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Crisis Centre

Expert Centre


Inequality creates societal gaps and prevents marginalized populations from achieving their human potential. Part of reaching one’s dreams is being able to grow roses out of concrete, a notion that has purposefully driven the work of Wesley Crichlow, PhD, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, and social justice activist who strives to empower disadvantaged youth. Grounded in his Caribbean roots, Dr. Crichlow is motivated by cultural identity and race, and his research concentrates on ensuring marginalized voices are heard, by providing the legal framework to improve the conditions for those whose lives have historically been impoverished or discriminated against. He aims to remove the barriers to equality and raise the consciousness of policy makers and stakeholders who can affect positive change. Dr. Crichlow brings more than 23 years of research, teaching and community university activism in the areas of critical equity, critical race theory, social justice, Black masculinities studies, and queer activism from an intersectional and interdisciplinary perspective. His latest community-based study investigates the impacts of criminalization on LGBTQI incarcerated youth and adults, and the implications for Canadian legal and correctional policy. He aims to establish a strength-based research program for adapting and piloting evidence-based healthcare interventions for African, Caribbean and Black men in Toronto. On an international scale, he is collaborating with researchers from Toronto’s Ryerson University, Latin America and the Caribbean to investigate ways to improve the human rights agenda by expanding knowledge to protect children’s rights for youth. Dr. Crichlow and his colleagues will provide key recommendations to strengthen their rights, consistent with Article 19 of the UN Convention. He joined UOIT in 2003, and has contributed to the development of substantial social justice and equity policies at UOIT. Previously, Dr. Crichlow spent four years as an Assistant Professor in Social Work & Law at Ottawa’s Carleton University. His desire to engage in critical thinking for social transformation and improve human conditions prompted him to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Law & Society from York University, earn a Master of Education in Sociology and Equity Studies, and a Doctorate in Critical Pedagogy, both from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.


Co-Chair, Equity Committee, Canadian Association of University Teachers

April 1, 2016

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is the national voice of 68,000 academic and general staff at more than 120 universities and colleges across Canada. As a member of the CAUT Executive Committee, Dr. Crichlow has been elected Co-Chair of the Equity Committee, a standing committee of the council. The role of the committee is to make recommendations to CAUT Council and Executive Committee on equity-related policy matters and activities in post-secondary education.

Guest Editor, Caribbean Review of Gender Studies: A Journal of Caribbean Perspective on Gender and Feminism

December 1, 2014

Dr. Crichlow served as Guest Editor of the journal issue entitled: Fragility and Persistence of Dominant Masculinities.

Chair, Community Advisory Board, Toronto South Detention Centre

March 17, 2014

Dr. Crichlow has been appointed for a three-year term in this role. Collaboration between the Community Advisory Board (CAB) and Toronto South Detention Centre (TSDC) the director, TSDC management team and staff will improve the CAB’s understanding of the operation of the institution, demystify the operation of the CAB and improve CAB members’ understanding of the administration of the institution.

University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

PhD - Critical Pedagogy

University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

MED - Sociology and Equity Studies

York University

BA - Sociology and Law & Society
  • Rights for Children and Youth Partnership: Strengthening Collaboration in the Americas

    $2500000  | April 1, 2015

    Awarded by: SSHRC Partnership Grant
    In partnership with Toronto's Ryerson University, Dr. Crichlow is a co-investigator on this five-year research project to explore ways to improve the human rights agenda for youth in Latin America and the Caribbean. It aims to advance social service organizations and policy makers in Central American and Caribbean countries, who seek to implement the Convention of the Rights of the Child, and to develop and implement strategic processes for the protection of children and youth.

  • Anti-Black Racism: Criminalization, Community, and Resistance

    $25000  | April 1, 2015

    Awarded by: SSHRC Connections Grant
    In partnership with Ryerson University, Dr. Crichlow is a co-investigator on research to address issues of equity within criminal justice and healthcare at an annual conference held in February 2016.

  • American Society of Criminology – Division on People of Colour and Crime

  • Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue Canadienne de Sociologie

  • DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project

  • CERIS – The Ontario Metropolis Centre

  • Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association Division on Political Sociological Social Movements Cluster

  • Caribbean Studies Association

  • Black Canadian Studies Association


  • Media appearances

    Studying Black Canadian Leadership
    Dalhousie University online

    June 5, 2015

    Last month, nearly 300 scholars, community members, activists, artists and others congregated on campus to discuss community, empowerment and leadership in black Canada.

    Halifax leadership forum delves into African Canadian challenges
    The Chronicle Herald online

    May 20, 2015

    Thomas Peter, Richard Preston, Clement Ligore, Marcus Garvey, Carrie Best and Viola Desmond are all holy names in the pantheon of black Canadian leaders, but with the exception of Garvey, and now Desmond, most people outside the black Canadian and African Nova Scotian communities do not know these names or how the bearers of these names transformed the communities in which they lived and, in so doing, transformed the world.

    Don Anderson to address Dalhousie conference
    Jamaica Observer online

    May 17, 2015

    Other keynote speakers are Dr. Gervan Fearon, president of Brandon University; Dr. Wesley Crichlow, tenured assistant professor from the University of Ontario School of Technology; Lynn Jones, Halifax local community leader; and Munira Abukar, Young Toronto community leader.

    Unconstitutional mandatory minimums and the role of pandering progressive politicians online

    April 16, 2015

    "They're not attacking the real problem, which is poverty, lack of education, affordable housing -- the root cause of crime," said Canadian law professor Wesley Crichlow, who researches gang violence among black youth.

  • Past speaking engagements
    • Student Evaluations, Race and Workplace Discrimination and Harassment

      Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto, Ontario
      April 15, 2016

      OCUFA Grievance Committee Training

    • Racism, the Black Professoriate & Collective Agreements

      Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario
      February 19, 2016

      The Anti-Black Racism Network Conference

    • Human Rights, Intersectionality & Black LGBTQ Institutional Invisibility

      Toronto, Ontario
      February 16, 2016

      Ontario Human Rights Commission – Racial Profiling Policy Dialogue

    • Localized Intersections of Oppression: Black LGBTQ

      December 31, 1969

      AIDS Committee of Durham – One Voice Conference

    • The Black Professoriate, Racism and Grievances

      December 31, 1969

      CAUT Forum for Senior Grievance Officers, Defending a Diverse Membership

    • Black Youth Adoption from Residential School to Prison-Pipeline

      New Orleans, Louisiana
      May 25, 2015

      Adoption, Youth and School Violence. Caribbean Studies Association Conference

    • Queer Challenges to the Hegemony of Heteronormative Criminological and Sociological Discourses

      New Orleans, Louisiana
      May 25, 2015

      Queering the Moral Politics of Home and Exile. Caribbean Studies Association Conference

    • The Sexual Politics of Black Leadership in Toronto: A Commentary

      Halifax, Nova Scotia
      May 21, 2015

      2nd Biennial Black Canadian Studies Association Conference Community, Empowerment & Leadership in Black Canada

    • Critical Race Theory & Storytelling: A Strategy for Framing Discussions Around Social Justice & Democratic Education

      Dublin, Ireland
      March 30, 2015

      Higher Education in Transformation

    • LGBTQ Gang Involved Youth in a Multicultural Context

      San Francisco, California
      November 19, 2014

      Roundtable: Emergent Research in Queer Criminology, American Society of Criminology

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