New College Alumni Speaker Series

Please note: this event has been cancelled in response to the CAUT censure. For more information, please see our joint statement here.

“Can You Hear Me Now?”

A conversation and homecoming with Celina Caesar-Chavannes
Hosted by New College and Caribbean Studies

Monday, May 17th
7:00-8:30 PM ET

Live via Zoom

Join New College and the Caribbean Studies Program for a discussion with esteemed New College alumna Celina Caesar-Chavannes (NEW ’98) as she shares from her recently published memoir Can You Hear Me Now?. Moderated by Dr. Melanie Newton, this engaging discussion will focus on Ms. Caesar-Chavannes’ early years and time at New College, successful career and move into political life as the first Black MP of Whitby, and the challenges she encountered and overcame.

If you have any questions, please contact New College’s Alumni Office at



Celina Caesar-Chavannes is a business consultant, coach and international speaker. She currently serves as the Sr. Advisor, EDI Initiatives and Adjunct Lecturer at Queen’s University and her book, “Can You Hear Me Now?” was published by Penguin Random House Canada in February 2021. She was the former Member of Parliament for Whitby, Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Parliamentary Secretary for International Development. During her term as a Member of Parliament, Celina was awarded several distinctions including a feature in the April 2018 edition of O (Oprah Winfrey) Magazine entitled, “What would you stand up for and named Chatelaine Magazine’s Woman of the Year (2019). She has a Bachelor of Science, an MBA in Healthcare Management and an Executive MBA from the Rotman School of Management.

She can be followed on all social media platforms @iamcelinacc


Moderator Dr. Melanie J. Newton, Associate Professor of History, is the author of The Children of Africa in the Colonies: Free People of Color in Barbados in the Age of Emancipation (Baton Louisiana State University Press, 2008) and other scholarly articles and book chapters on gender, slavery and slave emancipation. Recent and forthcoming publications include Melanie J. Newton, “Returns to a Native Land? Indigeneity and Decolonization in the Anglophone Caribbean” (Small Axe vol. 41, July 2013, pp. 108-122) and Stefanie Kennedy and Melanie J. Newton, “The Hauntings of Slavery: Colonialism and the Disabled Body in the Caribbean,” in Shaun Grech and Karen Soldatic eds., Disability in the Global South (Springer, 2017). She is also the co-editor, with Matthew Smith, of two Small Axe special issues on “Caribbean Historiography” (43 and 44, March and July 2014).