OASW and its School Social Work Advisory Group are pleased to present the School Social Work Symposium, Affirming Identities: Tools for Student Mental Wellness in the COVID Era, happening Tuesday, November 15, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. online. 

Keynote Speaker: Bee Quammie

The 35th annual Symposium will explore how we can provide appropriate and safe support for students with varied and diverse identities, with a keynote address from Bee Quammie, a multi-passionate creative, writer and award-winning digital content creator who shares stories and connects with others on mental and brain health, resilience, diversity and pop culture. Bee’s keynote will centre on the stories that often aren’t told, providing space where the audiences can learn, be empowered, and find a relatable voice. 

Artistic Presentation: Randell Adjei

Randell Adjei is an entrepreneur, speaker and spoken word practitioner who was recently appointed Ontario’s first Poet Laureate. Randell is the founder of one of Toronto's largest youth led initiatives, Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere (R.I.S.E Edutainment). Randell is the author of “I am Not my struggles,” a powerful anthology released in 2018. Randell was also named CBC’s Metro Morning’s Torontonian of the Year in 2015 and NOW Magazine’s Local Hero in May 2017. In 2020, Randell opened for President Barack Obama at the Economic Club of Canada.


9:00 to 9:30 a.m.
Opening Ceremony and Remarks from OASW and the School Social Work Advisory Group (SSWAG)

  • Tracey Grose, SSWAG Chair
  • Deepy Sur, OASW CEO

9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Bee Quammie, Multi-Passionate Creative, Writer and Award-Winning Digital Content Creator

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Special Guest Presenters

12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

1:00 to 1:30 p.m.
Artistic Presentation

Randell Adjei, Transformational Speaker, Spoken Word Practitioner, Arts Educator and Ontario’s First Poet Laureate

1:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Award Presentation and Remarks: 2022 School Social Work Achievement Award

1:45 to 3:45 p.m.
PANEL: Identities at the Forefront: How to Put Inclusion into Action in our Schools

Panelists to be confirmed

3:45 to 4:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks

Note: Program is subject to change. Additional program details will be added as they are confirmed.


  • Members: $50.00+HST
  • Student Members: FREE
  • Non-Members: $75.00+HST
  • Student Non-Members: $35.00+HST


Live simultaneous French translation and closed captioning will be available during the event.


OASW and its School Social Work Advisory Group are inviting nominations for the 2022 School Social Work Achievement Award. Consider nominating a School Social Worker who has exceeded your expectations by September 30, 2022.

Learn More and Download the Nomination Form


Your support of this critical inter-professional event will help to build equitable access to culturally responsive care for our students, by advancing dialogue on the intersections between race, culture, identity, and mental health, and providing the practical tools needed to support student wellness. Consider supporting the Symposium by helping us reach as many school social workers and allied education professionals as possible.

Spread the Word


Thank you to all members of our School Social Work Advisory Committee for sharing your expertise and insights to help make this critical event a success:

  • Chair: Tracey Grose, School Mental Health Ontario
  • Vice-Chair: Kristi Gordon, Hamilton Wentworth District School Board
  • OASW Board Liaisons: Dr. Shelley Craig & Carol Soares
  • Andréanne Fleck Saito, School Mental Health Ontario
  • Dominique Doyle, Conseil scolaire catholique mon avenir
  • Gabriella D’Ambrosio, Halton District School Board
  • Geer Harvey, Upper Grand District School Board
  • Jenny Athanasiou-Malisa, Hamilton Wentworth District School Board
  • Jessie Grosz, Waterloo Catholic District School Board
  • Kimberley Sherman, Peel District School Board
  • Maria Peixoto, Toronto Catholic School Board
  • Sara Mclean, District School Board of Niagara
  • Sarah Kirby, Hamilton Wentworth Catholic School Board
  • Shelley Phoenix, Durham Catholic District School Board
  • Shenelle Bernier, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
  • Stefanie Burosch, Trillium Lakelands District School Board
  • Toni Lauzon, Greater Essex County District School Board


Questions can be directed to [email protected].




In the Media:
Keeping Student Mental Health Top-of-Mind

OASW has been working to keep student wellbeing and mental health top-of-mind as children and youth return to schools this fall. Our proactive engagement with media has highlighted the critical role that school social workers play in providing early intervention and connecting students to the care they need to thrive. 

See the latest coverage