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!

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Next Workshop/Event(s):

*All in-person workshops/events will take place between 12-1:30 pm with lunch typically provided at 11:30 am

​​What does it take to bring racial equity, gender equality, and inclusion to life in an institutional context? A reflective discussion on policy, practice, and culture in facilitating meaningful transformation.

  • Date & Time TBA - White Elephant in the Room - Brian Cunha

This workshop will be targeted towards non-racialized members of the UTM community.


Next meeting(s):

*All in-person meetings will take place between 12-1:00 pm with lunch typically provided at 11:30 am

  • Apr 6:     Tri-Campus Virtual Coffee
  • Apr 15:   Tri-Campus Virtual Coffee 
  • Apr 20:   Tri-Campus Virtual Coffee 
  • May 28:  DV 3138 (Pending)
  • June 25: DH 4009 (Pending)


To join online Tri-Campus meeting, click the link below:

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 typically 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.


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

Executive Committee

2019-20 Executive Committee members

Event Leads

  • Martina Douglas
    Program Coordinator, UTM Equity & Diversity Office
  • Rebeca Mahadeo
    Student Development Coordinator, Intercultural Programs, International Education Centre

Mentoring Leads

  • Martin Kengo
    Community Engagement Coordinator, Access and Outreach, Centre for Student Engagement
  • Ramya Uthayakumar
    Coordinator, Events & Employment Services

Outreach & Communications Leads

  • Jermaine Ingram
    Multimedia & Classroom Technology Specialist, Information & Instructional Technology Service
  • Rachel Kulick
    Curriculum Support Officer, Undergraduate Programs
  • Stephanie Santos
    Receptionist & Administrative Assistant, Department of Language Studies


Connections & Conversations' local UTM Chapter is guided by its Executive Committee, which provides leadership and operational management of activities such as organizing and running bi-monthly meetings, events, and other strategic initiatives.


Interested in volunteering for the Executive Committee? Click here to learn more!