Olivia Bernard

I am a PhD student at the University of Toronto, in the Geography and Planning department. My work focusses on academic streaming in Canada based on race, particularly focussing on black students. The second aspect looks at streaming based on class in Jamaica. I am connecting both countries based on their position as past (and in many ways current) British colonies. I want to understand and theorize blackness in both spaces, and how that blackness was created, and gets reconstructed based on shifting societal understandings. This tracing of blackness will also be done through the education system, from the point where Black children were thought to be unintelligible and by extension, should not be in schools, to the current school to prison pipeline taking place in both countries. This topic is important because streaming and other discriminatory practises limit the social and economic mobility of an already marginalized group, thus reproducing their lower-class position.  

My contribution to the ‘Discovering University Worlds’ project focuses on ‘Why do students drop out of UTSC?’