We are super excited to have Nancy on board as a columnist.
She brings a unique set of insights from her work as Co-Executive Director with the Canadian Black Policy Network (CBPN) and a desire to “see more Black Canadians interested in politics and public policy for their consumption, but also to push them to action for the betterment of their communities.”
We are sure that with Nancy on our team, our work will be more visible as we work tirelessly to advocate for BIPOC women.
Solidifying Black Voices in Public Policy and Political Processes
I grew up in what I would call a political home.
Political in the sense that we talked politics around the dinner table all the time and were proud of ourselves for being engaged citizens.
Aside from talking politics, we were deeply involved in community building through volunteering. My father instilled that passion for giving back in us.
While completing my undergraduate degree in commerce, I took political science courses as my electives all through to my fourth years.
I enjoyed politics and history but didn’t know how to make a career out of it aside from becoming a politician or an academic with a political science degree.
I didn’t know about volunteering in a political campaign. I didn’t know about the field of public policy full stop.
After graduation, I landed a job in the oil and gas sector and got exposed to various functional groups such as Government Relations.
It quickly appealed to my interest in politics, coupled with my passion for somehow impacting the world for the better through collaboration between industry, government, and academia.
I left a comfortable job to complete a Master of Public Policy to get a step closer to my passion.
My cohort had a wonderful group of individuals from all walks of life and a wide range of age demographics.
However, there were only two of us Black students in a class of 40+ students.
I was the only Black female student.
Even though my graduating class is small sample size for the rest of Canada, it was clear to me this was not a profession that many Black Canadians worked in.
The policy issues that mattered to me and that I wanted to learn more about and to debate on were seldom included in the general policy discourse being taught, examined or studied.
As I had a career re-start as a public policy professional, I had to learn how to increase and wield influence within the public policy and political decision-making processes.
I started observing how other equity-seeking groups were doing this and winning at it.
I saw examples of ethnic and religious communities mobilizing, organize, and wield influence.
I saw examples of gender-based organizations build momentum through creative public awareness campaigns and get results.
And I thought, where are the Black Canadian voices? Better yet, where is the unified Black Canadian voice?
As I pondered this question, I began to research the landscape of Black public policy and civic engagement in Canada.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a good number of grassroots and registered organizations doing a piece of the work to amplify the voice of Black Canadians within their communities.
I believe that there is an opportunity for Black communities to strengthen collective efforts and create robust structures to mobilize community members to increase our influence within the policy and political spheres.
I want to see more Black Canadians be interested in politics and public policy for their own consumption, but also to push them to action for the betterment of their communities.
I want more of us to know that we can effect change and learn the various ways we successfully insert ourselves in the public policy-making processes, further to entrench Black voices in the policy decision-making processes.
To that end, I recently became involved as a Co-Executive Director with the Canadian Black Policy Network (CBPN), a network that explores policy issues affecting Canada’s Black communities and encourages Black community engagement within the policy process.
I also joined the Black CAN organization as a general volunteer to support their vision of working to build Black political power and civic engagement by encouraging and empowering Black Canadians to get more involved in politics.
I’m excited to highlight organizations such as these and many others, as well as policy, and political content impacting Black Canadians through my writing for the Ladies Corner Media.
Join me on this adventure of exploring and highlighting Black voices in Canadian policy and political landscapes.
About Nancy Wanye
Nancy is a bilingual public policy professional with a strong background in stakeholder engagement, strategy, communications, project management, and research and analysis skills.
In her downtime, Nancy loves to spend time with her family and friends, write and read (when she gets the time)!
She enjoys chatting about politics and current events over a good meal.