Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Acclaimed Black feminist author, activist and educator to deliver 10th Annual Dr. Agnes Calliste African Heritage Lecture Series

January 14th, 2020
Robyn Maynard

Robyn Maynard, the award-winning author of Policing Black Lives and a Vanier Scholar at the University of Toronto, will be at StFX Feb. 6, 2020 to deliver the 10th Annual Dr. Agnes Calliste African Heritage Lecture Series, organized by the StFX Department of Sociology.  

The lecture series, named in honour of the late Dr. Agnes Calliste, a celebrated academic and sociology professor who taught at StFX for over two decades, was established to honour Dr. Calliste’s legacy and to continue her work of bringing esteemed speakers to campus during African Heritage Month to showcase excellence in Black scholarship and community leadership and speak on issues of race and racism.

Maynard, an acclaimed author, activist and educator, will speak on the topic of ‘Black Life, Black Liberation and the Climate Crisis.’ The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Schwartz Auditorium. 

The lecture will open with a performance by Morgan Gero’s African drumming group featuring students from St. Andrew’s Junior School. A presentation of the StFX Black Leaders Awards by the Committee on Aboriginal and Black Student Success will also be another highlight of the evening. In recognition that the topic of the lecture may be sensitive, Andrea Currie, a registered counseling therapist from Waycobah First Nation, will be on site to provide emotional support. A reception will follow, and all are welcome to attend.

“Robyn’s work is shaping current discussions and understandings of how race and racism operate within Canada. Tracing histories of anti-Black racism within Canada, she illustrates the challenges and possibilities of liberation for Black communities. Her consideration of racism and resistance within the context of the climate crisis make this talk especially timely and relevant and of interest to the StFX and local communities,” says Dr. Katie Aubrecht, StFX sociology professor, Canada Research Chair Health Equity & Social Justice, and an event organizer.

Kelsey Jones, StFX’s Coordinator, African Descent Student Affairs, will provide opening remarks.  

StFX faculty member Dr. Ornella Nzindukiyimana will introduce Maynard, who during her time on campus, will also meet with Black student leaders and lead a workshop on self-advocacy with youth from local communities via X-Project.


Robyn Maynard is the author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present (Fernwood 2017). The book is a CBC national bestseller, currently in its third printing, designated as one of the “best 100 books of 2017” by the Hill Times, listed in The Walrus‘s “best books of 2018,” shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award, the Concordia University First Book Prize and the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-fiction, and the winner of the 2017 Annual Errol Morris Book Prize. The work has received glowing coverage and has been published in French. 

Maynard’s writing on race, gender, and discrimination is taught widely in universities across Canada and the United States. Her expertise is regularly sought in local, national and international media outlets and she has spoken before Parliamentary subcommittees, the Human Rights Committee of the Senate, and the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. She has a long history of involvement in community activism and advocacy. She been a part of grassroots movements against racial profiling, police violence, detention and deportation for over a decade and has an extensive work history in harm reduction-based service provision serving sex workers, drug users, incarcerated women and marginalized youth in Montreal.  She is currently a PhD student and Vanier scholar at the University of Toronto and is working toward the completion of a new book manuscript.

Maynard, who won “2018 author of the year” by Montreal’s Black History Month, has published writing in the Washington Post, World Policy Journal, the Toronto Star, TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Canadian Woman Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies Journal (forthcoming), Scholar & Feminist Journal (forthcoming), as well as an essay for Maisonneuve Magazine which won the acclaim of  “most-read essay of 2017.”

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