Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa
Advocate for Diversity and Inclusion | Physician
One of Time magazine’s “2021 Next Generational Leaders”, Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa is an accomplished physician, spoken word poet, and advocate for racialized and marginalized populations. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine, where she was named valedictorian of her graduating class — the first Black woman to be recognized as sole valedictorian within the faculty. Dedicated to the mentorship of racialized youth and the advancement of the Black community and beyond, she speaks to addressing inequities and advancing efforts in wellness and mental health, diversity and inclusion, and women empowerment.
Currently, Oriuwa is a resident doctor in psychiatry at U of T, where she’s aiming to complete further specialist training in neuro-psychiatry and neuro-inflammatory diseases. As a first-generation Nigerian-Canadian woman, and the only Black medical student in her cohort, Oriuwa has become a vocal advocate for improving disparities in Black health and confronting institutional discrimination. She has been invited to give national and international keynotes, seminars, lectures, and panelist contributions on the topic of advancing equity in medicine, women’s empowerment, mental health and wellness, global health, and her journey as an underrepresented minority in medicine.
As an ambassador and educator of the Black Student Application Program (BSAP) at U of T, Oriuwa has had the privilege to speak on national and international platforms, through various media syndications, as a champion of inclusion, diversity, and empowerment of marginalized voices. In 2020, the Temerty Faculty of Medicine admitted the largest group of Black medical students in Canadian history, a reflection of the success of the BSAP and the power of Oriuwa’s narrative to create paradigm shifts in powerful spaces.
Oriuwa is also a professional spoken word artist. Working under the Hamilton Youth Poets, she has earned her place as a national slam poetry finalist twice. In 2017, she released her renowned slam poem “Woman, Black” and in 2018 published her seminal article In My White Coat, I am More Black than Ever for FLARE magazine’s Black History Month campaign. She has also been featured on CBC’s The National, CTV News, CP24, Toronto Star, Time magazine, and TODAY, amongst others. She is slated to release her first memoir with HarperCollins in 2023.
A recipient of numerous prestigious awards and honours, Oriuwa has been recognized as one of Best Health Magazine‘s “2020 Women of the Year”. She was also recently honoured in Mattel’s #ThankYouHeroes campaign alongside five other women with a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll made in her image to commemorate her contributions as a frontline healthcare worker. Oriuwa also serves on Indigo’s board of directors, using her expertise to inform their efforts in advancing equity and curating spaces of wellness and inclusion.