Mark is an adjunct professor at the RTA School of Media and a former Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Regina's Department of Fine Arts. Mark is a scholar, DJ and advocate of the arts, with more than a decade of radio experience. His research interests include; Afrodiasporic theory and culture, Canadian hip hop cultures, DJ cultures, afrosonic innovations and community development projects. Mark is founding director at Northside Hip Hop Archive, Canada's first national hip hop archive and also a co-founder of the non-profit arts organization, Nia Centre for the Arts which celebrates arts from across the African diaspora. Mark has published widely with essays appearing in the Southern Journal of Canadian Studies, Critical Studies in Improvisation, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society and the CLR Journal of Caribbean Ideas.
Eklipz is a supremely seasoned, multi-medium, locally renowned artist based In Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Often referred to as a modern day renaissance artist, his work has already established an impactful presence throughout the community. Having grown up scribing the city streets in the early 90’s, his art still adorns the buildings of Hamilton with elegantly executed, colour- infused murals. Though his initial offerings were spawned by Hip Hop’s graffiti culture, his unquenchable thirst for growth in all areas of life pushed him to develop an eclectic and diverse style unlike any other. In recent years he has achieved great success experimenting with markers on various nontraditional surfaces such as wood and metal. Never one to be pigeon-holed, Eklipz has also extended his sublime creativity into the fields of photography and cinematography. He seamlessly blends contemporary urban themes with classical elements, often paying homage to eras and periods that have fallen through the cracks of time. When he is not busy working on custom commissioned pieces for art lovers across the globe, he is sharing his unique and powerful perspective with the next generation of aspiring artists.
Kulsoom Anwer Shaikh is a secondary school teacher and Curriculum Leader of English and Library with the Toronto District School Board. She has written Africentric English course profiles for senior high school students and is a co-author of Beyond Five Paragraphs: Advanced Essay Writing Skills and Constructing Meaning: Skills for Understanding Contemporary Texts (McGraw-Hill Ryerson). She holds a Master of Education from York University with a focus on policy and curriculum that responds to linguistic diversity in the classroom.
Pamela Edmonds is a visual and media arts curator based in Toronto. She received her BFA and MA in Art History from Concordia University, Montreal. She is interested in developing projects that focus on contemporary art and the politics of representation. Her primary focus has been on thematic exhibitions by Canadian artists that investigate the role of visual culture in the construction of traditional concepts of identity, race, gender and nationalism, and on artwork that actively deconstructs these perceptions. She is also interested in exploring the impact of African diasporic cultures on the evolving geography of global contemporary art.
Pamela has presented at symposiums including at OCAD University for The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation, Critical Dialogues: Cross-cultural Perspectives on Curating and Artistic Practice, hosted by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries and the Ontario Arts Council, as well as Art Institutions & the Feminist Dialectic. Recent curated exhibitions include New-Found-Lands (Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John's, 2016), Liminal: Lucie Chan & Jerome Havre (Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, 2016), Confluence: Shifting Perspectives of the Caribbean (Art in Transit, Canada-wide, 2015), Skin Deep/EXPOSED (Nia Centre/Project Gallery, Toronto, 2015), Bounty: Chikonzero Chazunguza (Gallery 101, Ottawa, 2013) and 28 Days: Reimagining Black History Month (Justina M. Barnicke Gallery/Georgia Scherman Projects, Toronto, 2012). She is a founding member of Third Space Art Projects, a curatorial collective co-founded in 2009 with Sally Frater. It is a forum for the promotion, presentation and development of multidisciplinary art projects that engage trans-cultural communities, with a particular focus on visual cultures of the Black Atlantic. More of her work can be viewed at www.pe-curates.space
Chiedza Pasipanodya is a curator and innovator committed to producing and engaging with transformational objects and spaces. Much of her work and collaborations focuses on the possibilities that arise from intersecting humans beings, the sacred and liminal with the natural occurring world.
She has produced happenings and collaborations with The Art Gallery of Ontario, Nia Centre for the Arts, the ROM, Pride Toronto, Manifesto Community Projects, Black Future Month, York U, OCAD and Ryerson University.
She is the co-founder of Sunset Service, an inclusive, inter-faith gathering that provides the experience of connectedness through creativity and spirituality. Sunset Service has grown to host weekly, monthly, quarterly events, Nuit Blanche Independent Projects, a Reboot Safety(SF) Hackathon and dozens of openings and blessings.
Chiedza is currently writing, designing, educating, travelling and innovating with the Woodgreen Rites of Passage and Sunset Service Toronto.
datejie is a strategic organizer working at the intersections of equity, culture, labour and media. An independent impact producer, broadcaster and archivist, she is currently pursuing a PhD in Media Industries at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS) at Western University, where she is co-organizer of the Organizing Equality International Conference taking place in March 2017. datejie joined FIMS in 2015 as a researcher with the Digital Labour Group on their study, ``The Future of Organized Labour in the Digital Media Workplace.``
datejie was FIMS Asper Fellow in Media 2015, where she produced the public event series, ``Dialogues with Solidarity Conscious Knowlege Workers`` to bring the intellect and creativity of marginalized artist and advocate practitioner-scholars into open conversation. In this project she advanced her thinking on the need for collective self-organizing in this age of disruption, and how principles of intersectional solidarity and sustainable livelihoods must be at the core. Recognizing that established institutions are lagging far behind, she has been strategically cross-pollinating her networks of people advocating for social justice and social innovation, including through engagement with projects such as Toronto's Centre for Social Innovation at Regent Park, the North Side Hip Hop Archive, the Ali Mustafa Memorial Collective, and the Tigrinya-language repository, ``Eritrean Oral Poetry - A Portrayal of History.”
Salman Ylook Rana is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and a doctoral candidate at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. His work explores the intersection of musical youth subcultures, law and normativity in both state and non-state/unofficial contexts. He has lectured on youth cultures, the sociology of law, law and social change, legal research methodology and cultural studies of law. His broader legal research interests intersect with his interests in undergraduate legal education, critical legal pluralism, social theory, subcultures, childhood, poverty, critical race theory, ethnomusicology, Islam and international human rights.
Before graduate work, Salman articled with the Ministry of The Attorney General’s Office of The Children’s Lawyer (Ontario) and was a field researcher in Kampala with the Ugandan Law Society. He is a longtime member of Toronto’s Hip Hop community and is a founding member of the artist collective, The Circle, along with artists Kardinal Offishall, Saukrates, and Choclair et al.
Ellyn Walker is curator and writer based in Toronto. Her research explores political questions of representation, inclusion and participation within the arts. Her curatorial projects have been presented by the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Prefix Institute for Contemporary Art, ImagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts festival, and most recently at Queen's Art & Media Lab. Her writing has been widely published in books, academic journals, art magazines, news periodicals, catalogues, galleries and online. She is currently a PhD student in the Cultural Studies program at Queen's University.
Victoria is a freelance graphic & web designer who works for social & environmental justice. She is an avid social media user, and spends her time designing, teaching and supporting various social movements. She is interested in web design, education and has a background in print design.
For the NSHH project, Victoria designed the website for optimal use as a multimedia showcase.
Sheetal Lodhia has been working to foster relationships between academic institutions and the world-at-large, championing interdisciplinarity, collaboration and broad purchase for knowledge. She has a history of involvement in the nonprofit and social innovation sector, working with grassroots organizations, arts-education groups and policy organizations in strategic planning, community engagement and grant acquisition. A recent doctoral graduate in English Literature from Queen’s University, she has researched and taught in Renaissance poetry, prose and drama, history of medicine, colonialism and cultural studies. She has produced radio documentaries based on her dissertation research and will produce more. She has also produced her first video documentary short. Sheetal is currently Executive Director of The Institute for the Public Life of Art and Ideas (IPLAI) at McGill University. She also continues her freelance radio production through her production company Black Leg Productions. As a matter of course she writes, feeds her voracious appetite for pop culture, and harbours fantasies of becoming a pro-tennis player.
Maya Stitski is a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, under Dr. Katherine McKittrick's supervision. Her current research program and forthcoming dissertation will explore the connections between hip hop pedagogies, knowledge production and studies of race in Canada. She holds an MA from the London School of Economics in Gender and Social Policy and a BAHon from Queen’s University in Politics and Women’s Studies.