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Meet Serwaa

Serwaa (nee Elizabeth Peprah) is a passionate scholar-activist surrounding Black women's mental wellness. She previously advocated within the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) sector for over 6 years. Author of A Cloud of Witnesses: Poems for Survivors (2019), she works to bridge the academy with community practice.

No stranger to activism, in 2016, at the start of her graduate studies, Serwaa launched The Blackest Eye at her university campus. Her intent was to initiate an intimate dialogue amongst “ABC” (African, Black, Caribbean) students concerning identity politics within the 21st century. It took a sponsored trip to Nairobi, Kenya through DOT (Digital Opportunity Trust-https://www.dotrust.org/) 2018 Youth Unconference for her to ideate and launch The Survivor’s Boat Outreach to Vulnerable Women.


As a former front-line worker in Canadian women’s shelters and a bail residency program with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, Serwaa has learned the importance of community organizing in order to collaborate towards systemic change to better the livelihoods of vulnerable populations. With a heart to give back and work towards transformative change, she is a volunteer Gender-Based Violence Specialist with the Canadian Centre for Women’s Empowerment (https://ccfwe.org/).


A former blogger at Miracle Worker, Serwaa explored the intersections of sexual violence, faith and social justice. Serwaa Speaks is a new venture where she displays a diarist tone, to explore her “living memoir” through the offering of various articles which includes; interviews, call to actions, in-depth reflections, inspiration, empowerment, and advocacy within surrounding mental wellness and recovery. One thing is for sure, all her work is marked by one purpose: the transformative healing and liberation that comes with speaking truth to power.

Not only an activist, Serwaa is also a Cultural Studies Ph.D. student at Queen's University. She is the recipient of a Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement from Carleton University (2016) after graduating in the top 3% of her undergraduate class. Her desire is to bridge the gap between knowledge and action--a skill that she cultivated as a Knowledge Broker with the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

As a 2021 Daughters of the Vote Delegate with Equal Voice, Serwaa stands as a voice at the political, social, and community levels all with the intent and mandate of ending Violence Against Women. 

Serwaa Speaks has recently been awarded Equal Voice's Rosemary Speirs Leadership Grant to create culturally-sensitive supports for Africana survivors. In response, Serwaa Speaks WITH Sisters: The Voice Reclamation Campaign (#vrcampaign) will launch in the Fall of 2021 due to the generosity of Equal Voice (https://www.equalvoice.ca/ ). 


Education: 

-Honours B.A. in African Studies and Women and Gender Studies (Carleton University 2016)

-M.A in Women’s Studies (Carleton University 2018)

-PhD in Cultural Studies (Queen's University, Current)


Whether it is an overview of her activism or academics, Serwaa has one desire: to contribute towards the empowerment and mental wellbeing of Black women across the globe.

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