On January 23, 2018, Hart House presented the 17th Annual Hancock Lecture: Black and Educated? Unveiling The Contradictions and Redesigning The Future delivered by Chizoba Imoka and moderated by Dr. Kofi Hope.
The lecture explored how within an education system based on Western values and knowledge, Black students go through school feeling alienated and graduate ill-equipped to bring about transformative changes in their communities.
Chizoba Imoka worked to disrupt the perceived Black and “Educated” contradiction and advanced an alternative vision of education that acknowledges colonial history, is responsive to socio-political concerns and enables a new generation of social justice leaders to make real change.
Following her presentation, Chizoba was joined by a Rhodes Scholar, Doctor of Philosophy in Politics, community activist and youth advocate, Kofi Hope for an onstage discussion.
Chizoba Imoka is a PhD candidate in the Educational Leadership and Policy program at OISE. Her research responds to the longstanding call to create a culturally relevant African education system that develops a new generation of democratic African leaders. Focusing on Nigeria, her study investigates how Nigerian secondary schools are preparing and equipping their students to contribute to the development of their communities in a culturally grounded, just, and inclusive way.
Central to Chizoba’s life as a researcher, is advocacy and action. On her social media channels, Chizoba is known to be a passionate advocate for decolonial educational change, social justice, and critical international development. In August 2015, she began an advocacy campaign in Nigeria for the inclusion of history and indigenous culture in Nigeria’s curriculum. Chizoba has taken her cause to the Nigerian presidency and the curriculum agency of the Nigerian Ministry of Education. This campaign has morphed into the Advocacy for Inclusive Education Summit that brings together Nigerian students with high level education stakeholders to discuss pressing student concerns and prospects for change. Globally, Chizoba has contributed, spoken and debated at a wide-range of high-level international and community based events focused on shedding light on alternative paths to development. In August 2014, she was recognized by the World Economic Forum as an expert in Civic Participation and served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Civic Participation. Chizoba is also the Founder/CEO of Unveiling Africa (UVA), a non-profit that provides a platform for African teenagers to participate in political advocacy and community mobilization. Through Unveiling Africa, Chizoba has designed numerous programs, curriculums and lesson plans that have been used across Nigeria and continues to shape Unveiling Africa’s Student Club – Transformers.
At Massey College, Chizoba is a 5th Junior Fellow and the co-chair of the Diversity Committee. Between 2014 – 2016, she provided leadership for numerous college wide reforms in the area of diversity and inclusion at the college. At OISE, Chizoba has served as an executive member on the Comparative International Education Student Committee. Currently, she is a member of OISE’s International Advisory Committee. In recognition for academic excellence and leadership, Chizoba has received numerous awards. They include the: 2016 Ontario Graduate Scholarship, University of Toronto Graduate Fellowship (2014 – 2018), 2016 Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Student Award, 2016 Adrienne Clarkson Public Service Laureateship, 2016 OISE Academic Excellence Award, 2013 BBPA Minerva Scholarship and 2013 Selfless for Africa Heroes Award amongst others.
Kofi Hope is a Rhodes Scholar, Doctor of Philosophy in Politics, community activist and youth advocate. He has over 12 years of experience in managing community-based programs. In 2005, he founded the Black Youth Coalition Against Violence, a group which advocated for real solutions to the issue of gun violence. This advocacy work included a presentation for then Prime Minister Paul Martin and led to Hope being named one of the Top Ten People to Watch in Toronto in 2006 by the Toronto Star.
Currently, he is the Executive Director of the CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals (CEE) a non-profit that creates economic opportunities for Black youth in Toronto. He has delivered over 100 speaking engagements in Canada and the UK, was co-chair of Olivia Chow’s election advisory committee in 2014, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Atkinson Foundation and Toronto Environmental Alliance. Kofi has been featured widely in the Canadian media including: Metro Morning, Canada AM, TVO’s The Agenda, Ontario Today, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The National Post and CP24. A global traveler, he has visited 22 countries around the world and calls Toronto Ontario home.
Five-year action plan to confront anti-Black racism. Read Toronto Star article.
Hancock 2018 Readings
This year’s Hancock Lecture: Black and Educated? Unveiling The Contradictions and Redesigning The Futuredelivered by Chizoba Imoka and moderated by Dr. Kofi Hope, focuses on a topic that couldn’t be more timely and relevant. There is increasing visibility and action taking place around anti-black racism including the newly established Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism, Ontario’s Black Youth Action Plan, the Black Liberation Collective working under the umbrella of Black Lives Matter and the #BLACKONCAMPUS social media discussion. Below is a compilation of readings that may inform the discussion taking place here.