The Lotus Centre is proud to host this free luncheon March 9th ~in celebration of International Women’s Day with keynote speaker Rajean Willis, and Jaici Syliboy.
Jaici Syliboy, Indigenous Activist
Jaici Syliboy is a 13 year old Indigenous activist from Sipekne’katik First Nation.
She has advocated for Indigenous school curriculum to be changed. She starred in the Classified video Powerless to bring awareness to MMIW and abuse as well as performing at the East Coast Music Awards. She has traveled the Maritime Provinces and is a champion Jingle dress dancer.
Rajean Willis, RSW, MSW, PhD (Student)
Rajean Willis is a proud Indigenous African Nova Scotian woman from Truro, NS with roots from East Preston, Africville and Shelburne.
She has been practicing as a social worker for about eight years in community outreach and community clinical settings. Rajean began her social work career as the first full-time hired Outreach Social Worker with the NS Association of Black Social Workers in partnership with Akoma Family Centre where she worked directly with members of the African Nova Scotian communities and communities of African descent in NS. Her place in the fight for social justice began well before that however, at around the age of twelve in her home community in Truro, NS. Currently, she is a clinical social worker with Correctional Services Canada, Community Mental Health Services.
Some of Rajean’s most prideful and impactful work has been around researching and raising awareness around mental health, substance abuse and gambling within the ANS communities and communities of African descent in NS. She produced and hosted, in partnership with ABSW and Eastlink TV, two talk show series where first voice lived experiences were shared. Rajean has plans to continue educating in this way through her self produced and hosted YouTube channel.
Rajean’s community work is extensive with experience in community and program development, research, writing, mentorship, facilitation and therapeutic intervention. She has a small private practice and is a current first year PhD student at MSVU in the Inter-University Doctoral program. Her research interests include exploring cultural and intergenerational trauma and holistic healing within the African Nova Scotian communities.
Rajean is an invested, loving partner, mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter and friend, among many other important pieces of her holistic identity.