Andrea Thompson, above, is a writer, spoken word artist, educator, and editor, who has been teaching creative writing to students of all ages for over twenty-five years.
Andrea Thompson, Lalaa Comrie, Kern Carter and Greg Frankson will have an intimate discussion on Thursday, February 23 beginning at 5 p.m. online, that will explore the importance of Black storytelling, the power of stories as vehicles for conversations about Black identity and representation, and the different ways each of these authors celebrates and explores their culture through their writing.
Attendance is free. Register to secure your spot and access Zoom link.
To register, please click here.
Andrea Thompson is a writer, spoken word artist, educator, and editor, who has been teaching creative writing to students of all ages for over twenty-five years.Thompson has taught through the University of Toronto, OCAD University and Brock University, as well as through community groups and agencies across the country. In 2005 her spoken word album, One, was nominated for a Canadian Urban Music Award, in 2009 she was the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word’s Poet of Honour, and in 2019 her poetry album, Soulorations earned her the League of Canadian Poets’ Golden Beret Award. Thompson is an editor at Brick Books and Artistic Director of Brick’s online spoken word showcase, Brickyard.
Her work is featured in the anthology, Best Canadian Poetry: 2020, and she is the recipient of the 2021 Leon E. & Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Prize. Thompson’s collection, A Selected History of Soul Speak was published by Frontenac House as a part of their 2021 Quartet series. www.andreathompson.ca
Lalaa Comrie is an award-winning copywriter and brand storyteller who helps purpose-driven brands master their message and Win With Words. The winner of two Copa Awards, Lalaa’s on a mission to help brands tell their unique stories. A seasoned professional with a background in Journalism, Lalaa has worked in Corporate Communications for over a decade, by helping brands create content that is both diverse and inclusive while leveraging the talent of BIPOC creators and storytellers.
Her passions include reading diverse books and talking about them on her monthly podcast‘Getting Lit,’ as well as reading and writing tons of poetry. Lalaa is committed to highlighting the diversity of the arts in hopes of bridging the gap and breaking down some of the barriers that exist in our community.
Lalaa is also the host of This Black Girl Reads – click here.
Kern Carter is the author of Boys and Girls Screaming, along with two self-published novels, Thoughts of a Fractured Soul (novella) and Beauty Scars. He has ghostwritten several books and also curates stories through CRY Magazine, his online publication that creates space for artists to navigate through the emotions of their creative journey. His writing has appeared in Forbes, New York Times, Global Citizen and more. He lives in Toronto.
Greg Frankson is the founder and CEO of Voice Share Inc., which provides training, coaching/mentorship, and consulting services focused on transformative organizational change through inclusive leadership and effective communication. Prior to creating Voice Share in 2018, Greg was a teacher, arts educator, event producer, corporate trainer, and anti-discrimination facilitator.
Throughout his career, Greg has used his voice to create social change as an advocate, award-winning literary artist, and media commentator. Artistically, he published four poetry collections, contributed to three anthologies, edited AfriCANthology: Perspectives of Black Canadian Poets (2022), and released four full-length audio recordings, among many other achievements. He was also an on-air poetic commentator on Here and Now Toronto on CBC Radio One.
In the community, his leadership resulted in the overdue commemoration of Robert Sutherland, Canada’s first known university graduate of colour and first Black lawyer, at Queen’s University and across Canada. His words have been published in periodicals and poetry journals on three continents. Greg is a former Canadian national poetry slam champion, an inaugural inductee to the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour, and a past poet laureate of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership. He served on the boards of Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO) and Tropicana Community Services (Toronto), currently serves on the Prince’s Trust Canada board of directors, and chairs the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Advisory Council at Abilities Centre in Whitby.
Greg has left a lasting impact at his alma mater, Queen’s University, as its first Black student government president, former student senator and ex-officio trustee, and long-serving current member of the University Council. He graduated from Queen’s in 1999 with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees, earned concurrently, and is a member of the National Communication Coaching Association, League of Canadian Poets, and the Ontario College of Teachers.