Keynote Address: Professor George J. Sefa Dei
Title: Race, Indigeneity and Decolonial Practice: Implications for Medical Education

Ghanaian-born George Sefa Dei is a renowned educator, researcher and writer who is considered by many as one of Canada’s foremost scholars on race and anti-racism studies. He is a widely sought after academic, researcher and community worker whose professional and academic work has led to many Canadian and international speaking invitations in US, Europe and Africa. Currently, he is Professor of Social Justice Education & Director of the Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT).  Professor Dei is the 2015, 2016, 2018-19 Carnegie African Diasporan Fellow. In August of 2012, Professor Dei also received the honorary title of ‘Professor Extraordinarire’ from the Department of Inclusive Education, University of South Africa, [UNISA]. In 2017, he was elected as Fellow of Royal Society of Canada, the most prestigious award for an academic scholar. He also received the ‘2016 Whitworth Award for Educational Research’ from the Canadian Education Association (CEA) awarded to the Canadian scholar whose research and scholarship have helped shaped Canadian national educational policy and practice.  He is the 2019 Paulo Freire Democratic Project, Chapman University, US - ‘Social Justice Award’ winner. This April 2021, Professor Dei received the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators [ONABSE] for how long-standing work promoting Black and minority youth education.  

Professor Dei has forty (40) books and over seventy (70) refereed journal articles to his credit.  Finally, in June of 2007, Professor Dei was installed as a traditional chief in Ghana, specifically, as the Gyaasehene of the town of Asokore, Koforidua in the New Juaben Traditional Area of Ghana. His stool name is Nana Adusei Sefa Tweneboah.

Dr. Umberin Najeeb

Dr. Najeeb is an Associate Professor of Medicine and a staff internist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She is the Faculty Lead, Equity for the Department of Medicine and the Co-Director of the Department of Medicine’s Master Teacher Program at the University of Toronto. She developed and implemented a unique research based longitudinal collaborative mentorship program for international medical graduates (IMGs) physicians and is the Faculty Lead for IMGs/IFTs Mentorship program. 

As an educator, her areas of scholarly focus are 1) transition and integration of IMGs (and other Internationally Educated Health Professionals) into their training and working environments and 2) health professions education with specific focus on curriculum design, program development, faculty development and mentorship. She uses her voice and lived experiences to be an ally in her many roles. Dr. Najeeb teaches around the constructs of equity, diversity, inclusion, and allyship at undergraduate, postgraduate, and faculty development levels and contributes to committee and policy work related to social justice and EDI. She has won numerous teaching and mentorship awards at the local, provincial and national level

Kimya Manouchehri

Kimya is an MD Candidate at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry in the class of 2024. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and a minor in Women's Studies from Western University. Currently, Kimya serves as the co-VP Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization (EDID) for Western’s Hippocratic Council. She has worked extensively on curriculum reform, engaging in a program wide curriculum review. In her work she has also liaised with equity focused student groups, connected with student's regarding EDID related concerns, and advocated to administration.


Joseph LeBlanc

Dr. Joseph LeBlanc is the Associate Dean, Equity and Inclusion at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, previously serving as the Director, Indigenous Affairs. He is a life-long Northern Ontarian and member of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory. Dr. LeBlanc holds an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Forest Conservation, an Environmental Management Certificate, and a PhD in Forest Sciences from Lakehead University. Dr. LeBlanc is recognized as a leading expert in Indigenous food systems and community development in Canada, previously working for a diverse range of organizations, including academic institutions, Indigenous organizations, charities, and nonprofits. He has also received several awards including a Top 20 under 40 Northwestern Ontario Visionary Award and a Forty under 40 Northern Ontario Business Award.


Mala Joneja

Dr. Mala Joneja was born in Kingston, Ontario in 1969. She attended Queen’s University School of Medicine and obtained her MD in 1994. She subsequently completed internal medicine and rheumatology training at Western University, in London, Ontario. She completed a Master of Education degree from the Ontario Institute in Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto shortly after that. She returned to Kingston to join the Department of Medicine at Queen’s University in 2004. She has held leadership positions in medical education including: International Medical Graduate Program Director; Program Director, Rheumatology Subspecialty Training Program; Associate Program Director, Core Internal Medicine Training Program; Director, Diversity and Equity for Queen’s University School of Medicine and Chair, Queen’s University Commission on Black Medical Students.
Currently, she is Associate Professor and Chair, Division of Rheumatology at Queen’s University. She has been selected as an Education Leader-in-Residence for 2022 to 2024 at Queen’s University to study the integration of anti-racist pedagogy into teaching and learning at Queen’s. Her other interests in medical education include professionalism and the hidden curriculum.


Mike Kirlew


Dr. Michael Kirlew, is a clinician in rural northern Ontario. He works at a full-scope family practice in the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority, on Moose Factory Island, working closely with Indigenous peoples. Dr. Kirlew attended the University of Ottawa for both medical school and his residency. He has a particular interest in raising awareness of and dismantling systemic racism in health care to improve outcomes for affected populations, with particular interests in rural and remote health care and Indigenous issues. Dr. Kirlew also holds academic appointments at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Queen’s University, and the University of Ottawa.