Keynote Speaker & Forum Presenter
I endorsed two of Sandra McKechnie’s presentations at Yonge Street Mission (YSM) after I had an opportunity to hear her speak at a prior event. Sandra is truly a gifted and prolific speaker and presenter. Her delivery is passionate, creative and extremely engaging. The content of Double Consciousness is relevant, timely and would definitely challenge the minds and hearts of those privileged to attend her forum. Through much research, deliberation and reflection of her own lived experience as a black woman within Canada, Sandra shares knowledge that will truly transform any individual. Her commitment to creating a safe space for learning, sharing and exploring fosters an environment for healing and building relationships. I would strongly encourage anyone of all ages to attend when the opportunity is presented.
Director of Family Services (YSM)
I found Double Consciousness to be an important discourse. One of the things I discovered during the workshop is that most of my education about black people from the Caribbean came from negative stories, and stereotypes seen on television and movies. Having this awareness helped me reflect on how my day to day interactions may be tainted by my own biases and cultural conditioning.
I thought the speaker did a phenomenal job facilitating very painful material with creativity, respect, and boldness. She was able to help contain the emotional reactions and feedback expressed by the audience. Having a safe space where people can learn, reflect and express their thoughts is so important. I am grateful for the knowledge I gained during this workshop.
Nazreth Mebrahtu, MA, RP
As a caucasian woman, I think we all need to be educated with the real truth about our ancestors and our human history…even if we didn’t know them.
Sandra does an amazing job presenting historical truths from the past, that some, may not want to hear. As challenging as this may be, It’s important for us all to wake up and educate ourselves in order to move forward in a healthy manner, as brothers and sisters. Sandra’s presentation promotes healing and adds a lot more historical truth, than what little we learned in school. I would recommend getting out and listening……especially with youth and young adults who THINK we’re all doing fine.
Whether you like it or not, there’s a REVELATION happening.
Join us in the HEALING.
Mother of 5
I had the pleasure of seeing Sandra present Double Consciousness and was utterly impressed by her delivery and interpretation of the material, which at times can be uncomfortable to those who’ve never heard anything about the pathology behind systemic racism. Sandra will take the layman listener on a historical adventure, underneath the surface of what has been told and written in mainstream History. She manages to captivate the audience with her unique performance style from years of being on stage. Even the anti-oppression /anti-racism academic will learn something new from her engaging presence.
Sandra’s a very comfortable speaker, as it takes a special person to be able to illustrate the dense subject matter in Double Consciousness with clarity and conviction…
Roxanne Joseph, MFA
Artistic Director, PEAR Living
Sandra, thank you for your thoughtfulness, for your research, for your time, for your passion and for your music. You have taken us back with you on this great journey, through your workshop.
I have been to many workshops and this is one of the best, not just for us but for everyone.
Thank you Sandra for your hard work.
Sandra McKechnie’s presentation on Double Consciousness is an important journey into the historical and present-day reality of the Black Community. Sandra’s enthusiasm for healing within her people holds no punches, and delves deep into the dark underbelly of our collective past to highlight the systemic problems which persist today.
As a white male of privilege, Double Consciousness continued to “wake “ me up to the barriers faced by my Black brother’s and Sister’s, and armed me as a social worker with tools of understanding, to assist in becoming an ally in the fight against Racism and Discrimination.
… I am a white woman who identifies with the LGBTQ2S community and thought that because of that I understood and had experienced oppression. That changed a couple of years ago when I attended a white privilege seminar where I realized very quickly the unearned privilege I experienced in my daily life …
… nothing even came close to the impact of my day with Sandra. Sandra was able to deliver difficult information about the history of race, the history of slavery, the pathology of systemic racism and so much more. By helping us understand the past and linking it to current barriers and systemic racism, Sandra gave us the skills we needed to start critically analyzing the world around us and our interactions with others. I think of Sandra when I see stories in the news, when I choose a black author instead of a white one or a movie produced by a black director instead of a white one I think of Sandra every time I want to say “ya but” and defend myself as a white person and through that it keeps me from becoming complicit in racism and discrimination. I can’t say a big enough thank you to Sandra for a day that was so educational, impactful and filled with compassion, caring , dancing and song.
Child Protection Supervisor