OPENING KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Creativity in Social Work: How to Enact Social Justice in the Mental Health Field

Senator Bernard uses an intersectional feminist perspective and race equity lens in her role as a social justice advocate in the diverse and dynamic social work and mental health field. In this keynote address, Senator Bernard will share examples of how she applies her theoretical framework to many years of experience working as a frontline social worker, a social work educator at Dalhousie School of Social Work, a researcher in health and well-being, and as a Senator.


The Honourable Wanda Thomas Bernard, PhD, C.M., O.N.S.
Senator - Nova Scotia (East Preston) 


Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard who was appointed to the Senate on November 10, 2016 is a highly regarded social worker, educator, researcher, community activist and advocate of social change.

In 2016, she was appointed Special Advisor on Diversity and Inclusiveness at Dalhousie University and is the first African Nova Scotian to hold a tenure track position. In 2017, Senator Bernard was appointed Professor Emeritus in the School of Social Work (SSW) at Dalhousie University; the first woman with the SSW to achieve this appointment, and the first African Canadian to be appointed Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University. She is a founding member of the Association of Black Social Workers who has also served as an expert witness in human rights cases and has received many honours for her work, including the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada.

Senator Bernard is the Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights (RIDR), and a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology (SOCI). She is also Vice-Chair of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association.