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Panel Discussion: Mary Ann Shadd Cary at 200

Time and Date: Saturday, October 28, 2023, 12pm-1pm

Location: Second floor, AWE

Cost: Admission to AWE is $10 for non-member and free for members.

Irene Moore Davis

Irene Moore Davis is an educator, historian, writer, podcaster, and community advocate who speaks and writes frequently about equity, diversity, inclusion, and African Canadian history. She is a graduate of the University of Windsor, Western University, and Queen’s University. Irene’s published work has included poetry, history, and journalism. Her documentary producer credits have included the award-winning The North Was Our Canaan (2020) and Across the River to Freedom (currently in post-production.) She was recently featured in the Discovery Channel mini-series Secrets of the Underground Railroad and on the CBC series Black Life: Untold Stories. Irene fulfills community roles including President of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society, Programming Chair at BookFest Windsor, co-host of the All Write in Sin City podcast, co-founder of Black Women of Forward Action, co-host of the local television program Talkin’ Real Melanin, member of the board of Canterbury College, and member of the University of Windsor Board of Governors. She is the owner of IMD Training, Consulting, and Media. Her recognitions have included the Windsor Endowment for the Arts Literary Leadership Award in 2016; in 2022, Irene was the recipient of the Harriet Tubman Award for Commitment to a Purpose from the Ontario Black History Society and was named to the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women. Irene resides in Windsor, Ontario, with her husband, Rodney Davis, and descends from multiple families of African heritage who made their way to Southwestern Ontario in the nineteenth century, including the Shadds.

Mbonisi Zikhali Zomkhonto

Mbonisi Zikhali Zomkhonto is a poet/spoken word artist and storyteller born in Makokoba, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He has loved poetry since he was a child, and won his first poetry certificate when he was 8 years old. His spoken-word/storytelling name is Zomkhonto, which happens to be his bloodline’s totem. He is also a trained journalist, youth mentor, qualified community services worker, grassroots community organizer and mental wellness advocate. He considers himself an afro-empath, and is driven to ensure that people find joy in the power of words and story-telling. Recent publications include winner of Off Topic Publishing’s August 2022 Poetry Contest,  Best New African Poets 2019 Anthology by Mwanaka Media and Publishing, Ipikai Poetry Journal’s inaugural and second edition (initiative of the Zimbabwe Poets Society) among others. His work was also showcased at the World Poetry Slam Championships (September 26-30, 2022) in Brussels, Belgium. In 2021, he was part of Artcite Windsor (Canada)’s “Emancipate the Landscape,” a month-long exhibition that ran from August-September and was meant to celebrate the resilience and elegance of everyday Blackness, deconstruct dominant culture and turn stereotypes about black people on their head. He holds workshops on writing for mental wellness. He is the current President of Artcite Windsor’s Board of Directors and a member of the board of Literary Arts Windsor.

Shantelle Browning-Morgan

Shantelle Browning-Morgan is a secondary school teacher with the Greater Essex County District School Board and has been teaching since 2001. She is a sixth-generation Black Canadian and Underground Railroad descendant. Shantelle is a graduate of the University of Windsor where she obtained an Honours Degree in French Language and Literature, a Bachelor of Education, and a Master of Education with a concentration in Curriculum Development. She has been the Secretary of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society for a number of years, is a co-founder of the Black Staff Equity Alliance, and is active in many community organizations and events. In 2011, Shantelle was a recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History for piloting an innovative African Studies course at Walkerville Collegiate. Additional awards and honours include: the Windsor and District Black Coalition Award, the University of Windsor’s Odyssey Award, Professionally Speaking Magazine’s Exemplary Teacher, the Sisterhood Award from Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor, and she appeared on Windsor’s Black History Month Wall of Fame in 2020. Shantelle was featured in CBC’s 2015 edition of Being Black in Canada. In addition to teaching, Shantelle has contributed to the development of the GECDSB’s African Canadian Roads to Freedom curriculum support documents, the Chatham Coloured All-Stars K-12 curriculum, the OSSTF Canadian Black Lives curriculum resources, and Resistance Along the Fluid Frontier: The Detroit River Project International Freedom Curriculum for the University of Michigan’s Wolverine Pathways program. She is the mother of three children.

Teajai Travis

Teajai Travis is the City of Windsor Multicultural Community Storyteller. He proudly identifies as an Afro-Indigenous descendant of the Underground Railroad travellers that made a home in North Buxton, Ontario, following the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. He is currently serving as Executive Director for Artcite Inc. in Windsor, and as an Artist Educator and Workshop Facilitator with Arts Can Teach Windsor-Essex. Travis facilitates workshops on poetry, hand drumming, meditation, and personal development. He is also the founder and administrator for The Bloomfield House – a Sandwich Town community collective dedicated to grass roots community-run outreach with a mission to provide a safe and accessible space for human growth through community outreach. Travis is a current board member with the Friends of the Court at Mackenzie Hall, and with Literary Arts Windsor and Artist-Run Centres and Collectives of Ontario. He previously served on the boards for the Windsor Youth Centre, and Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women. He received the Windsor Endowment for the Arts award for Arts Leadership in the Literary Arts, and the Arts Infrastructure Award, and was presented with a Community Leadership Award by the Province of Ontario. Travis is a member of the Windsor Storytellers Collective, an alumina of the Sandwich Teen Action Group, and the Our West End Round Table, to name a few of his affiliations. As a spoken word artist, Travis turned his family’s story into a piece of performance art titled Born Enslaved: A Freedom Story. He later used that work as an educational tool, and continues to go into schools to provide workshops for both students and teachers. Over the years, Travis has worked as a storyteller with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, 4th Wall Music, Destination Ontario, the University of Windsor, Urban Farmhouse Press, Greater Essex County District School Board, Charles Wright Museum in Detroit, the Amherstburg Freedom Museum, and with Windsor Endowment for the Arts Changing the Odds program.

Who was Mary Ann Shadd Cary, what was her impact, why does her story matter, and what is the significance of her legacy in the present day? Panelists include Irene Moore Davis, Shantelle Browning-Morgan, Teajai Travis, Mbonisi Zikhali Zomkhonto, Amina Abdulle, and Talysha Bujold Abu. Moderator: Moya McAlister. Complimentary themed refreshments will be served.

Amina Abdulle

Amina Abdulle is a poet and a teacher who’s passionate about art and expression. Born in Somalia, Amina has been living in Canada since she was 7 and is proud to call Windsor her home. Amina Abdulle has been with the Greater Essex County District School Board for over 10 years where she has served as an educator, department head and as the Teacher Consultant for Equity. Amina sits on several boards as an Executive Board Member and is also one of the Co-Founders of the Black Staff Equity Alliance (BSEA) which aims to bring together Black staff and their allies in a safe space to combat anti-Black racism and create systemic changes in education. As a public speaker, Amina has created and led many workshops that touch on topics including dispelling the myth of the model minority, intersectionality, islamophobia, and allyship. Amina is an advocate for decolonizing education and believes that education is the tool to a more fair and equitable future for all. A graduate of the University of Windsor’s Creative Writing program, she writes works of poetry that touch on several issues including her cultural background and issues of identity.

Talysha Bujold-Abu

Talysha Bujold Abu (she/her) is an illustrator, educator, and writer. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) from the University of Windsor (2018) and is recipient of the Conundrum Press Mini-Comic Bursary for Black and Indigenous Creators (2021). Residencies include: New Zealand Pacific Studio (2016), ArtsPond (2020-2021), Pelee Quarry – Stone & Sky Artists Residency (2020-2021), and Struts Gallery (2022).

Moya McAlister

Moya McAlister, a full-time marketing professional, not-for-profit management consultant, and advocate for social change and transformation currently works as the Communications Manager for the National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP); a charitable organization that advocates for a better and deeper understanding of the needs, motivations, and challenges of self-represented litigants in Canada. Moya was born in Toronto, Ontario to Trinidadian immigrant parents. She played the steelpan for many years honouring her Caribbean roots. She serves as Vice President of Arts Collective Theatre and in 2020, received the 2020 Mayor’s Award for Arts Administration. She serves on the Artcite Programming Committee, as a board member of Black Women of Forward Action, and as co-host of the local television program Talkin’ Real Melanin. As a public speaker, she discusses diversity and inclusion as well as personal branding techniques, and tips on finding viable, sustainable strategies for a variety of local non-profits and charities to amplify their organization’s social impact. Moya is also a member of a team of four dynamic women called “Real Women, Direct Talk” who facilitate anti-racism workshops to businesses and organizations in the Windsor-Essex Region using fresh and innovative approaches to support people in becoming agents of change.

Related Events + Workshops

Sun Oct 29

The Legacy of Mary Ann Shadd Cary

October 29 | 10 am - 5 pm