Are Black Canadians Equitably Represented in Positions of Power and Influence?
To mark Black History Month, Visionary Conversations will explore issues affecting the Black community and celebrate its stories.
Doors open – 6:30pm
Panel Discussion – 7:00pm-8:30pm
Reception – 8:30pm
Admission is free but seating is limited. Please RSVP to [email protected] or 204-474-9071.
Devon Clunis is a Canadian law enforcement officer, who was the Chief of the Winnipeg Police Service from 2012 until his retirement in 2016. He was the first ever Black Canadian appointed as a police chief.
Born in Jamaica, Clunis moved with his family to Winnipeg at age 11, and settled in the city’s North End. He joined the police Service in 1987, and served in all areas of the Service over the course of his career, including uniform patrol, traffic, investigation, community relations, organizational development, operational command and superintendent. He holds a university degree in divinity, and has also served as the Service’s chaplain.
Clunis retired in July 2016, with the hope that the new Chief of Police would continue his community policing policies and focus on addressing the social issues at the root of crime. On February 7, 2017, Clunis was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Advancement of Interreligious Understanding by Lieutenant Govenor Janice Filmon.
Leisha Strachan [BPE/97, BEd/99] is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management at the University of Manitoba. Her research interests focus on positive youth development in sport.
At the age of five, Strachan began competing in the sport of baton twirling, and continued in the sport for 18 years. Strachan represented Canada at seven world championships, earning two bronze medals and an individual ranking of sixth in the world. Today she is still very active in the sport as a coach, choreographer, and judge.
Strachan graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Physical Education and a Bachelor of Education. After teaching physical education for three years, she returned to her studies and earned a Master’s in Human Kinetics from the University of Windsor, and later a PhD in Sport Psychology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
In addition to her involvement in baton, Strachan is the Director of ANANSI School for the performing arts, an arts-based group for children and youth promoting Caribbean and African culture.
Zilla Jones [JD/11] practices criminal defence and human rights/poverty law in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She graduated from the University of Manitoba Robson Hall School of law in 2011 and has her own law firm, Jones Law Office. She has appeared at all levels of court in Manitoba and a number of administrative tribunals. Jones is a member of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and Association des juristes d’expression française du Manitoba and is the President of the Equality Issues section of the Manitoba Bar Association. In addition, she was previously an investigator at the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.
Jones currently is an assistant instructor for the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba, and also sits on the boards of the John Howard Society of Manitoba and the Manitoba Theatre for Young People. As an African-Canadian immigrant woman, she is very interested in issues of critical race theory and post-colonial theory and their application to the law.
Francis Amara [M.Ed./2010] is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics in the Max Rady College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He is the departmental coordinator of medical and physician assistant teaching. His research interest is on curriculum development and models of educational development.
Amara received his B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph. D. degrees from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. He also holds a M.Ed. from the University of Manitoba. Amara also completed his postdoctoral training at Umea University in Sweden.
Amara is currently a fellow of the Higher Education Academy of the United Kingdom, and leader of the International Network of Educational Development and Scholarship for Bioscience Researchers. In addition, he provides oversight and leadership for the Millennium STEM Centre, an outreach project in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
More panelists will be announced soon.