BIPOC Arts Leaders Lab Speakers

The amazing speakers for our BIPOC Arts Leaders Lab program!

Nic Wayara is a joy and justice-seeker who is equal parts levity and tenaciousness. She is the founder of Hook or Crook Consulting, an equity, diversity and inclusion company that weaves the transformative practices of community care and social justice into the fabric of organizations, teams and leaders. At Hook or Crook, Nic believes that accountability and reflection are the necessary foundations to make equity, diversity and inclusion work sustainable. Her heart-centred approach, coupled with her breadth of experience generates a unique set of services that include facilitation, conflict coaching, knowledge translation, and strategic capacity building.

Possessing a penchant for lively discussions and self-exploration, Nic is also co-creator of the podcast Seen, a podcast rooted at the intersections of collective liberation work and personal healing, witnessed through the eyes of Black and Brown queer women. Nic serves WISH Drop-In Centre Society as co-chair of the Board of Directors and holds a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice Studies.

Kareen Wong (they/them). Hi there, I’m Kareen. I’m a mixed-race, queer, gender non-conforming settler living and working on the unceded and ancestral lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and sə̓ lílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. I offer heart-centered coaching and facilitation that challenges the status quo both inside you and out in the world. I know I thrive in spaces that see and centre all of my intersecting identities and I aim to cultivate this in the spaces I design, create and hold for others to show up with their wholeness. My approach is gentle, focused, and holistic. I bringa trauma-informed, intersectional and anti-oppression lens to my work and integrate somatic practice – including the body in what we do.

Areas of coaching focus include: confidence, connection, clarity and authenticity. I work with people one-on-one to show up for themselves and in the world the way they feel called to.

As a facilitator I work with organizations, groups and teams to deepen connection and relationship, shift internal culture, move through change and transition and bring clarity to collective identity and future-focused strategy.

Visit me online at and connect with me on LinkedIn.

Leonie Smith is a Canadian born, woman shaped and raised in a matriarchal Jamaican family. She is a certified trainer in Nonviolent Communication, a practice that helps people find and use their authentic voice.

She is also deeply committed to supporting people who come from historically and traditionally marginalised communities to show up in the places they live, work, and play in their full humanity. She shares her practices as a consultant, mediator, trainer and coach through her organisation, The Thoughtful Workplace.

Winnie Tam is the Executive Director of The Starfish, a national organization that supports youth environmental leaders and amplifies their voices as changemakers.

With her 20+ years experience in program and administrative management in non-profit arts and education sectors, Winnie is a community builder, change activator, and systems disruptor committed to creating equitable and inclusive workplaces through social justice and intersectional lenses.

As a longstanding champion of youth leadership, Winnie has focused her work on youth-centred organizations that nurture and harness young people’s innovation, creativity, and energy to address the important environmental and social issues of our time.