Dear OHRN Friends & Networks,
OHRN welcomes our newest member of the team, Stévia Arthur (he/him), as the Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building Lead!
Stévia (Stay-Vee-Uh) has over ten years of experience in harm reduction, human rights, projection coordination, and NGO management. He has worked tirelessly with BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ+, and disability-justice advocacy to create dialogue and safer spaces that foster equity and empower communities.
He started with a focus on LGBTQ+ youth and education. His passion, coupled with a background in sociology, mental health, and education, led to founding the first academic-psycho-social charity in Barbados, ‘Think BIG.’ Through partnerships with Trans Advocacy and Agitation Barbados, the (Canadian) HIV Legal Network, and independent activists, he helped plan and execute ‘Barbados Pride weekend’, which saw the first Pride Walk in the Anglophone Caribbean community.
Since moving to Toronto in 2018, he expanded his interests to drug use and harm reduction. He has facilitated numerous harm reduction and capacity-building workshops for service providers and people who use drugs. Stévia has had a particular focus on those living at the intersectionality of African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) identity, disabled LGBT+, newcomers, and particularly trans and non-binary ACB folks. His experience includes work as a Harm Reduction Coordinator for ACB Trans and Same-Gender Loving Men communities, and the Trans and Non-Binary Programs Coordinator at the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (BlackCAP), Toronto.
He will be leaving his current role where he coordinated outreach, supported their Peer Education Network, delivered community and service provider capacity-building workshops, developed educational resources, and shared knowledge in creative and diverse ways that address the experiences of Black people who use substances.
Stévia is proudly neurodiverse, “I am a multiply disabled man of trans experience, who lives with chronic pain, partial blindness, and my superpower, autism! I am excited to join OHRN and to work more broadly across communities and populations in Ontario, while helping to continue raising discussions and focus on those further marginalized and often overlooked”.
We look forward to introducing OHRN’s partners and networks to Stévia as we continue to evolve the way we do knowledge exchange and capacity-building work!
We believe Stévia is a natural educator and connector. We are excited to have the opportunity to work alongside him.
He will be starting on Monday, August 8th, 2022!