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Meet the team

James Roach

James Roach (he/him/his)

Director of implementation

James joined Concordia in 2014 as a senior communications advisor for Institutional Affairs and was later promoted to manager of Institutional Communications. His project portfolio included Concordia's 4TH SPACE, Black Perspectives Office, Centre for Teaching and Learning, Concordia Library, District 3, Equity Office, Indigenous Directions, Office of the Provost and the President's Task Force on Anti-Black Racism. 

James has served on university committees, teams and working groups that include the leadership team of the President's Task Force on Anti-Black Racism, Working Group on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Advisory Group on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Task Force on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence, and the university's Emergency Operations Committee.

His work is informed by the Advisory Committee on the Implementation of Recommendations from the President's Task Force on Anti-Black Racism, Black Perspectives Office, Equity Office, Indigenous Directions, Office of the Provost, NouLa Centre for Black Students and members of the Concordia and Montreal community.

James is a Concordia alumnus with a BA in Sociology and an MSc in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs.

As task force director, James leads the implementation of the final recommendations and collaborates closely with task force project coordinator Cynthia Alphonse. 

He reports to Lisa White, executive director of the Equity Office. 

Cynthia Alphonse

Cynthia Alphonse (she/her)

Task force coordinator  

Cynthia Alphonse (BA 08) coordinates the President's Task Force on Anti-Black Racism. She completed a MEd degree at the University of Calgary in 2021. Her research interest centers on the impact of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) policies and practices on racially minoritized students in postsecondary institutions. Specifically, she is interested in how policy language perpetuates a sense of inclusion and belonging among racially minoritized students while not dismantling barriers.

Cynthia joins the Task Force with over 10 years of experience working in and with Canadian universities. Before joining the Task Force, Cynthia worked at Mitacs and was responsible for planning and coordinating professional development training sessions for graduate students at Canadian postsecondary institutions. As the task force coordinator, Cynthia is the primary point of contact for the Task Force and is responsible for providing operational support.   

She reports to James Roach, director of implementation for the President's Task Force on Anti-Black Racism at Concordia University.

Désirée Rochat

Désirée Rochat (she/her) 

Project lead

Désirée Rochat is a community educator and transdisciplinary scholar. An alumna of Concordia, Rochat (BA 09) is also currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University.    

Rochat’s work has been guided by an integrative approach connecting historical research, community archival preservation and education. Through it, she aims to document, theorize and transmit (hi)stories of Black communities’ activism. 

Her research interests are multi-faceted and include histories of Black transnational activism, Caribbean diasporic community organizing in Canada, community education and archives, collaborative research methodologies, archival pedagogy and engagement, and the racialization of youth. 

 As a Concordia Library researcher-in-residence for the 2021-22 academic year, Rochat explored collaborative strategies to improve community outreach, relations and engagement to foster the holistic development and use of Black community–related special collections. Rochat was also part of the writing team for the PTFABR’s Final report.

Tallie Segel

Tallie Segel (she/her)

Project lead

Tallie Segel is a long-time environmental educator from Albuquerque, New Mexico working across youth and adult conservation education programs, community-based science, and more. She combines her background in environmental and outdoor learning programs, her experience in research, and her value for collaboration on efforts that build equity and inclusion work into organizations strategic planning and program development. Tallie is currently a doctoral student in Social and Cultural Analysis and a research assistant at Concordia University where her work focuses on knowledge politics in equity and inclusion initiatives in environmental education. 

Tallie has served on the President’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism since 2021 as a member of the curriculum subcommittee and the writing team. She is now an implementation project lead.  

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