“If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” - Lilla Watson
Fitsum has a diverse and rich history of work in the social service sector and has advocated/organized for youth rights, disability communities, and Black, Indigenous, and racialized peoples. He is a writer, researcher, knowledge broker, and independent facilitator guided by commitments to social justice, relationship-building, abolition, de/anti-colonialism, and creative practices.
ESSAYS & ANALYSIS
ESSAYS & ANALYSIS
How the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is shielding Israel from criticism. Canadian Dimension (2021)
With Shehnoor Khurram. Disarming the people without disarming the state. Briarpatch (2020)
COVID-19 and the threat of “community policing”. Briarpatch (2020)
The Ocean Between Jeju’s Island Natives and Mainland Newcomers. Korea Expose (2017)
The Black Man’s Sanctuary. The Community Edition (2017)
REPORTING & INVESTIGATION
Leaked report accuses Canada of covering for mining companies in war-torn Ethiopia. The Breach Media (Aug 13, 2021)
Ontarians can share their COVID-19 stories on new website to get policymakers thinking. CBC (May 1, 2021)
Local disability rights advocate leaves a lasting legacy. Waterloo Region Record (Jan 2, 2021)
Undocumented people in Waterloo Region falling through the cracks. Waterloo Region Record (Dec 4, 2020)
Toxic drug supply and COVID-19 measures increase overdose risks. Waterloo Region Record (Nov 12, 2020)
‘Storytelling is the root of who we are’. Waterloo Region Record (Oct 28, 2020)
With Jeff Outhit. COVID-19’s second wave washes over crowded, Black neighbourhoods. Waterloo Region Record (Oct 23, 2020)*
Cambridge rally shows anger about drug users, harm reduction. Waterloo Region Record (Sept 13, 2020)
With Jeff Outhit. Does COVID attack equally? The answer is, ‘No’. Waterloo Region Record (Aug 11, 2020)*
Innovative refugee program combines work and language classes. Waterloo Region Record (Aug 21, 2020)
Vigil to pay tribute to victims of Beirut blast. Waterloo Region Record (Aug 10, 2020)
Hundreds gather for ‘Land Back’ rally in Waterloo. Waterloo Region Record (Aug 7, 2020)
What happened to escalate arrest on July 5? Waterloo Region Record (July 18, 2020)
*Stories were runner-ups for the 2020 Ontario Newspaper Award in COVID-19 Opinion/Analysis Writing
Areguy, F. (2020). Exploring the Boundaries of Critical Pedagogy. New Sociology: Journal of Critical Praxis, 1(1), 37-49.
Areguy, F., Mock, S. E., Breen, A., Van Rhijn, T., Wilson, K., & Lero, D. S. (2019). Communal orientation, benefit-finding, and coping among young carers. Child & Youth Services, 40(4), 363-382.
Co-founder & Project Director
Textile Magazine is a literary publication and mentorship program based in Kitchener-Waterloo. It was founded in 2018 with the goal of merging community work with writing and publication. We have published two issues that feature artwork, stories, and poetry from new and emerging writers/artists who face systemic and cultural barriers to publishing creative work. This project is supported by funding from the Ontario Arts Council, the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund, and the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation.
(on indefinite hiatus)
(on indefinite hiatus)
insideWaterloo is a new independent media initiative that amplifies diverse voices and historically excluded stories in Waterloo Region, Ontario. Through investigative and personal stories told in a variety of ways (i.e. long-form essays, podcasts, visual stories, data visualization), insideWaterloo fills gaps in the media landscape as well as leads the conversation in the community. Writers and readers come to us to see beyond the headlines, and dive head first into the issues. This project is supported by Indiegraf.
Advisory Committee member
The ACB Network of Waterloo Region is a community collective that represents a large cross-section of the broader and intersectionally diverse Black diaspora that spans from the continent of Africa to the Caribbean and North America. The collective was formed in 2018 to mobilize progressive change that centers the needs of Black communities in Waterloo Region.
The Charles Street Terminal Bus service in Kitchener, Ontario ended in 2019 and the site is currently under contract, serving the community as a COVID-19 testing facility. With the contract coming to an end in the coming months, Indigenous activists from LandBack camp have been advocating for the site to be redeveloped as an Indigenous community hub. In collaboration with LandBack camp and several other community partners, I’m supporting a place-based art project that will showcase stories, installations, and theatrical performances in and around the bus terminal site during Winter/Spring 2022. The project is intended to inspire the community to imagine the site as a community hub, and to encourage people to participate in the Region’s consultation process.
The Community Psychology Abolition Collective is a transnational group of scholars practicing and advocating for prison and police abolition. One overarching goal is to use research and education to create an abolitionist community psychology science and practice.
Chair & Project Facilitator (Archived)
Young carers are people typically under the age of 29 who provide substantial unpaid caregiving for another person. In response to the lack of support for young carers in the Waterloo Region, the Young Carers Project, led by the University of Waterloo’s Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP), used a participatory action research approach to engage both young carers and community stakeholders to better understand the young carer experience. This research resulted in three knowledge mobilization products: (1) By Us For Us© "Support Matters" guidebook; (2) an online resource; (3) and a documentary. From 2011 to 2017 the Young Carers Project worked to educate the public about the existence and needs of young carers and motivate the community to action.