Notisha Massaquoi

Notisha Massaquoi honoured with award for leadership in social justice and equity for the HIV/AIDS community

Notisha Massaquoi is being recognized with a Casey Award for leadership in social justice and equity for the HIV/AIDS community. For nearly 30 years, she has championed access to life-affirming health care for people living with HIV.

She is a fearless advocate, academic and leadership volunteer at local grassroots organizations, the provincial health care sector and is regularly invited to volunteer and lead federal policy roundtables on issues of HIV, gender justice, anti-Black racism, and the collection of race-based data.

She helped found Africans in Partnership Against AIDS in 1992, which tackles the prevalence of HIV in African communities. In 2000, she spearheaded the development of Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre and led it as executive director for over 20 years; the only health centre in North America providing specialized primary health care for Black and racialized women.

With a PhD in social justice education, Dr. Massaquoi is an assistant professor in health education and promotion with the department of health and society at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, and holds a cross appointment with the Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and a faculty affiliate at both The Centre for Research & Innovation for Black Survivors of Homicide Victims (The CRIB), and the Women and Gender Studies Institute.

In her professional and volunteer service, and in her studies she recognizes and advocates to address the intersectional dimensions of gender, race, sexuality and identity as well as violence and criminalization and their overlapping effects on the social determinants of health.

This past year, Notisha became the founding director of The Black Health Equity Lab (The BHEL) and among other board positions, is currently a board trustee for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, CAMH, and CANFAR. As an expert advisor, she consults globally.

Through small gestures and heroic actions, Notisha embodies the heart and spirit of the Casey Awards. Casey House extends warm congratulations to Notisha Massaquoi for her dedication to breaking down barriers to health care for people living with HIV.

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