Who I am

Roberta K. Timothy, Ph.D.

“I am the daughter of my mother, and she is the daughter of her mother, who is the daughter of her mother, my great grandmother and so on… I fight in the colonial war, I speak the languages of resistance, dance in it’s glory, and sweat, bleed in her challenges, Africa her name is embodied in me, grounding me, humbling me, and asserting her persistent wind filled will”

Roberta is an anti-colonial, feminist/womanist, activist; poet/playwright, living with a visual (dis)ability. Roberta is an African woman descendant of enslaved Africans brought to the Caribbean, who was born in Turtle Island (Canada). Roberta has lived, resisted and worked for over 17 years in the woman abuse community both locally and globally. Additionally, Roberta works as a therapist and a clinical consultant (Continuing Healing Consultants) working with LGBTTQ populations, under housed, refugee, immigrant populations and providing anti-oppression/anti-colonial supervision with individual and group therapists in several communities and agencies. She has a BA in Political Science and Sociology with a specialty major in international justice and human rights; she also holds an MA in Political Science and a PhD in Adult Education, Community Development and Women’s Studies. Roberta’s work and praxis is grounded in Indigenous knowledges, African/Black feminisms, and anti-colonial, art-based resistance. Some of her publications include: “Third World Women”, “Women of Colour”, and “Minority women”: and African/Black feminist analysis of our identities, in Theorizing empowerment, Canadian perspectives on Black feminist thought (Innana Publications); “Pedagogies of Peace: ‘Talking Back’ to Spin Doctoring”, in Fireweed Special Issue: Women, Race, War and Resistance; Poetry: “Woman, woman” & “It a Shame”, in Convergence; and “An African Feminist Analysis of Popular Culture,” in Facts, Fiction and African Creative Imaginations, (Routledge, forthcoming ). In addition to co-producing an upcoming documentary on Racism and Resistance in the Queer community (Resistance Productions), Coordinator of BWWAD (Black Women and Women of African Descent), collectively working on an anthology on Disability and Race, and finishing another Masters in Counselling Psychology at OISE/UT, Roberta is recovering from and anticipating her next corneal transplant surgery.

I am an innovator in developing and applying intersectional, anti-colonial and anti-oppression curriculum and frameworks to understanding health promotion, health systems, health access, and the social determinants of health. My combined background in Political Science, Transnational Gender Studies, Human Rights, and International and Community Development, and Counselling Psychology has supported my innovative clinical research and practice analyzing and addressing structural violence, social determinants of health, and the impacts of racism and colonialism on health in diverse equity-seeking communities, including urban and northern Indigenous communities; Black/African and racialized communities; LGBTQ2I communities; and people with disabilities, including chronic health issues and psychiatric disabilities.

I have a PhD in Community Development from OISE University of Toronto, with a certificate in Transnational Women and Gender Studies. I have an MA in Political Science and International Development from the University of Guelph, and an MEd in Counselling Psychology for Community Settings from the University of Toronto. My undergraduate degree is in Sociology, Political Science, and International Justice and Human Rights from McMaster University. My program of research broadly addresses local and transnational dimensions of community health promotion; the unequal impact of social determinants of health across diverse communities in local and global context; and anti-oppression and community-informed interventions into health policy and equity.

My HIV and criminalization project evaluates and analyses policies surrounding HIV status, migration, and stigma faced by people of African descent. I engage critical anti-colonial approaches to international and national law, health policy frameworks, and migration in order to explicate the impact of criminalization of non-disclosure of HIV positive status on racialized communities.

My extensive experience in clinical supervision is based in my ground-breaking community mental health model, Anti-Oppression Psychotherapy (AOP), which is an emancipatory application of critical mental health praxis. AOP emerged from the anti-colonial arts-based research methodology that I developed in my doctoral project, which engaged African/Black women working in the shelter system through critical arts-based pedagogies. This methodology allowed for an in-depth analysis of social determinants of health and health equity in relation to structural violence that was revealed through the workers’ own experiences of oppression, as well as their experiences as anti-violence health promotion advocates. Since completing my doctoral work, I have made significant contributions to community, social, and health services through applied research in anti-oppression promotion, programming and management. I also went on to complete an additional degree in Counselling Psychology, qualify as a psychotherapist, and develop and expand my AOP clinical practice. I have just submitted a letter of intent to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund to work with two Community Health Centres, the Ontario Public Health Association, and community partners to develop a public health application of AOP

As a leading consultant in Intersectionality in mental health, I have provided training and support for Indigenous counsellors wanting to provide anti-oppression psychotherapy for Indigenous clients through the Ontario Native Education Counselling Association (ONECA) and through Elevate NOW. I have provided anti-oppression based clinical supervision and management consulting at organizations including: Supporting Our Youth through Sherbourne Health Centre; David Kelley Services; Pathways to Education; Regent Park Community Health Centre; and Eva’s Place.

In 2016, I led a groundbreaking bilingual two-day Intersectionality, Anti-oppression and Collaborative Leadership Learning Institute for the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) and Health Nexus. The Institute featured a panel of distinguished scholars on intersectionality approaches to health promotion equity and was reinforced by small-group learning about anti-oppression praxis, with over 90 health agency learners and 22 trainers from across the province participating. Over the past two years I have worked closely with Across Boundaries (AB), supporting management to engage social determinants of mental health and health equity-focused approaches to supporting people in distress, and to explore supports that would allow AB to shift from a mental illness model to a SDH health promotion approach.

For over 25 years Roberta has worked utilizing anti-oppression approaches as a therapist, group facilitator, researcher, community organizer, professor, and clinical supervisor.
She has created, practiced, and researched in the areas of intersectional violence, work culture, and organizational change, Resistance Education, Creative Resistance, and Anti-Oppression Psychotherapy™ in a variety of environments locally and globally.
Roberta has worked as a consultant for the past X years. Some of her areas of specialization include women abuse; child, youth, and adult violence; intersectional identities, critical expressive arts, multiple oppressions, transgenerational trauma, and resilience/resistance work.
Roberta is Co-Director of Continuing Healing Consultants and has engaged in anti-oppression consulting in the Toronto and global communities since 1997. She is also co-founder and trainer of Anti-Oppression Psychotherapy™.

Roberta has worked as a consultant for the past X years. Some of her areas of specialization include women abuse; child, youth, and adult violence; intersectional identities, critical expressive arts, multiple oppressions, transgenerational trauma, and resilience/resistance work.

Roberta is Co-Director of Continuing Healing Consultants and has engaged in anti-oppression consulting in the Toronto and global communities since 1997. She is also co-founder and trainer of Anti-Oppression Psychotherapy™.

Articles – Blog

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