Finding Community at U of T
Connections and Conversations: An Affinity Group for Racialized
U of T Staff forms

Connections and Conversations is an affinity group for racialized U of T staff and their supporters. The staff-driven initiative offers discussions and a support network for racialized staff to flourish at U of T. The group’s steering committee has been focused on creating an open and empowering environment for racialized staff to celebrate their accomplishments and contribute their unique ideas and talents to the University through networking, mentoring and other activities.

This Affinity Group is a welcome way to encourage cross portfolio, cross divisional and cross campus collaboration. The Group wishes to create a space to voice and address personal and group concerns around the lived experience of racialized staff at U of T. In addressing these challenges and opportunities, the Group aims to assist the University in promoting an environment that promotes personal and professional growth and development.

The objectives of the Connections and Conversations Affinity group are:

  • To find community and provide moral support to racialized members of the U of T community in their pursuit of a satisfying career experience;
  • To offer networking and mentoring opportunities and advice to members and supporters;
  • To contribute our unique experiences to the growth and development of U of T;
  • To seek opportunities within the U of T community to intersect with other groups in efforts to celebrate our cultural heritage while showcasing the talents of racialized staff;
  • To develop strategies and plans that address challenges that racialized U of T members encounter individually, or systemically; and
  • To explore channels for career advancement and seek opportunities to learn from University decision-makers.

Given U of T’s size and diversity, it is our hope that other affinity groups will form for racialized staff and faculty members at all three campuses. In the meantime, the steering committee is gearing up to offer some exciting programs later this year. Please stay tuned for more information. Want to learn more? You may contact the following steering committee members:

Sandra Carnegie-Douglas
Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Officer
Office of the Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity
Tel: 416-978-1259
sandra.carnegie.douglas@utoronto.ca

Heather Hines
Director, Undergraduate Programs & Student Services,
Department of Management, UTM
Tel: 905-569-4972
Heather.hines@utoronto.ca

Amorell Saunders N’Daw
Director of Governance, UTSC and Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council, U of T
Tel: 416-287-5639
saunders@utsc.utoronto.ca

Archana Sridhar
Assistant Provost
Tel: 416-978-6194
archana.sridhar@utoronto.ca