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Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey

  • Scholar 2014
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PhD History and African American Studies
Yale University

    A grateful beneficiary of a Trudeau Foundation Scholarship, as well as a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship, Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey is currently pursuing a Joint PhD in the Department of History and the Department of African American Studies at Yale University. His doctoral research examines the ways in which twentieth-century African North Americans and their diasporic counterparts forged transnational freedom linkages around civil rights and organized labour in the inter- and post-war years.

    Wendell has several years of professional experience consulting on health care, education, and youth and child welfare policy for the Health Strategy Innovation Cell at Massey College in the University of Toronto, the Fraser Institute, and Peel Children's Aid Society. He also worked for nearly three years with the federal government in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Prior to starting his doctorate in 2012, he served as a case manager for three years in a federally-funded, University of Toronto-evaluated youth gang prevention and intervention initiative in North Toronto. Combining his penchant for scholarship and research, and community development and social justice, Wendell advocated for inner-city youth and collaborated with community partners and the three levels of government to address holistically issues of disenfranchisement, poverty, and violence.

    Wendell traces his involvement in community development and social justice broadly to his experiences as a child in Accra and Toronto, but specifically to 2005 after Toronto experienced the infamous "Year of the Gun." In response to a record-setting year in gun-related homicides of inner-city youth in Toronto neighbourhoods, he founded and successfully managed for five years an award-winning non-profit organization that provided mentorship and educational support to marginalized youth. Wendell has received numerous awards, fellowships, and distinctions for his work, including such notable honours as an Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers, a Peace Medallion from the YMCA of Greater Toronto, and representing Canada as a delegate to the fifth UNESCO Human Rights Leadership Institute in 2009\. Wendell is a founding board director of the Tujenge Africa Foundation, a U.S.-incorporated charity that promotes peace-building, nation-building, and leadership training for high-performing, low-income students in Burundi, the world's poorest country. In July 2017, Wendell became a board director of the Inspirit Foundation, a national organization that promotes citizenship and pluralism through impact investing on youth-led initiatives.

    Wendell earned a BA (honours) in History and International Relations in 2008 and an MA in Political Science and Ethnic, Immigration, and Pluralism Studies in 2009 from the University of Toronto. As an undergraduate, Wendell published two peer-reviewed journal articles on US-Israeli strategic relations and the evolution of Canadian immigration policy in the post-war period. He has published opinion pieces for the Toronto Star and the National Post. He considers his father and mother as his greatest hero and heroine.