Ceta Ramkhalawansingh

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Interview with Ceta Ramkhalawansingh conducted by Ruth Belay and Daniela Ansovini

16 December 2019 | A2020-0010/002S | Transcript (PDF) | Listen

Interview description

Ceta Ramkhalawansingh is the former Equal Opportunity Director at the old City of Toronto, later becoming the Corporate Manager, Diversity Management and Community Engagement in the new City of Toronto after amalgamation in 1998. She is a prominent community activist and was a founding member of the student-initiated teaching collective at UofT in one of Canada’s first women’s studies course. Her family moved to Canada in 1967 from Trinidad and Tobago. Ceta reflects on her time as an undergraduate student from 1968, recounting her political involvement through the Student Administrative Council (SAC), and her work in establishing, participating in, and advocating for the inclusion of women’s studies and feminist methodologies in curriculum at the University. She discusses some of her positions at the City of Toronto and the Toronto school board, particularly around diversity and equity work, and her continuing connection with UofT through the Women and Gender Studies Institute, New College and Innis College. Ramkhalawansingh, as a dedicated community and housing advocate, also describes the negotiation and resistance to key developments in the neighborhoods surrounding UofT, particularly in the downtown Toronto Grange neighborhood, as well as the University’s position and response. She recalls a number of different groups and initiatives that she has been involved with, including on issues of heritage preservation and range of human rights issues.

 

Organizations

  • Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto (WGSI)
  • Student Administrative Council (SAC)
  • Labour History Collective and The Women’s Press
  • New College, University of Toronto
  • Innis College, University of Toronto
  • City of Toronto
  • Grange Community Association
  • University of Toronto Community Liaison Committee
  • Art Gallery of Ontario, AGO
  • MATCH International Women’s Fund
  • Ontario Advisory Council of Women’s Issues

Subject Topics

  • Student governance
  • Women and gender studies programmes
  • Social responsibility
  • Reproductive rights
  • Collective models
  • Toronto city planning
  • Toronto development
  • Neighborhood advocacy
  • Heritage conservation
  • Social housing
  • Financial access to education
  • Institutional response
  • Equity, diversity, and human rights
 

Citation: University of Toronto Archives. Oral History Collection on Student Activism. Oral history interview with Ceta Ramkhalawansingh conducted by Ruth Belay and Daniela Ansovini, 16 December 2019. A2020-0010/002S.