WRC Distinguished Alumna Award Recipient 2021
Creator and curator of Sue's Stokvel Book Club, Sue-Shane Tsomondo is an equity-seeking and community-building trailblazer dedicated to uplifting the work of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) writers.
Sue-Shane moved from Zimbabwe to Canada in 2014 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in international relations with a minor in English at the University of Calgary. As a Research Assistant in the Faculty of Social Work, Sue-Shane examined the quality and quantity of services provided to refugees and immigrants in Western Canada. In her second year, as a Community Advisor in Residence, she helped new students transition to university. Sue-Shane later volunteed with the Women's Resource Centre, bringing a valuable intersectional lens and practice to the WRC.
After graduating, Sue-Shane joined Student Wellness Services as a Peer and Intercultural Wellness Assistant – leading supportive social gatherings for students who encounter barriers to accessing mental health resources on campus. In this role, Sue-Shane also served as the Wellness Centre Representative for the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Week (formerly Diversity Days) Committee.
In the midst of making her mark on UCalgary, Sue-Shane dealt with the tragic death of her mother, mental illness and a layoff. Despite these challenges, she remained resolute in her commitment to the campus and surrounding community, developing Sue's Stokvel to shift the narrative and heal through storytelling.
Sue-Shane is known for identifying gaps in resources and striving to implement solutions. As a poet focused on BIPOC representation and the intersections of politics, immigration, blackness and womanhood, Sue-Shane continues to transform the local literary arts landscape – helping to build a community in which everyone can learn, share and grown together through literary experiences.
Photo credit: Angela Mackey, Calgary Journal