A series to develop a community of practice for nonprofit and international development practitioners and aspiring practitioners in the CRD. 

Event Registration

What is the series format?

The kickoff event was a panel discussion with practitioners working in international development and the nonprofit sector, who are focused on, or want to move towards, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and decolonization in their work. Following the panel discussion, attendees will participate in short breakout sessions on topics generated from the discussion.

Following this event, panelists will develop follow up seminars/community-building discussions based on attendee interest, providing further opportunity for attendees to build community and to encourage action on anti-racism, anti-oppression and decolonization. Seminar 1 is led by Taleetha and Hillary, Seminar 2 is led by Moussa and Olaolu. These seminars are followed by a social and discussion about next steps.


Who is this series for?

International development practitioners and aspiring practitioners; and non profit practitioners and aspiring practitioners living and working in the CRD. We welcome the participation of students and those in any stages of their career or post-career.

Event Speakers

Olaolu Adeleye has a passion for social development issues seen through the application of an intercultural lens which is informed by his studies in international development and experiences with various global organizations. These include the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Right to Play, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and UNICEF Peru. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Development from Dalhousie University (2008) and a Master of Science in Poverty Reduction: Policy and Practice from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (2013). As an associate faculty member at Royal Roads University, Adeleye translates this international experience into engaging approaches that reframe contemporary global issues.

Dr. Moussa Magassa is the UVic Human Rights Education Advisor and Specialist in Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Partnerships. He focuses on on enhancing understanding of, and commitment to, the university’s human rights and equity goals, increasing diversity and creating a fair and inclusive work and study environment at UVic. Dr. Magassa is also an associate faculty at UVic and Royal Roads University, and teaches the UBC Centre for Intercultural Communication. His educational research focuses on critical race theory, Anti-racism education, Islamophobia, human rights education, diversity, equity & inclusion, and immigrants and refugees’ integration and adaptation in host communities. Moussa also holds an MA in human security & peacebuilding; BA (Hons) in conflict resolution and peace studies ; and various advanced certifications in human rights, humanitarian law and the law of armed conflicts, conflict mediation, and intercultural development and assessment. Dr. Magassa was born in Senegal and speaks many languages in addition to English and French.

Hillary Ronald is the Youth Programs Manager at Victoria International Development Education Association (VIDEA). Hillary is a settler from rural Manitoba but currently lives on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. Hillary has been working with VIDEA since 2014 in a variety of capacities and currently manages the International Indigenous Youth Internship program. She most loves supporting and cheering on the incredible youth that we get to work with! Her podcast lineup tells us that she is most passionate about climate justice and how it intersects with basically everything. If you are looking for a recommendation, that’s what Hillary is here for!

Taleetha Tait is a Project Coordinator at Victoria International Development Education Association (VIDEA). Taleetha is passionate about Indigenous and African American rights – coming from two ancestries that have deep rooted histories of injustice, it has been a passion of Taleetha’s since she was a child. Taleetha coordinates VIDEA’s Indigenous internship programme and is usually based in Zambia or Uganda. Taleetha brings immense depth of thought, innovation, and wisdom to our team. Taleetha takes being multi-talented to another level and we’re yet to find anything that Taleetha doesn’t rock at. Fun facts about Taleetha: she was a VIDEA IAYI intern in 2015 in Bandali, Uganda; she finds herself washing interns’ hair in almost every cohort in Mumbwa, Zambia; and she is an artist, doing nail art in her spare time.

SOVI Team / Event Moderators

Rachel Levee is the event moderator. Of mixed European and Jewish settler heritage, Rachel was born on Tiohtià:ke (colonial name Montréal), under the custodianship of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation, and now lives as an uninvited guest on the stolen lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations of the Lək̓ʷəŋən People. Rachel currently acts as a co-chair for the South Vancouver Island (SOVI) chapter of BCCIC, and works with non-profit organizations towards good practice in governance and operations. A long-time career generalist, she has an MA in African History from U of T, taught ESL, worked in documentary film and television, and has coordinated and managed community based projects from Vancouver to Addis Ababa, with a focus on media, documentation, and public engagement. Most days, though, Rachel can be found digging in the dirt, seeking missing LEGOs, or singing silly songs with her young child.

Ruth Nakalyowa was born in Uganda and now lives as an uninvited guest on the unceded territory of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations. She has a Master’s degree in Intercultural and International Communication. Ruth currently works as the Student of Colour Collective Coordinator at the University of Victoria Students’ Society. She is the co-founder of Black Speaks Victoria and develops and facilitates workshops on how to create inclusive spaces for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour.

Cristina Venturin is SOVI’s Youth Chair. She is a Political Science and Applied Ethics student at the University of Victoria and has joined the SOVI steering committee as the Youth Chair. She has grown up on the unceded territories of the Songhees, Esquimalt, and WSÁNEĆ peoples. She is the Director of Events for the Undergraduates of Political Science at UVIC and has held a myriad of positions on the board throughout her undergrad to better engage students with the department. Her passions are humanitarian law, political activism, and international relations, as well as connecting others in interpersonal development.

Glossary of Key Terms

anti-oppression: “Anti-Oppression work seeks to recognize the oppression that exists in our society and attempts to mitigate its affects and eventually equalize the power imbalance in our communities.” – the anti-violence project

decolonization: “a process of peeling back the layers of denial we’ve all been taught to normalize. … Decolonizing is a lot like the word healing, it is different for everybody everyday, there is no final end point, and it’s not easy.” – taken from Decolonize First, by Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee

anti-racism: “Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably.” – NAC International Perspectives: Women and Global Solidarity

BIPOC: acronym for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour

white privilege: “Refers to the unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits and choices bestowed on people solely because they are white. Generally white people who experience such privilege do so without being conscious of it.” – from the, who sourced from Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women Studies.”