Nigerian-born Chika Stacy Oriuwa has been named one of Canada’s 50 most influential people. She came 37th on the Macleans power list (a ranking of Canada’s most influential).
Her parents, Stephen and Catherine Oriuwa, emigrated from Nigeria to Canada in the 1980s. She was raised in Brampton and graduated as sole valedictorian of her class, thereby breaking the record as the only black woman to achieve that in the 179 year history of the school.
A serial overachiever, she is not only a resident Doctor at the University of Toronto, she’s also an accomplished poet. Her spoken word poem “Woman, Black” released in 2017, garnered over 12,000 views on YouTube.
Before her inclusion in the Macleans power list, Oriuwa was selected by toymaker Mattel to be part of its Barbie Role Models Program, as she was one of those who worked tirelessly during the Covid-19 pandemic. She has a Barbie doll created in her likeness.
She co-founded the Black Inter-professional Students’ Association (BIPSA) while in Medical school, in order to network students across graduate programs.
She is also the ambassador and public face of Black Student Application Program (BSAP), an optional application process created by the University of Toronto to help qualified black students get into the university seamlessly.
She delivered the keynote speech at Women’s College Hospital for International Women’s Day, entitled “Thriving at the Intersections: Being a Black Woman in Medicine.”
She has received several awards and honours like the 2018 African Scholars Emerging Academic Award at the University of Toronto, and the 2020 Valedictorian of the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.
Oriuwa is also co-director of a non-profit youth leadership organization called Uflow, and was on the External Implementation Steering Committee to the Minister of Children and Youth Services, focused on shaping the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan.
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