School of Cities Urban Leadership Fellowship and Academy Virtual Research Festival : Session 8

When and Where

Friday, October 23, 2020 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
via Zoom


Session 8 of a weekly webinar series showcasing students’ engaged research, virtual simulations, social impact and creative projects.

Friday, October 23, 2020

2:30pm – 4:00pm



Virtual Research Conference Session 8 banner



Order of Presentations

  • Welcome!
  • Land acknowledgement
  • 15 minutes presentation per panelist
  • 20 minutes moderated Q&A
Ntombi Nkiwane & Sophia Zekiros 

Privatization of diagnostic laboratories in Kenya and South Africa and COVID-19 testing capacity 

Michelle Verbeek 
Urban Disaster Risk & the Covid-19 Pandemic 

Special Guest:

Tapfuma Musewe 
Global Executive MBA, PMP, MA 
Founder & CEO, Eschaton Solutions Ltd

Janelle Brady 
Black Mother's Community Research Project on the Schooling and Education experiences for Black students 
Amira Babeiti
Global Governance, Law and Policy 
Global Sustainable Foods: Farmers Market 

Presenter Bio

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Sophia Zekiros & Ntombi Nkiwane

Master of Public Health: Health Promotion (Dalla Lana School of Public Health)  |   Master of Public Health: Social and Behavioural Health Sciences

Sophia Zekiros is a 2nd year Master of Public Health student in the Social and Behavioural Health Sciences stream, specializing in Global Health. She is interested in the ways Public Health responds to unhealthy conditions produced by social, economic, and political systems, and the particular implications for Black life here and abroad. As a Queen Elizabeth Scholar this past summer, she conducted an evaluation of a breast cancer genetics educational tool in Nairobi, Kenya. This broadened her understanding of the sociopolitical forces that shape Black lives globally, solidifying her commitment to centering the ‘contexts of context’. She looks forward to continuing this work with the School of Cities. She is presently Co-Lead of the Black Public Health Students’ Collective.

Ntombi Nkiwane is a second year Master of Public Health student in the Social and Behavioural Health Sciences stream. She completed her undergraduate degree in Management and Political Science, at Dalhousie University in Halifax. She is interested in the political economy of health in Africa and its diaspora. In her work, she seeks to interrogate the sources of persistent inequities. She recently co-edited an epidemiological research paper on the association between race and mortality in Canada, and is presently working on a research paper about the political economy of health inequities research. Throughout her schooling, she has been involved in various leadership, extracurricular, and community activities relating to: obstetric fistula, reproductive health, incarceration, and housing. She is presently Co-Lead of the Black Public Health Students’ Collective.

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Michelle Verbeek

Master of Global Affairs

Michelle Verbeek is a current Master of Global Affairs student at the Munk School, specializing in innovation policy. During her undergraduate studies in Human Geography at McMaster University, Michelle developed an interest for working with urban issues while developing a policy research project assessing the impact of high-rise dwellings on Toronto’s critical infrastructure. During her studies at Munk, Michelle has had the opportunity to work with the Reach Project in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she worked on social innovation interventions, and studied infrastructure deficiencies in irregular settlements. Currently, Michelle is working at the Urban Policy Lab where she is conducting research on local municipality’s capacities for digital governance. Michelle looks forward to utilizing her professional and academic experiences post-graduation while working in the field of urban development, intensification, and resilience.

Janelle Brady

Janelle Brady

PhD in Education

Janelle is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) in the University of Toronto. Her work looks at Black mothering experiences in the schooling and education system. At OISE, Janelle is currently a coordinator of the Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies and co-coordinated the Decolonizing Conference in 2016 and 2018. She is faculty at George Brown College and the University of Guelph Humber and recently taught at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Janelle is involved in activism and political organizing such as the Women’s March Toronto and the NDP’s Ethno-Racial Equity Committee. Janelle is currently the Vice President of the Ontario NDP and serves on other boards of directors including Community Forward, Progress Toronto and Regenesis. Janelle was recently recognized by the University of Toronto with the International Day for the End of Racial Discrimination Award.

Amira Babeiti

Amira Babeiti

Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies

A fourth-year student minoring in Human Geography, Amira Babeiti has made it her mission to understand the transformation of Lebanon, from being the ‘Paris of the Middle East’ into a present-day urban dystopia. She is a first generation Canadian whose parents emigrated to Canada during the Lebanese Civil War. Their turbulent past acted as a catalyst which inspired her academic and field research on Lebanon’s Urban Realm. She has contributed to the establishment of a classroom for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon’s rural community of Ketermaya.

Contact Information

Prof. Marieme Lo, Associate Director, Education