Meet Paul Taylor, a non-profit leader, educator, and activist. Paul has dedicated his time to building up the next generation of leaders as the Executive Director of Food Share Toronto, Canada’s largest food justice organization. He’s also one of the six council members who along with Joshua Dyer, Charmain Emerson, Angelina Williams, Akinkunmi Akinnola, and Erica Russell, that form The Drake’s Black Community. We caught up with Paul where he delved into racial equity and tokenism in leadership.
+ What does a racially just workplace look like to you?
Advancing a racially just workplace in a for-profit business typically involves taking significant and meaningful steps away from an exclusive focus on the business case for racial diversity to embracing the moral one, acknowledging the historical and continued impacts of colonialism and white supremacy (as well other oppressive organizing principles) on workplace and society at large, while consistently challenging the systems that hold race-based injustices in place.
+ What are you working on right now personally/professionally that has you excited?
Professionally, my business partner and I recently launched a values-driven consulting firm called Evenings & Weekends Consulting, to support emerging organizations, activist groups, charities, community groups, academic institutions and businesses. We’ve seen incredible uptake, which for us, suggests a growing commitment to equity, justice, and meaningful change from a variety of institutions.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of the duck wings at the Drake Devonshire, so I’m on a personal campaign to have the wings on the menu at all of the Drake’s establishments, especially the Drake Hotel, which just happens to be not too far away from me.
+ What Toronto changemakers are inspiring you and why?
Mercy Ayesha Alohan-Eke,Yamikani Mosa, jade Guthrie, Sheldomar Elliott and Hansel Igbavboa
+ What tools have helped you along your journey?
Curiosity and a sense of humour and my Vitamix.
+ Where do you believe we must begin to advance Black leaders? What change would you like to see in your industry when it comes to Black representation?
Organizations need to move beyond tokenism, it’s not enough to hire Black bodies, it’s time to acknowledge and understand the ways that white supremacy and anti-Black racism have caused us harm, so that harmful systems, practices, and processes within our organizations can be dismantled and re-envisioned.