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AGA Keynote: Founding Toronto's First Museum of Migration from the Ground Up


Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 11:00 to 11:50
Gracia Dyer Jalea


Founding Toronto's First Museum of Migration from the Ground Up

Join Gracia Dyer Jalea, founding Executive Director of the Toronto Ward Museum, as she talks about the approach the Ward Museum has taken to create an inclusive space where stories of migration to Toronto can be expressed, exchanged and discussed, with the hopes of inspiring a more equitable present and future for the lives of newcomers in Toronto. Gracia will speak about the founding of the museum, its guiding principles, partnerships, and ongoing work to establish the organization as a go to destination that is led by and which represents the diverse voices of Torontonians. 

About Gracia Dyer Jalea

Gracia is an oral historian, educator, fundraiser and arts and culture professional. Most recently, she was the Programming Director for Friends of the Pan Am Path, working on Toronto’s largest Host City Showcase project for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. Prior to the Games, she worked for the Montreal Life Stories Project and co-authored  Mapping Memories: Participatory Media, Placed-Based Stories and Refugee Youth. In 2012 she produced the Montreal Life Stories Rencontres, a series of 48 events that took place throughout the city to disseminate the life stories of newcomers and refugees to Quebec. The Rencontres included a year long exhibit at the Centre d’histoire in Montreal.

She is one of the Ward Museum's six founders and the founding executive director of the organization. In less than two years she has build partnerships with community members and over 15 institutional partners across the country, overseen the museum's programming and has presented the museum's work from South Africa to Halifax, in additional to raising funds to help support the museum's work.

She holds a BA in Cultural Studies and World Religions from McGill University and a MA in Media Studies from Concordia University.

This year Gracia received the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism from Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration for her work on the museum.

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