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The Body Speaks

Through the process of reclaiming her inherited Afro-Caribbean Indigenous storytelling role Myrtle uses her work to uncover stories located in the body. The Black body is often a site of personal, political, and social enactments and can reveal the complexities in re-creation and reclamation efforts. Her (research) creation attends to a process that is guided by trans-temporal collaborators who challenge ideas around relationships to art and productivity, community integration, and authorship.

Her latest gathering The Body Speaks (2022), is a civic engagement project that offered women of colour the opportunity to uncover stories located in the body through interviews, paintings and photovoice. This action research participatory project led to the creation of the Beyond Strong Community- a personal and collective care community that uses arts based methods as a way of accessing joy, ease, and liberation.  



Myrtle Henry Sodhi’s multi-modal practices act as an echolocator which invites people to locate themselves in the stories that emerge. As a “sankofic” storyteller she shares stories using visual, auditory, and experiential methods. She is a new world creator who supports others in their own re-creation efforts. 

Myrtle grounds her practice through rituals of “rememory” where her inherited role as a “sankofic” storyteller acts as a point where the past is accessed to support re-envisioning for the future. She is able to reclaim the Afro-Caribbean Indigenous role of the artist as a facilitator that supports relationships with ancestry, community, Spirit, the body, and the natural world.   



Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy, Education, York University
 (In progress)
2021- 2022         
Master's non-Thesis, Masters of Education, Education, York University
Black Women EDI Educators and the Second Shifts
Supervisors: Dr. Jen Gilbert

2000/9 - 2001/5             
Bachelor's, Bachelor of Education, Education, University of Toronto

1993/9 - 1997/5               
Bachelor's Honours, Bachelor of Arts, English, Carleton University


Artistic Research Manager 2023-Present
York University
Creating Space: Precarious Status Women Leading Local Pandemic Responses  
Provide research facilitation 
Provide support with research-creation approach, interviews, and focus group discussions for 13 community partners
Employ relationship building approaches across all project participants 
Track project activities and outputs 
Develop public-facing creative outputs such as a digital archive and exhibition that shares the impacts of the pandemic on racialized communities
Coordinate filming and video production for digital archive
Work closely with filmmakers, research assistants, website designers and developers to build a digital archive

Research Consultant 2023-Present
Ophea (Ontario Physical & Health Education Association) 

Coordinate a well-being program in collaboration with the Centre for Excellence for Black Student Achievement at the Toronto District School Board to advocate for Black youth voices in health and physical education
Work closely with researchers, educators, senior level board staff to support advocacy initiatives for Black Youth
Design research project for the review of the Health Schools Certification program with a focus on equity
Conduct research employing focus groups, case studies, and program content audits to assess the effectiveness of equity based initiatives within health and physical education programs
Write reports and present findings 

Co-Chair 2023
York University
Faculty of Education Summer Institute (FESI)
Create the theme and format of the conference in collaboration with the executive team 
Coordinate with the Dean’s office regarding space, menus, and logistics relating to the conference
Manage the budget in collaboration with the Dean’s office 
Select presenters and panelists  
Develop website and social media material in collaboration with the media and communications team 
Graduate Assistant 2022-2023 York University Double Exposure                                                          
Collaborate with the research team under the direction of Dr. Gabrielle Moser on the creation of a podcast focused on bio-politics and surveillance
Compile information for literature reviews 
Schedule interviews with artists, tech experts and policy makers
Assist with interviews
Assist with podcast production, writing and promotion 

Assistant Researcher 2022-2023
 York University BIPOC Leadership Energies Project (BLE)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Co-develop and co-lead workshops exploring white supremacy culture and power dynamics for BIPOC leaders 
Co-design and implement evaluation tools to assess the workshops impact and effectiveness 
Collaborate with steering committee to develop and implement the framework that informed the implementation of strategies and goals needed to support BIPOC leadership in the community service sector
Lead focus groups
Collect, code and analyze data for final report 
Design the final report online platform
Co-write the final report in collaboration with Dr. Vidya Shah  
Assistant Researcher 2022-2023 York University Diasporic Mathematics Literacies                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Co-develop and co-lead bi-weekly sessions to examine how Black youth see themselves and are represented in mathematics spaces
Lead focus groups using research-creation and participatory action research methods  
Conduct interviews, compile and prepare data for publication and dissemination
Teaching Assistant                                                                                                
 York University 2022-present
Facilitate weekly tutorials for online and in person learning environments
Review student assignments
Provide feedback and grades for assignments
Hold weekly office hours 
Collaborate with teaching team

Student Success Transitions Counsellor
Toronto District School Board     2018-2019                                                        
Collaborated with school administrators, classroom teachers, and students to improve outcomes in Mathematics and Language for students in grade 6-8 with an equity lens
Supported schools in developing initiatives to address anti-Black racism by conducting focus groups and co-planning with classroom teachers
Founded Black Student Alliance groups and built capacity with students and staff to continue to lead and support the initiative
Led workshops focused on design thinking, student voice, and supporting neurodiverse learners 
Supported staff in analyzing and interpreting regional and provincial data

Elementary Teacher
Toronto District School Board    2001-2017                                                        
Developed K-8 student centered transdisciplinary lesson plan
Early Math Area of Schools Trainer for the Ontario Ministry of Education
Inquiry Lead Teacher – Collaborated with teachers, planned presentations, workshops and co-teaching lessons for beginning teachers on inquiry practices in the classroom


Myrtle Sodhi “Locating the Self & Trans-Temporal Collaborators In Research Creation: An Afro-Caribbean Approach” in Disruption and Convergence: Generating New Conversations Through Arts Research. Rebecca Bourgault & Catherine Rosamond, eds. (London: Brill/Sense, forthcoming 2024).

Myrtle Sodhi & Sonia Martin, “Considering an Ethic of Care Framework to Counter Colonial Violence”, Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education. 

Myrtle Sodhi “Trans-Temporal Collaborators, Felt Making, & Research-Creation: A Report Back” in At The Margins. Shyam Patel & Monica Tang, eds. (Toronto: Fall 2023)

Feature Artist. Diasporic Storytelling: Honouring our Auntie’s Audio. Sonic Stories. Whitney French. Hush Harbour Press.
In this sonic story I weave together stories of the aunties that are our griots. They are the storytellers and the storied. Through the layering of sounds, languages, laughter, and frustration I encourage the listener to locate themselves and their aunties in the stories. This sound story was produced in collaboration with the Building A Black Archive Project, “Diasporic Storytelling” and Hush Harbour Press.

Artist. Mothers Grounding.
My animation, Dance Like the Ancestors Are Watching is part of a project that features artists in video, audio, and text. This project is hosted by the National Arts Centre of Canada.

We've Been Here Before. : 374. (Submitted)
My novel explores the Black female experience over generations and places with a keen eye on themes of liberation through voice reclamation, Afro-Caribbean spirituality, and mothering through short stories that are connected. The stories stretch back to the Caribbean in the 1800s and extend to present day Canada. Each woman in this lineage must decide how and if she is to reclaim her voice, her Afro-Caribbean spirituality, and her place in various places and times. We see the clash of generations, cultures, spirits and identities.

Black Women EDI Educators & The Second Shifts. (2022).                         
York University. Master's Research Paper Supervisor: Dr. Jen Gilbert. This Major Research Project involved theoretical research that examined  the emotional labour Black women expend through equity, inclusion, and diversity work. I am the only author and conducted the theoretical research under the guidance of my supervisor, Dr. Jen Gilbert. 


The Body Speaks., The Clark Center for the Arts.
A multimodal arts event celebrating Afro-Caribbean storytelling and visual Arts.  .The Body Speaks is an event that is part storytelling and part art exhibition. This event shares the stories of BIPOC women as told in relation to how they experience the world through their bodies.  The stories are shared through an interactive Afro-Caribbean storytelling tradition called Kwik Kwak and over 15 portraits. Funding Sources: Canada Council for The Arts


Seeds for Change: Learning Without Borders.
University of Toronto As an Artist in Residence for The Learning Without Borders Initiative I collaborate with knowledge keepers, educators, community leaders, scholars, Elders, artists, activists, students and youth committed to "Pedagogies of Liberation" (Rodriguez, 2022) that centers Black, Indigenous and voices. from the global majority. This project is led by Dr. Clelia O. Rodriguez (University of Toronto).



Roundtable for Black Feminist and Womanist Theory, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
Paper: Black Women EDI Educators & The Care Gap 

Universities Art Association of Canada, Banff, Alberta, 
Session Chair: Afro-futurism, Black Geographies, and Storytelling in Black Artistic Scholarship 

Mapping Ontario’s Black Archives (MOBA)
Presenter: The Antidote for the Archive       

Faculty of Education Summer Institute (FESI)
Conference Co-Chair 

Congress Federation for the Humanities & Social Sciences, York University, Toronto, ON
Moderator: Fireside Chat with Honourable Jean Augustine & Dr. Carl James 

Congress Federation for the Humanities & Social Sciences, York University, Toronto, ON
Panel: (Re)conceptualizing Teacher Education: Abolishing Whiteness, Empowering Racial Justice

York University Graduate Student Conference in Education, York University, Toronto, ON
Panel Chair: Black Graduate Womxn Panel

Black Futures, George Brown College, Office of Anti-Racism Equity and Human Rights 
Services, Toronto, ON 
Workshop Presenter: A Wave is a Fingerprint: Reimagining Educational Supports for Black 
Students through a Water Methodology
International Students & Ethics of Care.
The IAFOR International Conference on Education in Hawaii, Honolulu, United States

A Child Who Could Not Say Her Own Name.
Politics of Sound, Toronto Metropolitan University & York University, Toronto, Canada
Storytelling through Sight, Silence & Sound: Sankofic Rituals for Locating the Self.
Universities Art Association of Canada, Toronto, Canada
Empowering Black Futures: Education & Community Panel. Black Futures Project
George Brown College, Toronto, Canada
Countering Colonial Violence: A Care-Ethic Framework for International Education.12th International Conference on Education and Justice: “Collective Scholarship for Public Pedagogy”, Berkley, United States
Black Women EDI Educators: The Second Shifts & Care Work.
American Educational Studies Association (AESA), Pittsburg, United States
The Antidote for the Archive.
Unconference Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Canada
Liberatory Practices of Power.
Toronto Neighbourhood Centres Annual Retreat, Jackson's Point, Canada
Black Graduate Womxn Panel: Re: Navigating Graduate School with Care in Mind.
York University Graduate Student Conference in Education, Toronto, Canada

From Student Voice to Student Advocacy.
Beginning Teachers Equity Conference, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Canada Graduate Scholarship, SSHRC Doctoral Award, 2023, $105,000
Nominated Vanier Scholar, 2023
Mitacs Grant, 2022, BLE: BIPOC Leadership Energies $15,000
Canada Arts Council Concept to Realization Grant, 2021, The Body Speaks $45,500 
Ontario Arts Council Presenter Grant, 2021 $12,000