Chapters4Change was founded in July 2021 by twin sisters and experienced post-secondary educators Janice Desroches (she/her) and Jennifer Shelswell (she/her).
Over five weeks spanning the months of May-June 2021, the sisters took part in a ‘Me and White Supremacy Learning Circle’: a journaling group which read and reflected together on Layla F. Saad’s 2020 book, “Me and white supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor". The original Chapters4Change began as a book club which was inspired by the work that was done during the journaling group.
Since then, Chapters4Change has developed community partnerships, interviewed various authors, and featured amazing community changemakers. Through offering Learning Circles and featuring monthly books, Chapters4Change is committed to motivating people to Read to Learn & Learn to Change!
Our mission is to help dismantle racism and discrimination through the promotion of reading materials which focus on amplifying the voices of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, & other People of Colour), 2SLGBTQI+ (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, +), individuals with physical differences and those with physical or mental disabilities, and other individuals who face inequity, so that adults and children alike can move toward becoming better ancestors through education and sustainable change.
Our vision is to see people of all ages become actively involved in education for change at home, within schools, within workplaces, and beyond through taking part in self-guided or group-led learning using the suggested monthly readings and educational materials supplied on this site.
We can Read to Learn & Learn to Change one book at a time!
Co-Founder/ Programs & Community Outreach Coordinator/ Educational Resource Developer/ EDI Consultant & Learning Circle Facilitator
Janice Desroches (she/her) is the co-founder, Programs & Community Outreach Coordinator, EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) consultant, an educational resource developer, and learning circle facilitator for Chapters4Change. She has taught at the post-secondary level for over seventeen years and is a strong advocate for the promotion of EDI in the workplace and within the classroom.
Janice is passionate about community engagement and is committed to working with educational institutions, community groups, authors, changemakers, and activists to gain diverse perspectives and to amplify voices that educate toward positive change. She is a dedicated advocate for CPD (Continuous Professional Development), encouraging people to 'Read to Learn & Learn to Change' and has partnered with school boards to offer learning circles with the aim of creating more equitable schools for everyone. Janice was one of five nominees for the 9th Annual Pride Niagara Community Involvement Award for her work within Niagara to raise public & professional 2SLGBTQI+ awareness in the education sector through her partnership with the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) and offering 'The Savvy Ally Learning Circle' to countless faculty, staff, and educators.
Janice holds a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics (T.E.S.L) from Brock University and is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity Studies at Brock University.
Janice draws her greatest strength and inspiration from her husband Dan and her three children, Evan, Dylan, and Lana.
Co-Founder/ Educational Resource Developer/ EDI Consultant & Learning Circle Facilitator
Jennifer Shelswell (she/her) is a dedicated and experienced professor, changemaking faculty, and innovator at Georgian College who promotes Equity, Justice, and DIBs (Diversity & Inclusion to promote Belonging). She holds a Master of Arts in Education from Central Michigan University. Jennifer is the co-founder, an educational resource developer, EDI consultant, and learning circle facilitator for Chapters4Change, a volunteer and education sub-committee member for the Advocacy and Accountability Committee for UPlift Black, a member of the Truth and Reconciliation Trail Committee at Georgian College, and the Georgian College Representative for the Orillia Food Committee. She values education as a way for people to 'Read to Learn and Learn to Change'. She is an advocate for mental health, self-care, and wellness and she believes that people engage and thrive in learning environments where they feel safe and accepted for their true authentic selves. Jennifer received the 2022 Board of Governors Award of Excellence Academic through Georgian College.
Educational Resource Developer
Emma Charan Greenfield (she/her) is the Indigenization Specialist Indigenous Services at Georgian College. Her work largely centres around reimagining education systems that honour First Nations, Métis, and Inuit stories, knowledges, and perspectives. Emma is a graduate of Seneca College's Bachelor of Child Development program and recently completed her Master of Education in Social Justice Education at OISE. Emma is passionate about anti-oppressive education and decolonizing pedagogies.