poetry and read from her new script called Why Black Women Whisper, which is in development.

Artist, author and educator Robert R. Small, C.M. is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader who gives speeches across Canada and delivers powerful workshops on the importance of Black history. He is the creator of the LEGACY poster, which has been a staple seen across Canada in schools, businesses and organizations for 28 years. In 2022, he was appointed to the Order of Canada for his long-standing commitment to highlighting the accomplishments and contributions of Black people in all sectors of Canadian society.

Anne-Marie (Amani) Woods

Anne-Marie Woods (Amani) is the 2013 Winner of the BBPA Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in Entertainment, the Bob Marley Day Award and an East Coast Music Award. She is a creative consultant and multi-disciplinary artist known for her spoken word, arts education outreach, producing, directing, comedy and writing. In 2014 and 2015, she was the Creative Director and playwright for the Daniels Corporation Regent Park production The Journey.

Her two new youth productions Scotian Journey and The Three Friends were both on-stage in 2019. Scotian Journey had a World Premiere at Black Theatre Workshop and The Three Friends was part of the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts Education Series. Her play She Said/He Said, described as a theatrical rhapsody, had a world premiere at the MAI in Montreal produced by Black Theatre Workshop in 2016 to rave reviews.

Robert Small and Anne-Marie Woods (Amani), will bring aspects of African-Canadian history to life through their reflective messages and stories during this event.

Update: This event has now passed. You can view a recording of the talk in the video below.

Speaker Event #2: Thursday, February 23, 2023 from 12 to 1 p.m.

Featured Speaker: Althea Jones

Althea Jones

Topic: The disparities that continue to exist in Black maternal health and the importance of community-driven care to improve Black maternal health.

Althea Jones is a registered midwife with over 10 years of experience providing primary maternity and newborn care.

For Althea, maternal health is much more than a career. It’s a passion and a calling she has dedicated herself to. Althea sees the comprehensive care and support midwives provide as part of the solution to Black maternal health disparities. She strongly believes that community-led care is crucial to improving Black maternal health.




Update: This event has now passed. You can view a recording of the talk in the video below.

Speaker Event #3: Tuesday, February 28, 2023 from 12 to 1 p.m.

Featured Speaker: Dr. Jude Kong

Dr. Jude Kong

Topic: Dr. Kong will share his science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career journey, including challenges and breakthroughs. He will also speak about his research program and the key to leveraging responsible data science methods for population health and health systems. 

Dr. Jude Kong is a professor in the Mathematics and Statistics Department at York University and the founding Director of the Africa-Canada Artificial Intelligence and Data Innovation Consortium (ACADIC).

Dr. Jude Kong has a substantial track record in mathematical biology, infectious disease modelling, mathematical and statistical modelling, data science, artificial intelligence, citizen science and participatory research as well as working with policy makers in government and industry. He is also the leader of the One Health Modelling Network for Emerging Infections (OMNI) Early Warning Signals Network and a member of the Canadian Black Scientist Network, the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Mathematics for Public Health Network, the Canadian Centre for Disease Modelling, and the Canadian COVID-19 Modelling Rapid Response Task Force.

Update: This event has now passed. You can view a recording of the talk in the video below.

Other ways MGH is celebrating Black History Month

This speaker event series is part of MGH’s Black History Month programming and is open to community members in East Toronto.

In recognition of Black History Month, MGH is sharing the myriad of ways we can recognize, learn about and engage with the diverse facets of Black history, culture and identity in East Toronto and beyond.

To help you in your journey, we have compiled a calendar of events with a curated list of African and Caribbean recipes, book lists, local Black-owned businesses and other resources and events taking place this month. We have displayed a Black History Makers Gallery in the Thomson Centre so you can learn more about Black history makers and their contributions to our country’s history, culture and identity. You may also view our #IamMGH Black Voice series display in the Thomson Centre centred around the voices and lived experiences of our Black staff and physicians.

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