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Soup & Substance

An illustration of a diverse group of hands

Soup and Substance is a series of noon-hour panel discussions

TMU community members are invited to join us for a warm bowl of soup over open conversation on a range of diversity-related topics.

Thanks for joining our latest event on February 8

Black History in the Making: Exploring strategies inspired by the Federal Black Class Action Lawsuit to advance employment equity

Human Rights Services in the Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion (OVPECI) held a Soup and Substance event during Black History Month. The event concerned a class action lawsuit seeking long-term solutions to confront systemic racism in the Public Service of Canada. Nicholas Marcus Thompson, a representative plaintiff in the class action, and Courtney Betty, a Toronto lawyer and legal counsel involved in the class action, joined the panel to address the ongoing lawsuit representing Black Canadians in the Federal Court of Canada. The event uncovered powerful insights, offering learnings on legal, policy and social pathways to confront institutional anti-Black racism and promote Black flourishing.


  • Tamara Sylvester | Partnership and Resolutions Officer, Human Rights Services, Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion


  • Nicholas Marcus Thompson | Representative Plaintiff, Black Class Action Lawsuit 
  • Courtney Betty | Legal Counsel, Black Class Action Lawsuit 

Missed the event? Watch it on Stream

Past Soup and Substance events

Innovations in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion across TMU

On November 21, TMU community members joined Soup and Substance to learn about innovative approaches to embedding equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at TMU. From employee community networks, to front-line safety and security, to human resources, to establishing a new medical school, to purchasing policies, it’s clear that the TMU community is employing novel strategies to embed EDI. The aim of the event was to empower all students, faculty, and staff to creatively integrate equity, diversity and inclusion principles into their work, inspiring bold steps toward a more inclusive and equitable campus.


  • Dr. Tanya De Mello | Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion


  • Farhan Zia | Director, Programs and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Zone Learning and Strategic Initiatives and Co-Chair, Muslim Employee Community Network
  • Maggie Fisher | Director, Community Engagement Strategy, Community Safety and Security
  • Sharanjeet Kaur | Executive Director, School of Medicine
  • Shurla Charles-Forbes | Director, Talent Management, Talent Management Centre of Expertise, Human Resources
  • Vincenzo Carinci | Director, Strategic Procurement and Payment Services, Financial Services

Find this event on Stream

Indigenous Women’s Leadership and Voices

On April 10, Indigenous women leaders at TMU discussed the nature of Indigenous practices to lead in a good way. Panelists shared how to bring forward respect for Indigenous values and sovereignty, challenges they face and ways that the community can offer support. The panelists also discussed the differences between western approaches to leadership and Indigenous practices.

  • Cher Trudeau | Administrative Coordinator, Indigenous Education Council and Indigenous Initiatives, OVPECI
  • Monica Mckay | Director, Indigenous Initiatives, OVPECI
  • Crystal Osawamick | Manager, Indigenous Events and Special Projects Ceremonials Office | Office of the President
  • Amy Desjarlais | Rebirthed Teachings, Indigenous Initiatives, OVPECI

Fireside chat with Dr. Tanya De Mello

On February 7, Marcelle Mullings (Interim Executive Director, OVPECI) and Tanya De Mello, newly appointed Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion, discussed TMU’s goal to become a leader in EDI and how we can build a human rights-centred campus. Tanya shared how the OVPECI helps the university in confronting systemic oppression and works to build a more inclusive and accessible campus for students, faculty and staff and visitors.


  • Marcelle Mullings | Interim Executive Director, Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion


  • Dr. Tanya De Mello | Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion

The first Soup and Substance at TMU took place in 2013! Explore past events on our Stream channel.