Executive Director, Pride Toronto
Pride Toronto became caught in a storm of unexpected controversy when Black Lives Matter staged a protest at the 2016 Pride Parade. In the aftermath, they saw the departure of most of their staff, including their Executive Director. In February, Olivia Nuamah was brought on to take over the lead role — and tasked with rebuilding the organization, managing turbulent community relations, and organizing a $4 million festival in just a few months. Fortunately, the 45-year-old Toronto native was ready for the challenge. Not only does she have nearly 25 years of experience working in both the non-profit and government sectors, as a black female member of the LGBTQ community, she also has a heightened perspective on the marginalised groups seeking more inclusivity with the Toronto festivities. She successfully led Pride 2017 amid the continued controversy around banning uniformed police participation (which included a heated May debate in city council to pull funding on account of the decision), and for future years, she is committed to putting processes in place that align the reason Pride exists and people’s expectations of it. By establishing trust and building bridges between the many communities that come together for Pride Toronto, Olivia is certainly leading the organization in a bright direction.