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The Black Policy Conference

The leading policy driven forum to address the issues affecting Black communities. The conference provides an opportunity for the convergence of the world’ s greatest minds and practitioners with the hope and intent of finding sustainable solutions for issues facing Black communities. We aim to:

  • Enrich the dialogue at Harvard University and beyond surrounding Black issues
  • Build a sustainable network among current students, alumni, faculty, and policy practitioners
  • Create innovative ideas and share best practices addressing policy issues that affect Africa and the African Diaspora
  • Inspire individuals to be engaged in the policy-making process

The Myth of Multiculturalism: Policy Issues Affecting Black Canadians

One of the myths of multiculturalism is that it eliminates all forms of racial oppression. This panel seeks to debunk that belief in Canada – one of the most multicultural countries in the world – by exploring major policy issues affecting Black Canadians in health equity, LGBTQ rights, criminal justice and education. What can the US learn from its neighbors and what insights can Canada glean from the American experience? This panel will provide participants with the unique opportunity to step outside of the American context and think globally about the issues facing Black communities at home and abroad.


Akio Maroon thinks we need to talk about feminism as a layered cake.

What that means for Akio is that when we look at an issue like pay equity, we don't just see it as a gender issue but also influenced by class, race, sexuality, ability, etc., all of the layers that make up a women and that make experiences among women different.


Colour Code Episode 4: "The Angel Complex"

Colour Code, a podcast about race in Canada by the Globe and Mail. Join hosts Denise Balkissoon and Hannah Sung as they question how we see ourselves when we think about the Canadian experience of race. We constantly compare ourselves to the U.S. Do we have an angel complex? Featuring discussion about civil rights hero Viola Desmond and a panel discussion with human rights activist Akio Maroon and Mohammed Hashim, labour activist and organizer of online Muslim community Dawanet. Also featuring Tony and Ian Balkissoon, Denise's brothers and Canadian expats in the U.S.


Racism in Canada

With Akio Maroon, internationally recognized Human Rights Advocate and Chair, Board of Directors at Maggie's - Toronto Sex Workers' Action Project; Kim Katrin Milan, award winning internationally acclaimed artist, educator and writer, and co-founder and Executive Director of The People Project;  With Septembre Anderson, freelance writer, public thinker and reluctant feminist and activist;


WSIC: Black Lives Matter Movement

Have we, as Canadians, set the bar low for race relations? When the Black Lives Matter movement is mentioned here, a common response is that at least Canada isn’t as bad as the States. And yet we we have an extremely high unemployment rate amongst black youth, black Torontonians are stopped by police up to 17 times as frequently as other groups, unarmed black men have been beaten by the police, and the black community is under-represented in leadership positions. Andray Domise, community activist and co-host of the Canadian politics podcast Canadaland Commons, and Akio Maroon, human rights activist, educator and community organizer with a focus on gender-based violence, consent, equality and social justice, will share their experiences and discuss why we should all care about the movement.

Akio Maroon’s appointment to the board of Pride Toronto signals a significant shift in the organization. As a Black, queer activist, educator and single mother of two, Maroon brings a wealth of experience to this role, which they hope to leverage to benefit communities that have long been ignored within the larger LGBTQ* community in Toronto.

When Reporting Sexual Violence, Words Matter

New guide breaks down how biased news language can undercut survivors.


Contemporary Art

Akio Maroon is featured in Suck Teeth Compositions (After Rashaad Newsome) on view in the group exhibition, Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art, opening January 26, 2018 at The Royal Ontario Museum. The exhibition opens with a free artist panel at 6:00pm.

About the artist: Michèle Pearson Clarke

Michèle Pearson Clarke is a Trinidad-born artist who works in photography, film, video and installation. Using archival, performative and process-oriented strategies, her work explores the personal and political possibilities afforded by considering experiences of emotions related to longing and loss. Her work has been exhibited and screened across Canada, the United States, and Europe, including Ryerson Image Centre (Toronto), Studio XX (Montreal), Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa), Ann Arbor Film Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning (London, UK), International Film Festival Rotterdam and International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.