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‘Breaking the Ceiling’ Equity Career Fair 2021


Event: ‘Breaking the Ceiling’ Equity Career Fair

Date: June 2, 2021, 12:45 pm to 2:30 pm

Location: Virtual (Link available only to targeted student group)

Target Group: Grade 10 Civics and Career Studies Students (Quad 4)


On June 2nd, the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) will be holding our first-ever Equity Career Fair: 'Breaking the Ceiling'. This virtual event is a new initiative from the Equity, Diversity, Indigenous Education, and Community Relationship department. It aims to increase student interest in diverse careers, and showcase champions from racialized and marginalized groups. The Honourable Jean Augustine will be our keynote speaker for this event, along with other accomplished speakers presenting in breakout sessions.


This virtual career fair is restricted to Grade 10 Civics and Career Studies Students (Quad 4), and the link to the event will be made available only to these students. As this event is still in development, this page will be updated as more details are finalized.


List of Presenters


Keynote Speaker: The Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine P.C., C.M., O.Ont., C.B.E.


Picture of The Honourable Jean Augustine - Keynote Speaker at the 2021 Equity Career Fair

The Honourable Jean Augustine made history as the first Black Woman elected to Canada’s Parliament and served from 1993-2006. She immigrated to Canada in 1960 and worked as a nanny, teacher, principal, and later chair of the Metro Toronto Housing Authority, while raising two girls. Her tenure included distinguished service as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister; Minister of State for Multiculturalism and the Status of Women; Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Deputy Speaker of Parliament. Her legislative successes include the historic Black History Month Motion; and the groundbreaking Famous Five Motion, which authorized the first - and still the only - statues on Parliament Hill depicting women other than Queen Elizabeth.


From 2007 to 2015, Dr. Augustine served as Ontario’s first-ever Fairness Commissioner. In 2008, the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora was launched at York University to help advance education, equity and inclusiveness. Also in her name are a Girls' Leadership Academy in Scarborough; a Centre for Young Women's Empowerment and a municipal park in Etobicoke; a Secondary School in Brampton, and a multipurpose complex and district park in Vaughan. A member of the Order of Canada and Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Dr. Augustine holds honourary doctorates from the universities of McGill, Toronto, York, Windsor, Waterloo, Guelph, and Trent. She supports scholarships at Centennial College, George Brown, and Humber College.


Breakout Speaker: Dr. Margaret Brigham


Picture of Dr. Margaret Brigham - Breakout Speaker at the 2021 Equity Career Fair

Dr. Margaret Brigham (Ojibway) is from Walpole Island First Nation in southern Ontario. The oldest of six children, she has a son of her own. Dr. Brigham's work includes experience as a classroom teacher, First Nation school principal, private sector consultant on diversity and equity issues, sociology professor and college administrator. Her curriculum vitae is extensive and includes mention of several honours, awards, fellowships, specialized certificates, as well as multiple publications, presentations and workshops throughout her career.


Dr. Brigham taught preservice teacher education courses in Education and Society and Cross-Cultural Counseling at the University of Toronto. Graduate seminars included Indigenous Knowledge and Decolonization; Aboriginal Communication and Leadership; and Indigenous Women's Voices. She was also the Dean of Centennial College’s Institute for Global Citizenship in Toronto. Currently, she is writing a non-fiction book on the history of the Great Lakes Anishinaabe.


Breakout Speaker: Samantha Peters, LL.B


Picture of Samantha Peters - Breakout Speaker at the 2021 Equity Career Fair

Samantha Peters, an alumnus of St. Joseph's College School, is a lawyer and the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law's first-ever Black Legal Mentor-in-Residence/Mentor Juridique pour la Communauté Noire for the 2020-2021 academic year. Samantha engages in work at the intersection of law, education and policy, ranging from law reform initiatives to legal education, to legislative research.  


Presently, she is the Director of Legal Initiatives and Public Interest at Black Femme Legal, the National Vice-President of Equity and Anti-Oppression at the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers, a member of the City of Toronto’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S+) Council Advisory Body, and a Pro Bono Lawyer.


Breakout Speaker: Dr. Mayrose Salvador


Picture of Dr. Mayrose Salvador - Breakout Speaker at the 2021 Equity Career FairDr. Mayrose Salvador is a Filipino-Canadian scientist, innovator, and educator. She received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of the Philippines and her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Toronto. As a scientist, Dr Salvador has created advanced materials for solar cell applications, pioneered the use of novel laser techniques to create industrial applications for nanomaterials, and contributed to the understanding of the impact of these materials on the environment. 


Dr. Salvador has led the training of over 3,500 teachers around the world through Pueblo Science, a charity that she co-founded. Appearing in media networks in Canada, the Philippines, Guyana, and Jamaica, she continues to popularize science to the general public. Dr. Salvador is passionate about using technology to solve community problems. She was involved in developing iron-fortified snacks for kids. In collaboration with the Impact Centre at the University of Toronto, she also helped deploy affordable solar lighting to the indigenous communities of the Philippines.


Breakout Speaker: Dr. Joseph Acquaye


Picture of Dr. Joseph Acquaye - Breakout Speaker at the 2021 Equity Career FairDr. Joseph Acquaye is a Ghanaian-Canadian who was born and raised in Rexdale, Ontario. He is an alumnus of St. Basil-the-Great College School where, following some early academic struggles, he graduated as athlete of the year, top all-around male student, and valedictorian. Dr. Acquaye subsequently attended the University of Toronto, where he completed a degree in Physical Education and Health, and continued post-graduate studies at York University. He then attended medical school at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where he graduated with high honors and as president of the AOA Honor Medical Society. 


Upon completion of his current residency training in Urological Surgery at the University of Minnesota later this year, Dr. Acquaye will be the first black male graduate from this program. He will subsequently be starting his practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Acquaye is also a published author, having contributed to the book "Knew Me: 10 men, 10 stories of perseverance".


Breakout Speaker: Taylor Lindsay-Noel, B.A.


Picture of Taylor Lindsay-Noel - Breakout Speaker at the 2021 Equity Career FairTaylor Lindsay-Noel is a 27-year-old entrepreneur from Toronto, Ontario. Twelve years ago, she was a Canadian national gymnast. In 2008, she had a devastating accident that instantly paralyzed her for life from the neck down. Since then, Taylor has persevered through adversity, and has received a BA in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson University. 


Taylor is currently balancing being a motivational speaker, disability advocate, council member of the Premier’s Council on Equality of Opportunity, and owner of Cup of Té Luxury Loose Leaf Teas (which was just featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things List 2020)! She was also recently announced as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Black Business and Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Awards, which is Canada’s most prestigious award celebrating black excellence.


Contact Information

  • ​Derek Chen, Superintendent of Equity, Diversity, Indigenous Education, and Community Relations
    Email: derek.chen@tcdsb.org
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