S2 EP 01 The Power of Listening
In this episode, Dr. Jean Clinton dives deep into the transformative potential of truly listening, amplifying unheard voices, and challenging the power dynamics that exist in our society perpetuating marginalization and inequality. Our guests, Fitsum Areguy, along with WRDSB Director of Education jeewan chanicka, take us on an inspiring journey, urging us to prioritize children’s voices and revolutionize our systems for true change. They share profound insights on the concept of “opacity” and resisting the urge to always understand others. We’ll explore the power of storytelling, art, and creative practices in fostering empathy and inspiring change. Our guests also make a compelling case for the reallocation of resources, defunding harmful systems, and redirecting funding to communities to support their needs and expertise.
Kimiko Shibata, Parent, Multilingual Resource Co-ord, WRDSB
Kimiko Shibata is a multilingual learner (MLL) resource teacher with the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB). She has been an educator in childcare settings, as well as a classroom teacher in Kindergarten, Primary, and Junior divisions. She holds ESL Specialist Qualifications and Special Education qualifications, and is currently an ESL/ELD Resource Teacher for K-8 for the Waterloo Region District School Board, in Ontario, Canada. Kimiko was honoured to receive a 2021 Leading Women, Leading Girls – Building Communities Recognition Award
Dr. Jean Clinton Child Psychiatrist, Author, Knowledge Translator
Dr. Jean Clinton is a Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster, and Child Psychiatry, division. She has cross appointments in Pediatrics and Family Medicine and an Associate in the Department of Child Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Sick Children’s Hospital. She is a member on the MindUP Scientific Advisory Board as well as a MindUP for Families Advisor. She is a Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy and a Zero to Three Academy Fellow since 2013. Dr. Clinton was appointed as an education advisor to Ontario’s Premier and the Minister of Education 2014 – 2018. Dr. Cinton is renowned nationally and internationally as an advocate for children’s issues. Dr. Clinton’s special interest lies in brain development and the crucial role relationships and connectedness play therein. Jean champions the development of a national, comprehensive child well-being strategy, including a system of early learning and care for all young children and their families. She is equally committed to ensuring that children’s and youths’ needs and voices are heard and respected. Dr. Clinton has also authored her first book, Love Builds Brains which can be ordered online through Tall Pines Press, on Amazon and in book stores everywhere.
jeewan chanicka Director of Education & Secretary of the Board, WRDSB
chanicka’s education career began in early childhood education and adult literacy. During his 20 years as an educator, he has held a variety of roles, including support worker, teacher, administrator, principal, and superintendent. His work spans several districts in Ontario, including YRDSB and Canada’s largest school board, the TDSB,where he served as the superintendent of equity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression and superintendent of schools. chanicka also worked at the Ontario Ministry of Education. In 2019, he assumed the role of CEO in Dubai to develop the blueprint model for a growing district of schools across the Middle East anchored in innovation and curriculum design.
chanicka speaks several languages and is recognized provincially, nationally, and internationally for his work in social justice advocacy, curriculum, anti-racism, human rights, and innovation. He is one of a select group of global senior education leaders highlighted as a TED-Ed Innovative Educator and delivered his TED-Ed talk at TEDSummit 2019 in Scotland. He currently serves approximately 65,000 students and 10,000 staff across more than 130 schools and sites as the director of education, where his work focuses on challenging historically entrenched outcomes for the most marginalized learners and moving systems and structures out of the 19th century and toward the 22nd.
Fitsum Areguy Student (Community Psychologist Laurier) / Youth & Community Worker / Journalist (Textile Magazine & InsideWaterloo)
Fitsum has a diverse and rich history of work in the social service sector and advocacy/activism for youth rights, disability communities, and Black, Indigenous, and racialized people. His work as a community-based researcher, independent facilitator, and early career journalist is guided by commitments to social justice, relationship-building, and creative practices. I’m currently studying to become a Community Psychologist (MA Candidate, Wilfrid Laurier University). My research interests focus on child and youth development, coping and adaptation across the lifespan, and family carers/caregiving. As an emerging community-based researcher, I value participatory action approaches, inter/multi-disciplinary collaboration, and creative analytic practices. I use knowledge exchange/mobilization to communicate data clearly, ethically, and equitably.
He is also Youth and Community Worker with 10 years of experience and a background in Therapeutic Recreation and has worked as an Independent Facilitator for the last 7 years.