Having a safe space is key for any individual to strive, and is especially necessary for racialized minorities. A place where one can nurture their own abilities, learn, express themselves and exchange ideas with others without being afraid of being silenced or ignored.

This panel will discuss the necessity of creating these spaces and how they positively contribute to the well being of all members of the Black community.


Natalie "uNATy" Spence (Radio Host, CHUO 89.1FM)

uNATy is the Host and Producer of LoudHER on CHUO 89.1FM. LoudHER is a 60-minute program focused on representing women in urban music and local business – HERmusic, HERbusiness, HERradio.

uNATy has been with the CHUO team since 2020. During her time with the station uNATy has had the pleasure of interviewing entrepreneurs, health professionals, a professional athlete, accomplished authors, community leaders, phenomenal Canadian music artists - including Juno award winners, and Polaris Music prize winners.

uNATy is also a community builder and volunteers on the board of two local not-for-profit organizations.


César Ndéma-Moussa (Eastern Ontario Regional Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity in Child Welfare and E.D.I.)

I am the Eastern Ontario Regional Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity in Child Welfare and E.D.I. Trainer to multiple institutions and senior leaders, a pan-africanist community leader addressing issues impacting Black peoples locally, nationally as globally, just as (and in line with the OBFF) the former Assistant Director to the 2010 edition of the International Pan-Africanist Film Festival held yearly in Cannes, France.

Shewit Kalaty (Board Director, Black Ottawa Connect)

Shewit is a storyteller, writer and creative consultant. She turns narratives to normalize the authentic, positive, and dynamic experiences of women and people of colour, and helps shape powerful brand stories.

Suzan Richards (Artistic Director & Founder, The Cultural Arts Studio)

Suzan Richards is a loving mother of Julianne and Samuel. She is the founder & proprietor of The Cultural Arts Studio, School of Afro-Caribbean Dance, She is an inspired performing artist, seasoned teacher and choreographer.

Known in the community as “Teacher Suzan”, she has touched the lives of thousands of youth in the Ottawa & surrounding community through her studio and her work as a Professional Artist & Arts Educator with Multicultural Arts In Schools & Communities ( MASC)

Suzan is being honoured this year as 100 Most Accomplished Black Canadian Women for 2022.