Black Youth in Policy: Opportunities & Barriers

Friday March 31, 2023
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM


Black Youth in Policy: Opportunities & Barriers

Black people in Canada remain underrepresented in all areas of the public policy sphere. Black youth especially can find it difficult to break into the policy space. This online panel event will give Black UBC students the opportunity to hear from Black policy professionals from across Canada and hear about their career journeys and their insights into the realities of breaking into and working in the public policy field as a Black professional.

Event Recording

About the Speakers

Velma Morgan

Velma Morgan is an educator and the Chair of Operation Black Vote Canada. In her capacity as Chair of Operation Black Vote Canada, she co-created the 1834 Fellowship, which has helped dozens of Black Canadian youth launch careers in the policy space. She has worked for multiple ministries in the Ontario Public Service and was instrumental in the drafting and passing of the Ontario Immigration Act and the act recognizing Black History Month in Ontario. Velma has served on the boards of Equal Voice, Big Brother and Big Sisters of Toronto and the John Brooks Community Scholarship Foundation.

Dr. Rashid Sumalia

Dr. Rashid Sumalia is a Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Interdisciplinary Ocean and Fisheries Economics at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, and the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia. His research interests include bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing and the economics of high and deep seas fisheries. Dr. Sumaila has experience working in fisheries and natural resource projects in Norway, Canada and the North Atlantic region, Namibia and the Southern African region, Ghana and the West African region and Hong Kong and the South China Sea. He has published articles in several journals including Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Journal of Bioeconomics, Land Economics, ICES Journal of Marine Science, Environmental and Resource Economics and Ecological Economics.

Iyanu Soyege

Iyanu Soyege works at the Government of Alberta as a Policy Analyst supporting Alberta’s small businesses and medium enterprises. Before assuming her current role, Iyanu worked for Alberta’s Treasury Board and Finance. Iyanu is a graduate of McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and African Studies. Iyanu is also an alumna of Operation Black Vote Canada’s 1834 Fellowship, a public policy program that prepares Black youth and young adults for leadership roles in public service.

About the Moderator

Naomi Hudson

Naomi Hudson is a Research Assistant at the UBC Office for Regional and International Community Engagement and a third-year Honours Political Science student. She has worked at the City of Vancouver and at the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, where she served as a facilitator for the Centre’s flagship Institute for Future Legislators program. Naomi also has extensive experience in the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion space, having worked as an Equity Ambassador Coordinator with the UBC Faculty of Applied Sciences and serving on anti-racism committees with the City of Vancouver, the Delta School District and the UBC Equity and Inclusion Office. Naomi is also an alum of Operation Black Vote Canada’s 1834 Fellowship and served as a Program Coordinator for Operation Black Vote Canada’s 1834 Global program.