Environmental and Racial Justice Leader Named 2022/23 Ashley Fellow at Trent University
Chúk Odenigbo will kick off his time as Trent University’s 43rd Ashley Fellow honouree with week-long speaker series
Thursday, December 12, 2022, Peterborough
Chúk Odenigbo, an equity leader at the forefront of racial and climate justice has been named the 2022/23 Ashley Fellow at Trent University.
Franco-Albertan from Calgary, Mr. Odenigbo is passionate about the interactions between culture, health and the environment. This passion has led him to his current role as founding director and director of Ancestral Services for Future Ancestors Services Inc., a youth-led, Indigenous and Black-owned, social enterprise that advances climate justice and equity.
“Chúk has received national recognition for his work as a sustainability leader, a changemaker, and a keen representative of the Francophone community in Canada. His visit provides incredible opportunities for students in all colleges to learn and engage with new ideas,” said Dr. Melanie Buddle, principal of Peter Gzowski College at Trent University.
Coming to campus from January 23 – February 3, 2023, Mr. Odenigbo will sit in on lectures, visit classrooms, and offer mentorship sessions for students. He will host a keynote address in Nozhem Theatre which is open to the public. Further details and registration information can be found online.
Beyond his work with Future Ancestors Services, Mr. Odenigbo is also co-founder of The Poison and The Apple, a bilingual non-profit organization that seeks to change the ways that Canadians interact with nature and make the outdoors diverse and welcoming spaces for all.
“An important quality for the Ashley Fellow to embody is a desire to learn and a passion to share knowledge,” said Dr. Christine Freeman-Roth, principal of Lady Eaton College at Trent University. “Through his research into medical geography, Chúk will be able to shed light on public health policies and strategies and is looking forward to learning more about Indigeneity and amplifying Black knowledge.”
Mr. Odenigbo enthusiastically welcomed the news of his appointment stating, “Quelle belle nouvelle! There is so much that can be done, and I am thrilled to have been selected.” He added, “If anyone is willing to teach me how to ice skate, I am absolutely in.”
Mr. Odenigbo is looking forward to leading discussions around the impact of linguistic justice on climate change and environmentalism; questions of race and equity; defining and valuing Black knowledge in the context of the spread of disease and public health; and environmental racism.
About the Ashley Fellowship
The Ashley Fellow is a visiting scholar hosted each year by one of Trent University’s Colleges. The fellowship is funded by a bequest from the late Professor C.A. Ashley, long-time friend of Trent University and an enthusiastic proponent of the role that informal contacts of college life can play in the academic pursuits of the University.
The Ashley Fellow resides at one of Trent's residential Colleges for part of the year, delivering lectures and meeting with faculty and students. The 2022/23 Ashley Fellow is co-hosted by Lady Eaton College and Peter Gzowski College, living-learning communities that focus on Indigenous leadership and environmental sustainability, and leadership and civic engagement, respectively.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities.
Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues.
Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.