Beth is a non-status, urban, Mi’kmaq woman who currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She graduated with a Master of Social Work in the Aboriginal Field of Study from Wilfrid Laurier University’s School of Social Work. Beth currently serves as a Counsellor with the Indigenous Education and Student Services team at Mohawk College. She spends much of her free time camping and enjoying being on the land.
Lawrence Hill is the author of ten books, including The Illegal, The Book of Negroes, and Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada. He is the winner of various awards, including The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and CBC Radio’s Canada Reads. Hill delivered the 2013 Massey Lectures, based on his non-fiction book Blood: The Stuff of Life. He co-wrote the adaptation for the six-part television miniseries The Book of Negroes, which won eleven Canadian Screen Awards. Hill served as chair of the jury of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize. He is a volunteer with Walls to Bridges and the Black Loyalist Heritage Society, and is an honorary patron of Crossroads International. Hill is a professor of creative writing at the University of Guelph. In 2019, he developed and taught a memoir-writing workshop inside the Grand Valley Institution for Women (a federal penitentiary in Kitchener, ON). His new children’s novel, Beatrice and Croc Harry, is in the hands of his publisher. In addition, he is writing a new novel about the African-American soldiers who helped build the Alaska Highway in northern BC and Yukon in 1942-43. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and lives in Hamilton.
As Acting Director of the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute at the University of Guelph, Elizabeth provides leadership and strategic direction for all staff and program areas. She builds on her research and teaching expertise in critical community engaged scholarship, arts-based research, and interdisciplinary scholarship to facilitate mutually beneficial community-university partnerships and foster meaningful engagement between faculty, students and community. A lover of song and story, Liz firmly believes in the potential of art-based community making to increase well-being and contribute to struggles for social justice.
Paul Lisson holds degrees from McMaster University and the University of Toronto. He and Fiona Kinsella publish Hamilton Arts & Letters (HAL) magazine (HALmagazine.com). The Ontario Arts Council says that HAL has the distinction of being the first online magazine they have funded. Paul was awarded McMaster’s Rand Memorial Prize for accomplishment in print, the City of Hamilton Art Award for Visual Art and Literature, and an International Merit Award for poetry from the Atlanta Review. He is a past member of the City of Hamilton Cultural Plan Implementation Team and was for many years the Librarian in the Programming Department at the Hamilton Public Library where he organized hundreds of concerts, exhibitions, and talks. Paul’s debut book, The Perfect Archive, (Guernica Editions, Essential Poets series), is available now. “Bloody amazing stuff” declared The Globe and Mail’s Judith Fitzgerald.
Grace Pollock has a PhD in English and Cultural Studies and a Master of Social Work degree in community planning, organizations, and policy development. Currently serving as the Research Support Facilitator in Humanities at McMaster, she makes connections between people in and beyond the university, and helps identify research, resource, and communication opportunities. Grace worked previously as a researcher-writer, project manager, and professional consultant focused principally on community development and knowledge exchange initiatives. As an advocate for engaged and inclusive communities, Grace’s current interests extend from new models of interdisciplinary research and university-community collaboration to building individual and institutional capacity for broad participation in public life.
Simon Orpana, PhD, is an artist and scholar whose work explores the politics of culture as related to transitions from Fordism to neoliberalism, and beyond. He is currently a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Alberta, where his project on “The Zombie Imaginary” probes the links between the corporeal turn in popular culture and theory, and the intensification of global finance capitalism. He is co-author of Showdown!: Making Modern Unions (with Robert Kristofferson, 2016), a graphic history of the 1946 Stelco strike in Hamilton, Ontario. His writing on subculture, popular culture, and film has appeared in a number of journals and book collections.