Courageous Conversations Speaker Series

Speaker Series

research, knowledge, understanding and change

The OEDI’s Courageous Conversation Speaker Series was launched in fall 2020, featuring discussions on racism, anti-racism, colonialism, and complaint.

Inspired by Maya Angelou and Violet King, the series engages the campus community and beyond in difficult conversations about systemic inequities. The series features locally and internationally renowned teachers, researchers, practitioners, and community-engaged scholars and activists by exploring critical questions about what needs to be done to effect sustainable change and ensure accountability.

Identifying, naming, discussing, and tackling historical and contemporary injustices can be profoundly unsettling. That’s where courage comes in – the courage to speak truth to power, to say things that the comfortable might not want to hear. Courageous Conversations are vital to advancing EDI in a university. It ensures that we are discussing EDI and modelling our expressed commitment to human rights, human dignity and cultivating equitable pathways that enable human flourishing.

Violet King
Maya Angelou

Courageous Conversations

The series is designed to tackle the durable legacies of colonialism, slavery, and historical and contemporary injustices on higher education and to inspire courageous thinking and practices aimed at transforming the legacies of colonialism, slavery, and contemporary injustices. 

Courageous Conversations Speaker Series: Intersectionality: Re-Imagining Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Academy with Kimberle Crenshaw

Join us!

You’re invited to this special guest presentation hosted by UCalgary's Office of Equity, Diversity and InclusionOne Child Every ChildO'Brien Institute for Public Health and Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute:

Monday, March 18, 2024
8:30 - 11 a.m. MT
Red & White Club, McMahon Stadium, Calgary, Canada

UCalgary's Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, One Child Every Child, O'Brien Institute for Public Health and Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, and Canada First

Kimberlé Crenshaw, LLM, JD, BA
Pioneering Scholar and Writer on Civil Rights
Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher, Professor of Law at Columbia Law School
Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California

Moderator - Dr. Malinda Smith, PhD
Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President Research  
Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, University of Calgary

Welcome Remarks - Dr. Bukola Salami, PhD, RN
Scientific Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI), University of Calgary

You’re invited to a special installation of Courageous Conversations with Kimberlé Crenshaw, a timely opportunity for engaging world renowned American legal scholar and civil rights advocate on intersectionality and critical race theory, terms she coined in legal scholarship over 35 years ago.  

This Courageous Conversations is an opportunity to explore intersectional justice and the importance of equity and racial justice to social inclusion and an inclusive higher education. It will explore the contested meanings, uses, and reactions to the concept of intersectionality – and the need for intersectional justice in our times.  

Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term Intersectionality in 1989 to explain how overlapping or intersecting social identities combine to affect those most marginalized by oppression, domination, or discrimination to a far greater extent and in a much more complex way than any single factor. Join this moderated discussion on how the concepts of intersectionality can advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in an academic institutional structure. These concepts will be valuable to leaders and participants in all institutional settings.

Kimberlé Crenshaw is a widely cited scholar, popular author, podcaster, influential advocate, and highly sought-after speaker on topics including; civil rights, critical race theory, Black feminist legal theory, and structural racism. 

Dr. Malinda Smith

Dr. Malinda S. Smith is the inaugural Vice Provost and Associate Vice President Research (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) and a full professor of political science at the University of Calgary. Prior to joining the UCalgary she was a full professor of political science at the University of Alberta, where she held various roles including Provost Fellow (EDI Policy) in the Office of the Provost, and Associate Chair (Graduate Studies) in the Department of Political Science.

Dr. Smith has served on numerous higher education governance committees, including as Vice President (Equity Issues) for the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and as Chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion External Review Committee for the Canada Research Chairs. Currently, she serves on SSHRC Governing Council and Executive; as Vice Chair of the Inter-Institutional Advisory Committee for the Scarborough Charter, on Statistics Canada’s Immigration and Ethnocultural Statistics Advisory Committee; and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s External EDI Advisory Board.

Dr. Smith is the coauthor, editor, or coeditor of 7 books, numerous articles, book chapters and reports and has given dozens of invited keynotes and public lectures in the areas of equity, diversity, human rights, and decolonization in higher education, African political economy, and international relations. Dr. Smith is the coauthor of The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities (2017); coeditor of Critical Concepts: An Introduction to Politics (OUP 2023); the Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy (UofT Press, 2022); States of Race: Critical Race Feminism for the 21st Century (BTL 2010). and three books on Africa, including Securing Africa: Post-9/11 Discourses on Terrorism (2010).

Dr. Smith is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including Calgary Black Chambers’ Lifetime Achievement Award (2023), an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Simon Fraser University (2021), Compelling Calgarians (2021), the International Studies Association’s  Women’s Caucus’s Susan S. Northcutt Award (2020), 100 Accomplished Black Women Honouree (2020), the ISA-Canada Distinguished Scholar Award (2018-19), P.E. Trudeau Foundation Fellow (2018), the HSBC Community Contributor of the Year Award (2016); and the Canadian Association of University Teachers’ Equity Award  (2015).

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Kimberlé Crenshaw

Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, Co-founder and Executive Director of AAPF and Faculty Director of the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies (CISPS) is a pioneering scholar and writer on civil rights, critical race theory, Black feminist legal theory, race, racism, and the law. She is the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and the Promise Institute Chair on Human Rights at UCLA Law School.

Crenshaw is a widely cited scholar whose writing has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Review, the National Black Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, and the Southern California Law Review. Crenshaw’s groundbreaking work on Intersectionality was influential in drafting the equality clause in the South African Constitution. She was the special rapporteur for the Expert Meeting on Gender and Race Discrimination and coordinated NGO efforts to ensure the inclusion of gender in the World Conference in Racism’s Conference Declaration. 

Crenshaw is a co-editor of Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement and assisted on the legal team representing Anita Hill at the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. 

Crenshaw is also the author of Say Her Name, Black Women’s Stories of State Violence and Public Silence, and co-author of Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected. Crenshaw is a sought-after speaker who conducts workshops and trainings on intersectionality and structural racism around the world. Crenshaw has facilitated workshops for human rights activists in Brazil and India and for constitutional court judges in South Africa and elsewhere. 

Crenshaw received the AALS Triennial Award for Lifetime Service to Legal Education from the Association of American Law Schools, the 2021 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award by the Women's Section of the Association of American Law Schools, and Lifetime Achievement Aways from Planned Parenthood, the ERA
Coalition, and was voted one of the ten most important thinkers in the world by Prospect Magazine. She also received the 2023 Winslow Medal from the Yale School of Public Health, has been named the 2023 W.E.B Du Bois Medalist at Harvard University, and was the recipient of the New Press Social Justice Award. 

Crenshaw’s Intersectionality Matters! ranks among the top 5 percent of podcasts, and her internet series Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that Covid Laid Bare received a WEBBIE recognition. She is a frequent contributor on MSNBC and NPR. She currently sits on the Sundance Institute and the Algorithmic Justice League boards.

X - @sandylocks


Dr. Bukola Salami

Dr. Bukola Salami received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Windsor, Master of Nursing from the University of Toronto, and PhD in Nursing from the University of Toronto. In July 2023, she became a Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. She is Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Black and Racialized Peoples Health at the University of Calgary. As the first Black African woman to become a Tier 1 (Senior) Canada Research Chair in the health sciences in Canada, she leads research endeavours for this population. She is also Scientific Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and also a member of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health. Previously, she held the rank of Full Professor in the Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta. She is the former Director of the Intersections of Gender Signature Area in the Office of the Vice President Research at the University of Alberta (September 2021 to March 2023). She led the creation of the Institute for Intersectionality Studies at the Institution.  

Dr. Salami’s research program focuses on policies and practices shaping migrant health as well as Black people’s health. She has been involved in over 85 funded studies totalling over $230 million. She has led research projects on topics including African immigrant child health, immigrant mental health, access to healthcare for Black women, access to healthcare for immigrant children, Black youth mental health, the health of internally displaced children, the well-being of temporary foreign workers, COVID vaccine hesitancy among Black Canadians, an environmental scan of equity seeking organizations in Alberta, culturally appropriate practices for research with Black Canadians, international nurse migration, and parenting practices of African immigrants.   

She founded and leads the African Child and Youth Migration Network, a network of 42 scholars from four continents. In 2020, she founded the Black Youth Mentorship and Leadership Program. The program, the first university-based fully interdisciplinary mentorship program for Black youths in Canada, seeks to socially and economically empower Black high school youths to meaningfully contribute to Canadian society. Her work on Black youth mental health informed the creation of the first mental health clinic for Black Canadians in Western Canada (which was founded by Africa Centre and the Alberta Black Therapist Network). She has presented her work to policy makers (including twice to the Prime Minister of Canada and once to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health). Her work has contributed to policy change, including that related to Black people’s well-being. In 2015/2016, she was a collaborating researcher at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. She has trained over 100 undergraduate and graduate students, including many (~10) who are now Assistant or Associate Professors.  

She is a Board member of the Black Opportunities Fund, Canadian Nurses Association, and Black Health Alliance. She is a former Board member of Africa Center (the largest Black organization in Western Canada), Alberta College of Social Workers, Edmonton Local Immigrant Partnership, National Association of Nigerian Nurses of North America, International Nursing Interest Group of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, and Project Esperance (a housing unit for women in Toronto). In addition to being an Editor for the Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, she is an Associate Editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) and on the Editorial Board of Nursing Inquiry, Nursing Philosophy and Qualitative Health Research. She is an advisory board member of the CIHR Institute for Human Development, Child and Youth Health and on the Scientific Advisory Committee on Global Health to the Government of Canada.  

Dr. Salami has received several awards for research excellence and community engagement: 100 Accomplished Black Women in Canada; Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing Emerging Nurse Researcher of the Year Award; College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) Award for Nursing Excellence; Rosalind Smith Professional Award from the National Black Coalition of Canada – Edmonton Chapter; Alberta Avenue Edmonton Top 40 under 40; Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame; Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Nursing; Killam Accelerator Award (a $225,000 value for research); Top 25 Canadian Immigrants; Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal recipient; Health Research Foundation Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award; and Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.