An intuitional change strategist with an outstanding career in community development, education, and the creative sector, Delvina Bernard is the current Equity Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility Advisor at Mount Saint Vincent University, Board Vice Chair/Equity Diversity Inclusion for the East Coast Music Association and a member of Akoma Property Committee – one of the largest Black-owned public land holdings and development projects in Nova Scotia. In this dynamic keynote, Delvina examines the intersections between Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Planning.

Drawing on two contrasting case studies in the communities of Africville and Beechville, Delvina will sit down with three prominent African Nova Scotian community planning and development advocates:  Irvine Carvery is a former resident of Africville and Co-Chair of The Road to Economic Prosperity Advisory Council; Carolann Wright is a Beechville resident and Director, Capacity Building Strategic Initiatives – African Nova Scotian Communities with Halifax Partnership; and Zamani Folade is an emerging arts and creative sector influencer, a 2022 Dalhousie University Community Planning graduate, and current Dalhousie architecture student.

This keynote conversation offers a critical inquiry into how racism negates concepts of the just city and how co-creation of communities promotes racial and social justice. This discussion highlights how non-inclusive planning practices led to the destruction of the 120-year-old Black community of Africville and how today’s African Nova Scotian communities, such as Beechville, are taking action to change planning policies and navigate their own future while also highlighting what can be done better by planning professionals to make sure African Nova Scotian voices are not counted out.