Summit 2021 Keynote Speakers

CBRC is thrilled to announce our keynote speakers for Summit 2021: Disrupt and Reconstruct (taking place online Oct 27-29).

To learn more about Summit 2021 visit 
To register for Summit 2021 visit



Florence Ashley (they/them)

Florence Ashley is a jurist and bioethicist currently completing doctoral studies at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Joint Centre for Bioethics. Metaphorically a biorg witch with flowers in their hair, they previously served as the first openly transfeminine clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada. Florence publishes on a wide range of issues facing trans communities, with a particular focus on trans conversion practices and approaches to trans youth care. Their activism and scholarship have earned them the Canadian Bar Association LGBT Hero Award.


Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco (he/him)

Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco’s rags to (somewhat) riches story started with migrating from Chile, from poverty and military dictatorship, to Canada at 22, getting diagnosed with HIV in 1985, becoming an AIDS activist in 1989, and pursuing a thrilling combination of community work and qualitative social-behavioural research. Currently, he is an assistant professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, a member of The Canada-International HIV and Rehabilitation Research Collaborative (CIHRRC) and fiction/non-fiction author. His research focuses on physical and cognitive rehabilitation in the context of HIV, queer men’s sexual health, e-learning for public health, HIV stigma, and autopathography (patient-oriented medical narratives).

Kai-Keynote-2.jpgKai Cheng Thom (she/her)

Kai Cheng Thom is an award-winning author, performance artist, and community healer. A somatically trained coach, consultant, and conflict resolution practitioner, she is also the developer of the Loving Justice methodology and works at the intersection of mind, body, and collective soul. Kai Cheng’s latest book, I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl’s Notes from the End of the World (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019), dives deeply into the topics of transformative justice, prison abolition, trauma-informed activism, and building queer and trans futures.

Her aim is to participate in a paradigm shift that moves beyond the simple politics of identity and diversity: “I dream of a movement that radically re-envisions the ways that we relate to one another.” Lately, she has been focusing her attention on the ways that trauma and oppression prevent people from building strong loving relationships, which in turn stops activist movements from creating sustainable interpersonal change.


Rinaldo Walcott (he/him)

Rinaldo Walcott is a writer, scholar, and cultural commentator whose work focuses on Black studies, queer theory, gender studies, and diaspora studies. He is professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at University of Toronto. He is the author of several books, including On Property (2021), The Long Emancipation: Moving Toward Black Freedom (2021), and Black Like Who?: Writing Black Canada (1997). You can follow him on Twitter @blacklikewho.


Jack Saddleback (he/him)

Jack Saddleback is a proud Nehiyaw (Cree) Two-Spirit/IndigiQueer, trans, gay man from the Samson Cree Nation in Maskwacis, Alberta. As the former co-interim executive director of OUTSaskatoon and the board co-chair of 2 Spirits in Motion, Jack works closely within the queer community and the Indigenous community to address reconciliation and decolonization work that incorporates an intersectional lens. As the former president of the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union (USSU), was the third Indigenous person and the first transgender person to hold the role. A recipient of numerous awards, including the 2018 Saskatchewan Young Humanitarian of the Year award from the Red Cross, Jack brings a number of marginalized voices to the forefront through his inspirational work.


jaye simpson (they/them)

jaye simpson is an Oji-Cree Saulteaux Indigiqueer from the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. They are a writer, advocate, and activist sharing their knowledge and lived experiences in hope of creating utopia. They are published in several magazines including Poetry Is Dead, This Magazine, PRISM international, SAD Magazine: Green, GUTS Magazine, SubTerrain, Grain, and Room. Their work appears in two anthologies: Hustling Verse (2019) and Love After the End (2020). Their first poetry collection, it was never going to be okay, was shortlisted for the 2021 ReLit Award and a 2021 Dayne Ogilvie Prize Finalist while also winning the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award for Published Poetry in English. They are a displaced Indigenous person resisting, ruminating and residing on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations territories, colonially known as Vancouver


To learn more about Summit 2021 visit 
To register for Summit 2021 visit

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About CBRC

Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC) promotes the health of people of diverse sexualities and genders through research and intervention development.
Summit 2021 Keynote Speakers
Summit 2021 Keynote Speakers
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