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It is with mixed emotions that we share with our community that Debbie King, Chair of Fast and Female’s Anti-Racism and Respect Advisory Committee (ARRC), and a member of our Board of Directors has stepped down from her active role with Fast and Female, effective January 31, 2023.
Debbie is a passionate advocate and experienced organizer who co-founded and co-chaired the Queen Victoria Public School Black Student Success Committee in Toronto, and works actively to promote representation and racial equity in educational and active spaces. Debbie has been a Role Model with Fast and Female since 2018, when she first joined us for a Toronto Champ Chat, presented by North Toronto Basketball. Debbie was the MC at the event and brought such incredible, infectious energy and life to the day, sharing her own personal story and experience in sport and looking to empower the next generation of leaders and athletes. It didn’t take long for Debbie to support another event, joining us not even a month later at our Champ Chat in Toronto at the MLSE Launchpad, powered by Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities.
From 2018 – 2020, Debbie went on to continue supporting Fast and Female in-person and virtual events, including being a keynote speaker at our first-ever Run Walk Wheel Move virtual event in 2020. When Fast and Female shared their commitment to prioritising and operating through an anti-racist lens in early 2020, Debbie was one of the first individuals to reach out and want to support Fast and Female moving forward. In October of 2020, Debbie was appointed the Chair of ARRC, working collaboratively with the Fast and Female team to bring ARRC to life. By the end of 2020, ARRC hosted its first meeting with over 10 new committee members joining to support Fast and Female. In 2021, the Board of Directors voted Debbie on as an official Director, holding dual roles as a Board of Director member and the Chair of ARRC.
“It has been a true privilege and honor to work alongside Debbie, from her very first event here in Toronto to working together on ARRC and through the Board of Directors. Debbie has been an incredible role model, a leader, a colleague and most importantly, a great friend. I am so appreciative of all her support these last few years and can’t wait to work together in the near future! Thank you, Debbie!” Gaby Estrada, Executive Director
Debbie’s work and support of Fast and Female has been so incredibly impactful and leaves a legacy. Through ARRC and Debbie’s leadership, Fast and Female has reviewed our practices related to volunteer, staff and BOD recruitment; Debbie’s support has including facilitating a review of event communications, such as program surveys, supporting grant applications, creating a rapid-response team, prioritizing accessibility to our events and programs, internal education and more, ensuring to operate and apply an intersectional, anti-racist and anti-oppressive lens to our work. Beyond Debbie’s work as the Chair of ARRC and BOD member, Debbie has also continued to be a passionate and strong Role Model for our organization, continuing to inspire and empower girls across the country through sharing her experiences in and out of sport.
“It has been an honor to serve as a Fast and Female Director and ARRC Chair over the past two years. I am proud of the work we have done, championing change within the organization and for communities we serve. The mission to empower self-identified girls through sport and physical activity continues to be a critical one and I have no doubt the Fast and Female board, staff and volunteer community will continue to make exciting strides in the years ahead. ” Debbie King
On behalf of Fast and Female and our entire community, we’d like to say thank you to Debbie for all her incredible support and work these last few years. We know this isn’t goodbye forever but rather, a see you later! We’d also like to congratulate Debbie on her election to the Toronto District School Board as Trustee for Ward 7, Parkdale,-High Park here in Toronto. We wish her the best of luck in this new role moving forward. We know that the Parkdale-High Park community are in great hands! Thank you Debbie!!