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STAFF

Samiya Abdi

Executive Director

Over the past 15 years Samiya has been working towards making the public health system more equitable, challenging intersecting forms of oppression, and understanding marginalization in knowledge production, research, and practice. Samiya was the Senior Program Specialist in Health Equity for Public Health Ontario. Samiya has co-founded international movements such as the Somali Gender Equity Movement and Famine Resisters alongside local initiatives such as Aspire2Lead and the Toronto Muslim Youth Political fellowship. 

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Amisah Bakuri

Volunteer

Amisah Bakuri (PhD)  is a researcher with over ten years of experience in the field of migration, well-being, religion, sexuality and gender, the health of minority groups, Black and African diaspora. Amisah has been involved in several roles as a researcher, lecturer, thesis supervisor and academic tutor at the University of Amsterdam, African Studies Center/Leiden University, Utrecht University and KNUST. Amisah is currently focused on developing and implementing a community-driven approach to education and research on Black health and anti-Black racism in healthcare.

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Raha Mahmoudi

Project and Program Coordinator

Raha Mahmoudi holds a Master of Public Health from McMaster University, a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences and Bachelor of Public Health from the University of Waterloo. Her research interests in the social determinants of health, health equity and justice are informed by community work and research in child and youth mental health, food security, belonging and culturally relevant healthcare. She is driven to collaboratively transform and advance health education, research, services and systems in ways that realize Black wellness and flourishing.

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Rosie Mensah

Program Manager

Rosie is a Toronto-based Registered Dietitian and Food Justice Advocate. Rosie obtained her Master of Public in Nutrition and Dietetics from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Her experience includes being a member of the FoodShare Toronto Board of Directors and serving on Canada’s first Food Policy Advisory Council. In 2020, Rosie developed the CEDAR course and co-founded Dietitians for Food Justice. Rosie applies an intersectional lens to her work and advocates for, leads, and develops programs and services to address the health needs of racialized communities. 

Shirley Hodder

Research Assistant

A first-year graduate student at Dalhousie University's master’s in health administration program who is from Gibson Woods, a historically Black Loyalist community in Nova Scotia. Shirley’s’ interests are working in academia to address systemic racism and dismantling barriers faced by the Black and Black Disability communities, specifically working with the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community as both of her parents are Deaf.

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Clémence Ongolo-Zogo

Research Assistant

Clémence Ongolo Zogo is a second-year medical student at the University of Toronto. She holds a MSc in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University and an Honours BHSc. from the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include local evidence mapping, evidence synthesis, contextualised knowledge translation, health systems research and community-based participatory research with ethnic and linguistic minorities in Ontario.

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Deborah Baiden

Research Assistant

Deborah Baiden, RN, is a PhD student at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing. Her research interests include cardiovascular health of mothers of African descent, gender and migration, and equity in healthcare programs and policies. She holds BSc. and MSc. degrees in Nursing from the University of Ghana in West Africa, and Western University, respectively. She is also Director of Research and Policy of the Canadian Black Policy Network. 

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Samah Osman

Research Assistant

Samah holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences (honours specialization) from Western University. She is currently pursuing an MPH at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health in the field of social and behavioural health sciences with a collaborative specialization in global health. Her research interests lie in the ways in which health and wellness are informed by processes of racialization, gendering, globalization, and social inequalities at large.

Aya Khalafalla

Intern

Aya Khalafalla is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She is double Majoring in Criminology and Psychology. Her main focus is in Forensic Psychology and is particularly interested in equity within the Criminal Justice System. She is on her way to pursuing MSc in Forensic Psychology and PHD. She hopes to become a professor. She is working on a number of research projects including the Black Joy project with BHEC, and an independent study project at UTM. 

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Javiera-Violeta Durán

Administrative & Research Assistant

Javiera-Violeta is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto completing majors in Biology and Medical Anthropology.

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Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh

Executive Director - On Leave

Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh is the Executive Director of the Black Health Education Collaborative (BHEC) and an Assistant Professor in the Clinical Public Health Division at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She is a catalytic leader who mobilizes knowledge and activates networks to advance policy and practice on social and economic issues that impact health and wellbeing. 

Land and Ancestral Acknowledgment

The Black Health Education Collaborative acknowledges with gratitude the Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island who continue to thrive and resist colonial violence while striving for self-determination and decolonial futures. We live, work and play in various territories including the lands of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississauga’s of the Credit River; Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples, the Anishinaabe, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation; Kanien:keha’ka and Mi’kmaq.

We remember our ancestors, forcibly displanted Africans, brought to Turtle Island as a result of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the histories and legacies of colonialism and neo-colonialism which continue to impact African Peoples and the descendants of the Black diaspora across the world. 

We recognize that racial colonial violence harm Black and Indigenous Peoples through both common and distinct logics and actions. We recognize our responsibility and obligations as African Peoples to be good guests on these lands. We offer thanks to our elders and communities from whom we learn. May your wisdom inform our actions towards a more just future.