Introducing the new Unifor Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice & Democracy
With a bilingual education and an upbringing that emphasized the value of community engagement, Kikélola Roach has worked as an advocate, community organizer, workshop facilitator, and public speaker.
Kiké completed her undergraduate studies at McGill University before obtaining her Bachelor of Laws degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She completed her second year of law school at the Université Jean Moulin - Lyon III, in Lyons, France where she received a D.E.U.F.
As a lawyer, she has been an advocate for accountability and reform in policing and detention centres for many years. She has represented families and grassroots organizations on such high-profile cases as the Coroners’ Inquests into the deaths of Kenneth Allen, Jeffrey Reodica, and Duane Christian.
She was counsel for individuals in civil lawsuits against the state for assault and battery, wrongful detention, negligence and breach of Charter Rights. She has represented clients at all levels of court, including as assistant counsel at the Supreme Court of Canada in the election law case Figueroa v. Canada (AG).
Kiké is co-author of the book Politically Speaking (with Judy Rebick), a series of lively conversations on Feminism and Canadian politics. She has served as an Executive Member of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the Women’s Coalition for Employment Equity, and Mpenzi: Black Women’s International Film and Video Festival.
She has also been an active member of other community groups. With the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Committee, for ten years, she helped organize MARTINSDAY, an annual day-long festival of arts and discussion celebrating the theory and practice of Nonviolence. Kiké was also a co-ordinator of the Freedom Ride Project, which organized busloads of activists to protest apartheid, and systemic racism in Canada.
Kiké has appeared frequently in the media as a spokesperson and as a regular commentator on current and legal affairs on CTV News and CBC Newsworld among others. She is honoured to have been invited to address a variety of audiences (academic, union, professional, and community) across Canada and in the United States on issues of social justice, history, and progressive change.
While the Unifor Sam Gindin Chair is a partnership between the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Community Services, Kiké will be housed in the Faculty of Arts. We will forward her office number, phone number and email address shortly. In the meantime, please join us in welcoming Kiké to her new position at Ryerson University.