Holistic wellness, sustainable equity and scientific and technological innovation. In addition to being the pillars of the learning communities at Otonabee College, these themes also form the foundation for a new speaker series organized by OC students – Changing Lives: One Speaker at Time.
In collaboration with the IMPACT Leadership Program at Trent, this new series introduces students to community leaders in Peterborough and encourages them to consider new ways of looking at leadership.
“We want to give students a chance to meet new leaders and be inspired by them,” said Elijah Pigeon, one of the series’ organizers and second-year Forensic Science and Anthropology student. “There are amazing leaders in Peterborough. We don’t have to look outside of our own community for people to look up to.”
First speaker a proud community activist
The first session was designed around the sustainable equity learning community and featured Charmaine Magumbe, a Jamaican born, Zimbabwean Canadian who is a community activist, business owner and Zingha. A leading voice in race relations in Peterborough, Ms. Magumbe founded the Black Lives Matter movement in Peterborough in 2014 and was named a Woman of Influence in Peterborough in 2020.
Students had the opportunity to listen and ask questions as Ms. Magumbe shared her career path and role as a leader in Peterborough.
“Charmaine is a great example of how to combat injustice from within a system,” said Ethel Nalule, moderator of the event, fourth-year Forensic Science and Psychology student and student facilitator of the newly formed Black Student Support group on campus. “Her career in community organizing is one students can admire."
Diversity a cornerstone of the series
“Students need to see people who look like them and have had the same experiences as them,” remarked Mr. Pigeon. “When planning the series, we wanted to make sure we were bringing in diverse people with different experiences.”
A key aim of the new series is to showcase that leaders can come from a variety of backgrounds, with different strengths and interests.
“You can be a leader in small ways,” shared Andréanna Sullivan, third-year Geography student and another organizer of the series. “We want students to feel empowered after listening to our speakers and contribute to change in our community in ways that they think are important.”
Future sessions of Changing Lives: One Speaker at a Time will focus on the holistic wellness and scientific and technological innovation learning communities of Otonabee College.
Learn more about Trent’s Collegiate System.