Step Forward Podcast

The Step Forward podcast is a limited series dedicated to providing space for deep conversations about anti-Black Racism in Ontario and beyond. This series, hosted by Kondwani Mwase is a collaboration spearheaded by the Ontario AIDS Network, produced by 54Lights podcast.

Throughout the series, we’ll be speaking with Black leaders from diverse professional and personal backgrounds. While each conversation will be unique, these discussions will explore and reflect on a single question: To what extend does white dominant culture and white supremacy impede the HIV public health response?


A 5-Part series dedicated to helping the HIV sector fight against anti-Black racism.
Listen to the Trailer for STEP FORWARD to learn more about the Podcast series.

Episode 2

In our first-ever Step Forward podcast episode, Kondwani speaks with Ruth Cameron about embedding Black liberation work into HIV work.
Ruth Cameron is the executive director of ACCKWA, member of the Waterloo ACB Network’s advisory committee, a doctoral student at Wilfrid Laurier University, and a consultant who focuses on anti-racism, anti-oppression and organizational change-management initiatives. She also researches effective ways to improve health and equity.

Episode 3

In this episode of Step Forward, Amanuel Melles speaks about social ecosystems, allyship, redifining the role of leaders, the importance of holding space, and how we can co-create a better future by shifting to our collective focus.
Amanuel Melles (Aman) is the Executive Director of the Network for Advancement of Black Communities (NABC) at York University. He is the Principal of Aman Consulting and has over 25 years of senior management experience and expertise in settlement and immigration, community health, community development, community peacebuilding, funding and philanthropy.

Episode 4

In this episode of Step Forward, Kondwani speaks with Jefferson Darrell, in an open conservation about privilege and power and the surprising and complicated ways they intersect.
Jefferson Darrell is founder of Breakfast Culture, a marketing and communications firm specializing in diversity, equity and inclusion. Breakfast Culture supports organizations in achieving their strategic goals by bringing current diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) theories and practices combined with modern change management techniques.

Episode 5

Beth Jordan is founder and principal of There Management Consulting and has deep practical and strategic experience as a trusted organizational developer and management consultant.
She has consulted extensively to municipal, provincial and federal levels of government and NGO’s on the issues of violence against women, HIV/AIDS, social justice policy and the integration of anti-racism and anti-oppression frameworks. She has been instrumental in facilitating broad-based advocacy initiatives and has been active in a wide range of committees and coalitions.

Episode 6

In this episode, Evolve Benton, MA, MFA talks about the importance of discussing the state of Blackness in our communities, and how leaders can establish a personal accountability statement to guide their anti-Black racism work.

Episode 7

In this final series episode of Step Forward host, Kondwani Mwase, revisits key lessons, wisdom, and calls to action from each of our five speakers. Hear key reflections, what’s next, and how to Step Forward in your own work.
Kondwani is a Toronto-based podcast producer, host and marketing branding specialist at 54Lights Studios. Throughout the past six months, Kondwani has guided our Step Forward guests and listeners through deep conversations about privilege, power, and doing the work. Kondwani is also the host and producer of 54Lights, a podcast that offers offers an alternative to mainstream depictions of Africa, and celebrates the resilience, strength and extraordinary journey(s) of each guest.

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