Connections & Conversations

Connections and Conversations

The Connections and Conversations group welcomes ALL faculty & staff at UTM, regardless of whether or not they have attended previous meetings. Join us!

Upcoming event:

Wednesday, February 14
12 pm - 1:30 pm
KN 2213
* Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome.
Click here to RSVP

Toni De Mello

Guest Speaker: Toni (Tanya) De Mello
Toni De Mello is a humanitarian, social activist, educator and human rights lawyer. She holds two Master degrees from Princeton in Public Policy and Urban and Regional Planning and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto in Social Justice Education. She has worked in emergency relief and with refugee populations for the UN in Senegal and Columbia.

Topic: The Intersection of Race and Gender (and Other Stuff, Too): My Experience Running for Federal Office
In 2015, Toni ran for federal office because she believes that civic engagement and community building are essential elements of responsible citizenship. Join us as she shares her experiences on the campaign trail.




Upcoming meetings:

Feel free to bring your lunch, a desire to discuss and as many colleagues as you like!

For the 2017-18 academic year, meetings will take place on the last Thursday of every month, from 12-1 pm (unless otherwise indicated).

  • Feb. 22 - IB 340
  • Mar. 29 - IMI KN2213
  • Apr. 26 - Deerfield Hall DH 3050
  • May 31 - Council Chambers

What is Connections & Conversations?

Connections & Conversations is an affinity group for racialized U of T staff and their supporters. The staff-driven initiative offers discussions and a support network for racialized staff to flourish at U of T. The group’s steering committee has been focused on creating an open and empowering environment for racialized staff to celebrate their accomplishments and contribute their unique ideas and talents to the University through networking, mentoring and other activities.

This Affinity Group is a welcome way to encourage cross portfolio, cross divisional and cross campus collaboration. The Group wishes to create a space to voice and address personal and group concerns around the lived experience of racialized staff at U of T. In addressing these challenges and opportunities, the Group aims to assist the University in promoting an environment that promotes personal and professional growth and development.

The objectives of the Connections and Conversations Affinity group are:

  • To find community and provide moral support to racialized members of the U of T community in their pursuit of a satisfying career experience;
  • To offer networking and mentoring opportunities and advice to members and supporters;
  • To contribute our unique experiences to the growth and development of U of T;
  • To seek opportunities within the U of T community to intersect with other groups in efforts to celebrate our cultural heritage while showcasing the talents of racialized staff;
  • To develop strategies and plans that address challenges that racialized U of T members encounter individually, or systemically; and
  • To explore channels for career advancement and seek opportunities to learn from University decision-makers.

Role of the Local UTM Chapter

Given U of T’s size and diversity, local Connections & Conversations groups have been established on each campus in order to better serve the needs of the community. UTM’s local group meets on the last Thursday of every month in order to learn from speakers, discuss current events and trends or plan future initiatives to help further our goals. If you would like to join the list serv, please contact Heather Hines and you will be added to our list.

Heather Hines
Director, Undergraduate Programs and Student Services
Department of Management/ Institute for Management & Innovation- UTM
Tel: 905-569-4972

Group Charter & Strategic Plan

Connections & Conversations in the News