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Diasporic Expressions: A Newcomer Roundtable
September 15, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Newcomer Roundtable

When: Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 from 7 pm-8:30 pm. 

Panel description: What are the needs of the community? Through this discussion, we hope to bring to light concerns and areas of interest to the immigrant, newcomers and refugee population in the arts in our community. This roundtable will help influence the workshops/panels that follow it.

Register HERE 


Fartumo Kusow: Born in Somalia, Fartumo Kusow immigrated to Canada in 1991 at the start of the civil war. Her first work in English, Tale of a Boon’s Wife, was published in Canada by Second Story Press in October 2017 to positive reviews from Harvard Review, Booklist, and This Magazine. Her first novel, Amran, written in Somali, was serialized in October Star, Mogadishu, Somali’s national newspaper, in 1984. She is working hard two new projects of fiction. Since her arrival in Canada in 1991, and after learning English as a second language, she earned a Bachelor of Arts (Hon) in English Language and Literature and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor. She now teaches English literature courses for the Greater Essex County District School Board. A podcaster, speaker, and a mother of five adult children, she lives in Windsor, Ontario.

Amina Abdulle: Amina Abdulle is a poet and a teacher who is passionate about art and expression. Born in Somalia, Amina has been living in Canada since she was 7 and is proud to call Windsor her home. Working as a teacher for the last 10 years, she has taught English at the high school level and is now the Department Head of ESL at Kennedy Collegiate. Amina is also the co-founder of the Black Staff Equity Alliance, an equity-based advocacy group, as well as a member of various organizations within the city that focus on equity and justice.  As a writer, Amina’s work, primarily poetry, touches on several issues including her cultural background and examining identity. Amina deeply believes in the power of the arts to heal, to bring joy and allow people to be their most full and complete self. Amina is also an advocate for decolonizing education and believes that education is the tool to a more fair and equitable future for all.

Charlotte LeFrank: Charlotte LeFrank has an extensive background in performing arts, public education and community engagement.  As Artistic Director of Windsor Feminist Theatre, she provided a forum for women to explore issues that impacted them both locally and globally. She helped build a theatre in the Downtown Mission to enhance the accessibility of the arts.  Charlotte was appointed by Council to the City of Windsor Diversity Committee and was honoured to receive the YMCA Canada Peace Medal for her work in violence prevention with the Kids on the Block Puppet Program. In her current role as a Diversity Outreach Coordinator for the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society, Charlotte has the pleasure to work with many diverse and intersectional communities.  She is proud to be a longstanding member of the Windsor Essex Local Immigration Partnership council and executive.  She is also a provincial facilitator (and continual learner) in the areas of Equity, Anti-Oppression and Gender & Sexual Diversity with the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies. Charlotte also provides private consultation and training as an equity specialist, capacity builder and “artivist”. In her spare time, she enjoys mentoring youth, spending time in nature, and engaging in all things musical.

Moderated by Samantha Badaoa.

Samantha Badaoa is a graduate of the University of Windsor with an Honours English Language and Literature degree. Samantha is a recognized spoken word artist with an established body of work, she has been part of the Windsor Poetry Slam since 2015, touring and competing as a representative of Windsor in multiple national poetry competitions. She has been the director of the Windsor Poetry Slam for a number of years and has just completed her term as the City of Windsor’s first ever Youth Poet Laureate. Her first full length collection of poetry, “So am I” was published in 2020 with Black Moss Press. In 2020 she received a Windsor Endowment for the Arts Emerging Artist grant to create her second collection of poetry which will focus on the agricultural industry in Windsor-Essex County. Her poetry centers around lyrical storytelling and the connection between the divine and the mundane. Samantha is enthusiastic about sharing an experience with people through poetry and spoken word, and hopes to create spaces for people to experiment with expression.


September 15, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

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ON Canada