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Ontario Tech community hosts fundraising event for the Kimberley Black Graduate Scholarship

Scholarship is awarded to grad students displaying commitment to pursuit of women’s issues in their research

Panelist participants at the Kimberley Black Graduate Scholarship fundraising event at Ontario Tech University's Charles Hall (December 2, 2023).
Panelist participants at the Kimberley Black Graduate Scholarship fundraising event at Ontario Tech University's Charles Hall (December 2, 2023).

The Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education at Ontario Tech University is celebrating the success of a December 2 panel discussion and community gathering that combined the power of music and storytelling.

The fundraising event for the university’s Kimberley Black Graduate Scholarship began with a screening of Kimberley Black's incredible show, Take Your Power Back, which chronicles her survival story, emphasizing her personal path to resilience, drawing strength from the support of her community, and most importantly, finding hope.

Featuring the music of Kimberley’s partner and award-winning musician, Rob Tardik, with accompanying vocals by Sandra Bouza, Take Your Power Back is powerful narrative that showcases the healing and transformative influence that music can have on people.

Following the musical performance, Ontario Tech’s Women in Research Council (WIRC) Chair, Dr. Karla Dhungana Sainju, moderated an inspiring panel discussion on gender-based violence. The community panel included:

  • Holly Baird, Shelter Services Manager, Bethesda House
  • Kimberley Black, Master of Education candidate, Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education, Ontario Tech University
  • Rochelle Johnson, Clinical Counsellor and Registered Social Services Worker, Durham Regional Police Service
  • Olga Marques, Associate Professor (Criminology and Justice), Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Ontario Tech University
  • Krista MacNeil, Executive Director, Victim Services, Durham Region

The discussion focused on each expert’s professional capacity in addressing gender-based violence, beginning with dispelling some of the myths about who faces and perpetrates gender-based violence, and how gender intersects with multiple social identities. Participants spoke passionately about how society perpetuates violence against women, and what role media play in affecting gender-based violence. The panel served as a reminder of the importance of raising awareness and working together to create a safer and more inclusive society for everyone.

The organizers thank the WIRC and Dr. Dhungana Sainju for moderating the panel, all attendees, and those who participated in the silent auction. The organizers also express their appreciation to Ruth Nyaamine, Assistant President, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at Ontario Tech for generously supporting this important event.

All proceeds go to the Kimberley Black Graduate Scholarship, which is awarded to Ontario Tech students who have displayed commitment to pursuing women’s issues in their graduate research.