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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Staff and Faculty

Unearned Assets
ConferenceAn exploration of the provisions within an invisible knapsack.

Thompson Rivers University, Mountain Room

Hosted by: TRU Office of Equity Diversity, Inclusion & Anti-Racism

MAY 29 — 30, 2024

About Registration Keynote Speakers Schedule of Events Accommodation

About The Unearned Assets Conference

Welcome to the Thompson River’s University – Unearned Assets Conference!

The two-day event (May 29, 30) is bound to leave you wanting to learn more about EDI, anti-racism, anti-oppression, and the provisions of your own metaphorical knapsack.

Dr. Peggy McIntosh, the author of the “White Privilege: The Invisible Knapsack” is certain to make you say ‘wow’ during her keynote address. She is prolific start to a day filled with the knowledge and experiences of EDI professionals and theoretical wisdom of anti-racist and intercultural scholars.

Be ready to turn your energy meter on high as Jesse Lipscombe jumps starts the morning of day two. Will he talk about neurodiversity, or not? Wait and see as he sets the tone for an exciting day filled with tips for students, recognizing anti-racism as a pillar of EDI, and meeting at the intersections of the proverbial isms.


This event is sold out.  If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email EDI Conference 2024 Staff / Faculty Waitlist

Keynote Speakers

Meet our keynote speakers

Dr. Peggy McIntosh

Dr. Peggy Mcintosh, former associate director of the Wellesley Centers for Women, and founder of the SEED (National Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Project.

At the Wellesley Center for Women, McIntosh directed projects on Gender Race and Inclusive Education. She is widely known for her 1988 and 1989 papers on privilege "White Privilege and Male Privilege": A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work on Women’s Studies and White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.

Jesse Lipscombe

Jesse Lipscombe is one of Canada’s leading keynote speakers. An expert on leadership, diversity, equity and inclusion, Jesse has inspired organizations to make a difference within their communities. A natural-born leader, he instills confidence in youth and challenges audiences to become more inclusive and accepting of all people.

Alberta-born, Jesse entered the spotlight at 14, starring alongside legendary actor Sidney Poitier in Children of the Dust. At 18, he shifted to athletic stardom after accepting a full athletic scholarship at the prestigious Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he became a breakout track star.

Other speakers


Dr. Jerome Cranston (he/him)

Vice-Provost, Students and Learning at the University of Saskatchewan


Jerome Cranston (he/him), Ph.D. (University of Manitoba), M.Ed. (University of Lethbridge), B.Ed. & B.Sc. (University of Alberta) is grateful to be a life-partner, father, brother and uncle.

Dr. Cranston is a race-conscious scholar-educator who focuses his energy and time on uncovering the overt and covert ways that racialized ideologies, structures, and institutions create and maintain racial inequality and injustice with a goal of collectively finding solutions that can lead to greater equity, racial justice, and build healthier communities.

He is a much sought-after presenter, consultant and educator on the topics of systemic racism and social inequity. Over his career, he has served on a number of diversity, equity and inclusion, and human rights advisory committees and working groups.

Most recently, Dr. Cranston was the project lead and architect of the equity and racial justice learning program developed in partnership with the Canadian School Boards Association. Dr. Cranston currently serves as the Vice-Provost, Students and Learning at the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Theresa Rajack-Talley

Dr. Theresa Rajack-Talley (she/her)

Vice-Provost for Equity and Inclusiveness at Dalhousie University


Dr. Theresa Rajack-Talley is the inaugural Vice-Provost for Equity and Inclusiveness at Dalhousie University (2019) responsible for the progress and continued development of Dalhousie’s Equity and Inclusiveness Strategy and Human Rights and Equity Services.

She is a senior administrator, a Fullbright scholar, a Full Professor in Pan-African Studies, a mentor and researcher in areas of social inequities linked to the intersectionality of race, ethnicity, gender, social class, and nationality, and is widely published in these areas.

Martha Mathurin Moe

Martha Mathurin Moe (she/her) B.A. M.Ed, Phd Candidate

Vice Provost- Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, University of Lethbridge


Martha Mathurin Moe: Vice Provost- Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, University of Lethbridge Pronouns: She/her. B.A. M.Ed. PhD Candidate Faculty of Education, University of Regina

Born and raised in Saint Lucia, West Indies, Martha Mathurin-Moe holds a BA degree from the Universidad Central de Las Villas, Cuba; a Master of Education in Educational Psychology from the University of Regina and is a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction.

Mathurin Moe's experience consists of 10 years in Banking and Finance, over 7 years in Human Resources Development and 8 years in International Education. Previous roles include Manager of Talent Development at the Public Service Commission, Government of Saskatchewan, Associate Director of Study Abroad & Mobility at UR International at the University of Regina. Mathurin-Moe’s work in international education has afforded her the possibility to participate in several educational forums in Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Norway, Mexico, Germany, Italy, and the United States. She is recipient of the 2016 University of Regina’s President’s Award for Service Excellence.

She is a skilled facilitator, values-based leader who advocates for equitable and inclusive workplaces for all. She is very keen on developing learning opportunities that create an environment where all students no matter race, gender/gender expression, neurodiversity or ethnic background feel represented in their learning space. During her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling with her partner Jared.

Mami Schouten

Mami Schouten (she/her)

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Research Officer, Office of Vice President Research and Innovation | Equity & Human Rights Office, University of Victoria


Mami Schouten (she/her) is the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Research Officer, supporting the Vice President Research and Innovation as well as the Office of Equity and Human Rights Office.

As a people-oriented person, Mami considers her current role as planting a seed in people’ minds to reflect and challenge what they perceive as their “normal” way of doing things. Through her work in education facilitation and consultation, Mami’s commitment is to offer a space for people to explore ways to maximize their daily engagement in inclusive practices, building a sense of belonging for everyone.

She is also actively engaged in strategic discussions to facilitate institutional initiatives that aims to reduce systemic barriers for historically and systemically marginalized individuals.

As a racialized woman with learned English, she has first-hand experience in what it is like to be marginalized and also appreciates her own privileges in different aspects.

Valerie Williams

Valerie Williams (she/her) , CPHR/CCIP

Director, Office of Equity, Access and Participation, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba


Valerie Williams is Black Canadian, born and raised on Treaty 1 Territory; her pronouns are she and her.In her role as the Director, Office of Equity, Access and Participation, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Valerie delivers an equity strategy grounded in social justice.

Her goals are identifying and dismantling the structures in which oppression and discrimination in all forms are embedded. Valerie’s portfolio includes raising awareness to faculty, staff and learners through the facilitation of workshops, researching best equity practices and supporting the Colleges and equity committees.

Valerie completed Human Resource Management through the University of Manitoba and holds Chartered Professional Human Resources (CPHR) and Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional (CCIP) designations.


Dr. Amie McLean (she/her)

Intercultural Coordinator, TRU Faculty of Student Development


Amie is a sociologist, writer, educator and parent whose academic interests are on equity and social justice issues in Canadian post-secondary education and work. Her perspective is rooted in anti-racist, anti-colonial feminist thought, with an expanding focus on disability justice. She has published on post-secondary funding policies for Indigenous students, neoliberalisation and trucking industry regulation, and the racialized politics of mobility among long haul truckers.

Amie previously served as Co-Chair of the Learning at Intercultural Intersections: Towards Equity, Inclusion, and Reconciliation international conference and co-edited a resulting special issue in the Journal of Intercultural Studies. She sits on a wide range of committees focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion and engages in community advocacy work related to these topics.


Dr. Kyra Garson (she/her)

Instructional Support, TRU Faculty of Student Development


Dr. Kyra is an educator and faculty developer who is passionate about intercultural learning, inclusive pedagogies, and combating discrimination in educational spaces. Her research interests include critical pedagogies, multicultural group work and critical internationalization studies.

Kyra’s doctoral study entitled “Are we graduating Global Citizens?” received the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education’s dissertation of the year award in 2014. In 2011, the Canadian Bureau for International Education selected her to receive the Internationalization Award for her work with faculty to intercuturalize the curriculum. In 2017, she was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award by the British Columbia Council for Internationa l Education. In 2020 she received TRU’s Excellence in Interculturalization Award.


Dr. Rani Srivastava (she/her)

Dean, School of Nursing. TRU School of Nursing


Dr. Rani Srivastava is currently the Dean of Nursing at Thompson Rivers University. She also holds adjunct positions at York University, Toronto, ON and Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS and serves on the board for Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) and Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of British Columbia (NNPBC). She is a Fellow, Canadian Academy of Nursing and Fellow, Transcultural Nursing Society Scholars. In 2017, she was honored by the Canadian Nurses Association as one of the 150 nurses for Canada who are strong public advocates and leaders in advancing patient centered approach to quality health care.

Dr. Srivastava is recognized nationally and internationally for her leadership in cultural competence, bridging academia and practice environments, and translating vision into action. She is the author and editor for The Health Care Professional’s Guide to Cultural Competence (2nd edition, 2022), and has written several book chapters and articles on topics of cultural identity, religion, ethics, and family-centered care. Her research focuses on organizational enablers to foster cultural competence and anti-racism; teaching pedagogies for diversity and equity; inclusive leadership; and strengthening nursing practice through leadership, mentorship, and technology.

Rani completed a bachelor’s in nursing (BN) (with honors) from Dalhousie University (1981); Masters of Science in Nursing (MScN) (1986) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (2008) from the University of Toronto. On a personal note, she identifies as a South Asian parent, grandparent, and many familial roles within an extended family network, and has a deep love for family, culture, and religion.


Dr. Monica Sanchez-Flores (she/her)

Associate Dean, Arts. TRU Faculty of Arts


Dr. Mónica J. Sánchez-Flores is Associate Dean of Arts (interim) and Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Environment, Culture and Society (ECS) in Thompson Rivers University (TRU). She was a member of the TRUFA Equity Committee since 2010 and was Co-chair of this committee for six years before becoming TRUFA President for two years in 2019. Mónica co-chaired the 2019 TRU CRC Equity Action Plan Committee and the 2020 TRU Provost’s Anti-racism Taskforce.

Mónica’s research focuses on the social construction of the processes of racialization, relational social theory, political theory, multiculturalism and settlement, mindfulness, equity, diversity and inclusion training, globalization and cosmopolitanism. She is the author of the books Political Philosophy for the Global Age (2005) and Cosmopolitan Liberalism: Expanding the Boundaries of the Individual (2010) and is Co-leader of the International School of Radical Relationism . Mónica is currently working on a book (on contract with Palgrave Macmillan) about processes of racialization and racial healing from an autoethnogaphic, decolonial and radical relational perspective.


Dr. Oren Shtayermman, (he/him)

Associate Dean, FESW
Faculty of Education & Social Work


For the past two decades, Dr. Shtayermman served in numerous teaching and leadership roles at private and public academic institutions and universities. His research program focuses on risk factors for suicidal ideation among adolescents and young adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

He conducted multiple studies to investigate mental health issues among adolescents and young adults on the spectrum as well as the presence of comorbid disorders associated with autism and their impact on family members, mostly parents and siblings. Dr. Shtayermman has been conducting both qualitative and quantitative research and has collaborated regularly with health professions to strengthen the presence of the Social Work Profession in an interdisciplinary environment.

Recently, Dr. Shtayermman developed a fully online MSW program at Chamberlain University, College of Health Professions and served as the founding Professor of Social Work of that program. The program was one of the first to innovate the use of immersion experience as a preparation for practicum using case based learning. Dr. Shtayermman earned his BSW in Social Work from Haifa University, Israel, his MSW in Social Work from New York University and his PhD from Fordham University in New York City.


Loshima Shongo (she/her)

An international student hailing from Congo and raised in Zimbabwe


Loshima Shongo (she/her) is an international student hailing from Congo and raised in Zimbabwe. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Sociology and a minor in Political Science at Thompson Rivers University (TRU), Loshima brings a multicultural perspective to the academic environment.

Fluent in English, Shona, French, Lingala, and Tetela, she embodies linguistic diversity. At TRU, Loshima is actively involved in student governance and leadership roles. Serving as the University Affairs Committee Representative at the TRU Students' Union (TRUSU), she passionately advocates for student interests. Her advocacy spans a range of critical issues including International Tuition Fee Increases, Indigenous Course Requirements, Campus Safety Consultation Sessions, and On-Campus Housing Review Sessions.

Additionally, she has contributed her expertise to various hiring committees within TRU Governance, demonstrating her commitment to effective leadership and decision-making processes. Within TRUSU, Loshima is a valued member of the Amphitheater team, where she focuses on social media management and marketing initiatives. Through her involvement, she seeks to broaden her understanding and skills across all facets of student life, aiming to contribute positively to the diverse and vibrant community at Thompson Rivers University.


Shannon Lopes (they/them)

Graduated from Thompson Rivers University (TRU) with a Diploma in Human Resources


Shannon Lopes (they/them) recently graduated from Thompson Rivers University (TRU) with a Diploma in Human Resources, with undergrad studies in Economics from the University of Mumbai, Student advocate for TRUSU's Equity Committee and Intercultural Ambassador with TRU.

Shannon Lopes, an international student from Mumbai, India, recently graduated from Thompson Rivers University (TRU) with a Diploma in Human Resources. They are a CPHR BC & Yukon student member, showcasing their commitment to promote a more inclusive and equitable environment for all. Additionally, they completed their undergrad studies in Economics from the University of Mumbai.

During their time at TRU, they actively contributed as a student representative with TRUSU’s Equity Committee, while also serving as a peer mentor / Intercultural Ambassador with TRU's Intercultural Learning Department. Their platform centers on advancing the representation of international students, underpinned by a profound commitment to fostering equity, inclusivity, and empowerment within a diverse student body at TRU.

Beyond their academic pursuits, Shannon holds the role of Store Lead at The Children’s Place. In their leisure time, they volunteer at the Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre (KSACC), providing invaluable support to the broader community. Their overarching goal is to leverage & amplify their advocacy for marginalized groups on campus and make a positive impact within the community.

Shannon believes in the importance of incorporating self-care practices such as mindfulness, and spending time in nature to maintain balance and well-being. They also enjoys stand-up comedy & karaoke as they bring her laughter, provide a means for self-expression, and offer opportunities to connect with others.

Schedule of Events

Day 1 - May 29, 2024

Time (PST)
8:00 a.m.
Registration / Breakfast
9:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m.
Elder Welcome
Elder Joanne Brown
9:00 a.m.
Conference Opening Remarks
Dr. Gillian Balfour, Provost & VP Academic
9:15 a.m.
Keynote Speaker- Dr. Peggy McIntosh
10:45 a.m.
Networking Break
11:00 a.m.
Panel I: EDI in Practice
Mami Schouten
Valerie Williams
12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m.
Senior Leaders Present
What’s all the fuss about microaggressions in higher education? Dr. Jerome Cranston
Who is accountable for this work? Rethinking EDI in Academia. Martha- Mathurin Moe PhD candidate
Inclusive Leadership Dr. Theresa Rajack-Talley
Questions & Reflection
2:30 p.m.
Networking Break
3:00 p.m.
Workshop & Reflection
Dr. Theresa Rajack-Talley, Dr. Jerome Cranston, Martha- Mathurin Moe PhD candidate
4:30 p.m.
That’s a Wrap - Day 1
5:00 p.m.
Reception in the Terrace Room, Sponsored by the Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics

Day 2 - May 30, 2024

Time (PST)
8:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m.
Opening & EDI Highlights
9:15 a.m.
Keynote Speaker- Jesse Lipscombe
10:45 a.m.
Networking Break
11:00 a.m.
What is in your knapsack, students?
Shannon Lopes & Loshima Shongo
12:00 p.m.
1:15 p.m.
Panel 2: TRU Pillars of Excellence Anti-Racism & Intercultural Learning
Dr. Kyra Garson
Dr. Amie McLean
Dr. Monica Sanchez-Flores
Dr. Rani Srivastava
2:30 p.m.
Networking Break
2:45 p.m.
Meeting at the Intersection – Dr. Oren Shtayermman
3:45 p.m.
That's a Wrap - Conference Close
4:00 p.m.


To ensure a comfortable stay during this impactful event, kindly click the following links to finalize your accommodation reservation:

Hotels in Kamloops

Contact Us

Phone: 250-852-7662
Office: Clock Tower, 4th floor

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