Dr. Bonita Lawrence and Faith Nolan - Robert Sutherland Visitors


Thursday March 10, 2016
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 202
Event Category

Robert Sutherland Visitors

Dr. Bonita Lawrence is the author of Fractured Homeland: Federal Recognition and Algonquin Identity in Ontario‘Real’ Indians and Others:Mixed-Blood Urban Native Peoples and Indigenous Nationhood. She is co-editor of Strong Women Stories: Native Vision and Community Survival. Currently Associate Professor in Equity Studies at York, she is not afraid to raise difficult and challenging questions about Indigenous and Black alliance building, including her often cited co-authored articles: “Decolonizing Anti-Racism” and “Indigenous Peoples and Black People in Canada: Settlers Or Allies?” She was a member of Voices of Our Grandmothers, a traditional Aboriginal women’s drumming circle that performed regularly at political rallies, social events and prisons in the Kingston and Toronto areas.

Faith Nolan has produced 14 CDs including her recent album, Jailhouse Blues produced in 2014. Its lyrics came out of workshops with women prisoners over seven years at two super max jails in Ontario. In the late 1980s, Nolan founded and directed the Kingston Women Prisoners Choir. She is a community builder who has worked with Afro-American scholar and prison reform advocate Angela Davies; Afro-Canadian writer Dionne Brand; the late folk singer Pete Seeger and more. Her most passionate project is prison reform. She has composed, performed and educated people on this issue for more than three decades. According to Nolan, “Music is a powerful tool that can be used for political and cultural expression.” Nolan uses this tool to educate the public and inspire activists who dream and work for a time of race equality and prison reform. She has received numerous awards including the EGALE Black History Month Recipient (2011), Afro-Nova Scotian Cultural Music Award (2009), Ontario Federation of Labour Cultural Activist Award (2008), numerous Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council award grants.