University of Toronto: Black Creatives Series

In discussion with Black artists on navigating the various industries as a Black creative and lessons taken in advocacy.

Join the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office (EDIO) in a discussion exploring how COVID-19 and anti-Black Racism have uniquely impacted the lives of Black folks in creative industries. The topics of the panel will focus on experiences with personal identities, navigating the various industries as a black creative, and lessons taken in advocacy. In addition to looking at diversity and representation, the event will focus on finding the tools to create spaces that contribute to disrupting the status quo and the importance of representation in creative fields and its effect on underrepresented populations, particularly Black communities.

Registration is FREE. Sign-up here:


Jonathan Broderick (he/him/they) is A\CREATIVE working and thriving in Toronto, Canada. Propelled by fear of mediocrity and a palate for shiny and whimsical things, Jonathan is an active member of Toronto’s Black, Queer and Creative communities and advocates for marginalized peoples in his work. Jonathan attended the Ryerson School of Interior Design where his propensity for graphic communications and brand identity came to life. His work includes onsite and online activations for several not-for-profit organizations and cross-disciplinary creatives working in Toronto and surrounding areas. Today, Jonathan’s portfolio explores text, typography, photography, fashion, architecture, and interiors to help you share your story; In other words, Jonathan likes to create pretty moments that people #heart.

Vonny Lorde aka LastnameLorde is a Photographer and Creative Director with unique expertise in film photography. Her chronicles are documented in her book FILMFORFUN which operates as an annual photo exhibit. Vonny’s work can be seen in Noisey, Complex, and in alignment with brand campaigns with Chanel, Budlight, Sony, and Warner Music.

Anique Jordan is an artist, writer, and curator who looks to answer the question of possibility in everything she creates. As an artist, Jordan works in photography, sculpture, and performance often employing the theory of hauntology to challenge historical or dominant narratives and creating, what she calls, impossible images. Jordan has lectured on her artistic and community-engaged curatorial practice as a 2017 Canada Seminar speaker at Harvard University and in numerous institutions across the Americas. In 2017 she co-curated the exhibition Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood at the Art Gallery of Ontario. As an artist, she has exhibited in galleries such as Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Gallery of York University (AGYU), Art Gallery of Guelph, Doris McCarthy Gallery, the Wedge Collection, Art Gallery of Windsor, Gallery 44, and Y+ Contemporary. She has received numerous awards, grants, and fellowships and in 2017 was awarded the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist of the Year award. Jordan completed a residency at the University of the West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago), was the 2018-19 Artist-in-Residence at Osgoode Hall Law School, and the most recent recipient of the Hnatyshyn Emerging Artist award. Her work appears in public and private collections nationally.

Julie Crooks is Curator, Arts of Global Africa and the Diaspora at the AGO where she has curated the exhibitions Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires (2018), Free. Black. North (2017) and has actively participated in bringing works by Black artists into the collection, including Dawoud Bey, Paul Kodjo, James Van Der Zee, Ming Smith, Malick Sidibé, David Zapparoli, and most notably the Montgomery Collection of Caribbean Photographs, acquired in 2019, and for which Julie brought together an unprecedented group of supporters primarily from Toronto’s Black and Caribbean communities. Prior to joining the AGO in 2017, Julie Crooks curated exhibitions for many organizations including BAND (Black Artists Networks in Dialogue) and the Royal Ontario Museum’s Of Africa project. She holds a PhD from the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, U.K.

Moderated by: 

Ashley McKenzie-Barnes is a Creative Director and Curator with more than 15 years of experience in the cultural, advertising, entertainment, corporate, and non-profit sectors. Most recently her work has been seen across Canada and internationally as she’s executed large-scale festivals, installations, exhibitions, and campaigns, including work with Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp, Universal Music, Harbourfront Centre, TEDxToronto, Soho House, Samsung, Scotiabank and she was one of the 2019 curators for Nuit Blanche Toronto. Her design skills were also acquired by Lauryn Hill for her fashion collection celebrating 20 years of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

She’s been a featured speaker, moderator, and workshop facilitator across many forums including ArtToronto, The Artist Project, OCAD, Toronto Arts Foundation, FreshBooks, #MoveTheDial, Ontario Arts Council, TDSB, The Power Plant, Ontario Association of Art Galleries, ArtReach, Nia Centre for the Arts, UofT, Artscape, and others.

All are welcome to attend! Please let them know of any accessibility accommodations a week before the event by emailing

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