Garth Bobb, Shernett Martin & Rashmi Swarup
Garth Bobb is a parent in YRDSB and began his career as a young social activist. He then moved to management, politics and ultimately government relations. Garth has been advocating on issues of equity and inclusiveness for a long time and has become expert at providing others with a strategy on how to do the same. Garth has tenured at Queen Park and in municipal government, for various politicians. One of the architects behind the campaign that saw the Ontario Minister of Education bring sweeping changes at one of the provinces largest School boards, He has done work with some of Canada's notable politicians, respected corporations, non-profit groups and influential leaders.
Shernett Martin is an Award-winning, experienced Equity & Inclusion Consultant, speaker, workshop developer and facilitator. She began her teaching career at Seneca College teaching in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences before joining the Toronto District School Board. Shernett is a dedicated teacher and community leader. Awarded multiple awards for work in equity, diversity, education and philanthropy, she continues to add her voice to social justice issues. Shernett is an incredible speaker and mentor committed to community and capacity building. She is the founder and President of the Vaughan African Canadian Association and was instrumental along with parents and advocates in York Region in demanding change in the York Region District School Board after issues of anti-Black racism and Islamophobia was uncovered. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a focus on Race Relations/Research and Practice, A Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) and she is completing a Masters in Education from York University. Shernett's children formerly attended YRDSB.
Rashmi Swarup is a Superintendent of Education in York Region District School Board. As an educator with over 30 years of local and international experience, Rashmi has a deep understanding of transforming school culture to create an inclusive learning environment for improving student achievement and well-being. She has been a guest presenter at schools in England, India and Denmark. She has been recognized for her work in equity and inclusivity in various forums, local and global. Prior to her current role, Rashmi served as Special Assistant to the Director of York Region District School Board where she influenced system direction through inclusive and innovative initiatives in the areas of equity and parent engagement. Rashmi believes that family engagement is a key component for schools in enabling our students to reach their highest potential. As an educator, Rashmi affirms that we are here to serve our students and the community. Rashmi has inspired and motivated youth at numerous community events and recognized and celebrated the strength of our diversity. As a TED Ed Innovative Educator, one of 90 selected by TED Education, she encourages student voice and ideas about making the world a better place. Rashmi serves as Director on the Board of Character Community Foundation of York Region. She has been: nominated for the Educator of Character award in York Region; recognized on International Women’s Day for her work in gender parity; received the Excellence in Equity award from the Council of Agencies Supporting South Asians (CASSA) and the Legacy Award from the Vaughan African Caribbean Association for creating a positive legacy for black youth. For Rashmi, a student, a staff member, a parent or a community member are each valued and respected members of the society and have something unique to offer. It is that quest for seeing the invisible in each individual and inspiring them to reach their highest potential that guides Rashmi in everything she does.