2020 will mark 25 years of Jamea Zuberi transforming lives through education. Over the years she has deeply rooted educational leadership in community service. She holds degrees and post-secondary learning from York University and the University of Toronto. Presently, she is the Vice Principal at an Elementary School in Toronto located in a diverse and vibrant community. Her teaching career started at the Linden School for girls, Canada’s first and only feminist school where she served as Associate Principal for 4 years. Jamea is a curriculum developer in areas of gender, culture and race. Her community involvement stems back to her teenage years in Jane and Finch where she grew up. She can be attributed to co-founding a young women’s group-Umoja which provided mentorship and promoted healthy lifestyles for young women and young men. She also co-founded the Toronto Panatics Steelband Network and registering Toronto’s first step dance company, Conscious Step Ltd. She was awarded the Woman in Steelpan Award in 2012. She also went on to be the founder of Blockorama- which after 20 years is still the only Black stage and one of the most successful stage at the annual Pride Toronto Festival- as well as organizing the first Masquerade band on the Toronto Pride parade. For her community involvement in the LGBTTI2SQ community, Jamea was recognized with the David Miller Mayor Volunteer Appreciation Award in 2007.
A long-time resident and active participant in the Jane and Finch community, Jamea spent ten years coordinating a Saturday morning program to promote the participation of children of colour, in the areas of science and mathematics. During her teaching time in Jane and Finch where she lived, she also promoted children participating in Robotics and Steel Pan. She started the children’s steelband - North Stars Children Steel Orchestra whose members accompanied her in the annual Caribbean Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago. What a life changing experience this was for both the children and youth and Jamea.
Jamea has been involved in several initiatives in both the black and LQueer communities. Among them is her position as the chair for the African Heritage Educators’ Network where she founded the TDSB’s yearly Black Students Awards scholarship and awards ceremony. Today Jamea is still active sitting as chair of the TDSB African Heritage Month Committee and as a champion for LGBTTI2SQ families and children. Her work/contribution can be found in the recently published Coach House Books- Any Other Way, How Toronto Got Queer.