Veronica Merryfield, leader établi de la communauté d’IED et originaire d'Angleterre, a déménagé au Cap-Breton en 2016. Formée en ingénierie électronique, elle a travaillé dans le monde entier dans les domaines de l'ingénierie, des ventes, du marketing, du soutien, de la gestion et de la direction, et a aussi enseigné à temps partiel à l'Université Dalhousie. Le parcours de Veronica vers la féminité est un chemin moins fréquenté. Elle s'identifie comme intersexe et transsexuelle, c'est une longue histoire, tout comme son parcours avec la neurodiversité. S'inspirant de ses expériences vécues, Veronica s'exprime en public et propose des formations et des conseils en matière d'IED qui sont très demandés au niveau local et au-delà. Veronica est également en train de relancer son entreprise de fabrication d'instruments de musique et d'enseignement, une passion vieille de 40 ans. Elle est présidente du conseil d'administration de Every Woman's Center, de Transition House, du CBRM Diversity Committee, du Cape Breton Center for Sexual Health, de Conversion Therapy Survivors Connect, du conseil consultatif de la Marion Bridge School, et elle est membre du conseil consultatif sur le statut des femmes, du conseil d'administration du Cape Breton Pride et du comité sur l'accessibilité du CBRM. Elle a réussi à faire modifier la législation et travaille régulièrement avec le ministère de la Santé et du Bien-être sur les soins d'affirmation du genre. Elle est la fondatrice du Cape Breton Transgender Network. Veronica a deux filles et quatre petits-enfants, elle joue de la guitare basse et du clavier, elle est écrivaine, photographe et aime bien boire une bonne tasse de thé.
Robyn Lee Seale is the Diversity & Inclusion Lead for the Cape Breton Redevelopment Project (Build Nova Scotia); in other words, she is paid to develop race and gender theory for the island’s construction industry. Her professional background is in economic development, with a focus on connecting businesses to talent. In her spare time, she works with a local theatre to develop its programming for underrepresented voices. Earlier this month, she shot a mini-pilot fictionalizing life as a Black woman in Cape Breton.
Ivan Okello is a first-generation immigrant from Uganda, East Africa currently based in the Siknikt district of the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq, a city also known as Moncton, NB.
Ivan currently serves as the Project Manager of Antiracism Initiatives at the New Brunswick Multicultural Council (NBMC). He previously served as the Co-chair of the President’s Taskforce on Diversity and Inclusion at Mount Allison University.
Ivan’s educational background includes among others Gender studies, International Development and Antiracism/decolonization. He has previously worked in post-secondary institutions and non-profits.
Ivan is an educator and storyteller who believes in using education as a medium for bridging social inequities and advancing social change. His goal is to live in a society free of injustice.
Ivan is passionate about building bridges across diverse communities and ensuring that society/organizations are (re)designed to serve and cultivate everyone’s potential.
Shakira is a respected trainer with nearly a decade of experience in sexualized violence, equity and inclusion. She provides subject matter expertise and leads the implementation of equity-related programs and services at Labour, Skills and Immigration as Executive Director, Engagement, Equity and Belonging. She is also the founder of Black Girls Gather, a non-profit with a mission to equip young, Black women entrepreneurs with the tools, strategies and networks they need to build and scale up successful ventures and attaching new Black women graduates to meaningful employment opportunities in the Atlantic Region. Her passions include supporting organizations to create safer, more welcoming, and inclusive environments and cultivating Black Girl Magic and Black Boy Joy. Shakira received her MA in Gender and Peacebuilding from the United Nations mandated University for Peace and her Honors Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Development Studies from the University of Toronto.
Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Precious has spent most of his life living in different countries around the world, before making Newfoundland and Labrador his home. He is very passionate about supporting black-owned businesses and his community.
Precious is a community organizer committed to combating anti-black racism, creating a clearer pathway to permanent residency for immigrants, accessible education, and community building. Upon graduating from Memorial University Faculty of Business Administration, He was the winner of the Leslie Thoms Convocation award for Leadership and was chosen as one of the Heroes of 2020 by ‘The Telegram” for his work within the community. He has had the opportunity to be a member of Canadian Federation of Student National Black Caucus, a student leader, chair of the Nigerian Canadian Association of NL publicity committee and speak at various events across Newfoundland and Labrador
He is the co-founder of Black Lives Matter NL and host of Out of the Fog on Rogers TV. He strives to impact black youths within his community through his volunteer work.
Precious is a conversationalist who loves networking and making new connections. An avid musician, movie lover and soccer fan, he can be found either banging on his drums at his church, binge-watching Netflix or watching the best football club in the world – Arsenal.