Black Bodies, White Spaces

Black Bodies, White Spaces


7:00 PM - 8:00 PM


PEN Canada, Sutherland House Press and Hungry Eyes Media invite to you a intimate, free event set in Toronto’s Davenport neighbourhood. The event honours Black History Month, female creatives and their expression. Tickets are limited, please RSVP here.

The discussion

Sixty years after the US Civil Rights Movement, many Canadian artists, writers and culture workers still contend with the power dynamics of “white spaces” that discount and devalue Black creativity and marginalize nonwhite histories and narratives.

Join award-winning filmmaker Jennifer Holness, author and diplomat Jennifer Hosten, and moderator Dr. Cheryl Thompson, as they discuss the challenges of negotiating these spaces during their professional lives, and reflect on what It has taught them about the complex intersections of race, art and culture in the 21st century.

When and Where

The discussion will begin at 7 p.m., with doors opening a half-hour before, at Action Potential Lab at 451 Christie St, Toronto. Street parking is limited, and the venue is accessible by TTC, either by the 127 bus or a short walk from St. Clair west & Christie, Ossington & Dupont or Bathurst & Dupont.

The event is open to the public, and tickets are limited. To save your seat, please RSVP here.


About the speakers

Jennifer Hosten, a native of Grenada, trained with the BBC and worked as a broadcaster and airline hostess before winning the 1970 Miss World competition. She later enjoyed a career in diplomacy, trade negotiation, and international development.  

 Jennifer Holness is a writer, producer, and director. She is the first Black woman in Canada to win a CSA (Gemini) for Best Writing, is the 2021 Indiescreen Producer of the Year and a 2022 WIFT Creative Excellence Award winner. Her feature doc Subjects of Desire won numerous festival awards and was a 2021 TIFF Top 10 Film. Most recently her doc series BLK: An Origin Story won 5 CSA awards, including Best Director for her episode.

Dr. Cheryl Thompson is an assistant professor in performance at the Creative School at TMU, the director of Black Creative Lab, and lead investigator on the Ontario Early Researcher Award-funded project, “Mapping Ontario’s Black Archives: Building an Inventory through Storytelling” (2021-26). Dr. Thompson is also author of Uncle: Race, Nostalgia, and the Politics of Loyalty (Coach House Books) and Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture (Wilfrid Laurier Press). 

About the organizations

PEN Canada is a nonpartisan organization that celebrates literature, defends freedom of expression, and assists writers in peril at home and abroad. The English-language Canadian centre was founded in 1983 and is proud to be one of over 100 chapters of PEN International.

Sutherland House Books was founded in 2017. As a new Toronto-based publisher of non-fiction books for global English-language audiences, it specializes in narrative works of biography, memoir, history, business, culture, and current affairs, all with broad appeal.

Hungry Eyes Media is co-founded by award-winning filmmakers Jen Holness and Sudz Sutherland, who bring a fresh, authentic perspective to telling powerful, thought-provoking stories. As a company with its own distinct mission plan, Hungry Eyes seeks to inspire and entertain!

We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Ontario for their support.