African Heritage Month Special Event Panel

Stories of the Future for life today from Afrofuturism, Christianity, and Islam
What will the end of the world be like?  Destruction and suffering? Heaven? Paradise? Peace and Bliss?  Do stories about the end of time have any practical use for life here and now?  The Manning Memorial Chapel invites you to an exploration of these ideas with distinguished speakers and guided by the theme:


A recording of the panel discussion is available here


Dr. Camille Turner,  Artist/Scholar who Combines Afrofuturism and Historical Research

The Reverend Dr. Elias M. Mutale, Moderator of the African United Baptist Association

Imam Mohamed Yaffa, member of the Nova Scotia Imam Council & Diversity Specialist



Dr. Gabrielle Donnelly is Associate Professor of Community Development at Acadia University

Dr. Shelley Price, Associate Professor with the Manning School of Business, Acadia University

Dr. Inna Viriasova Instructor in the Department of Politics, Acadia University


Dr. Camille Turner
photo credit: Jalani Morgan

Dr. Camille Turner is an artist/scholar whose work combines Afrofuturism and historical research.

Her most recent explorations confront the entanglement of what is now Canada in the transatlantic trade in Africans. She puts into practice Afronautics, a methodological frame she developed to approach colonial archives from the point of view of a liberated future. Camille is a graduate of OCAD and has recently completed a PhD at York University’s Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change. Currently, she is a Provost’s postdoctoral fellow at University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. Turner is the recipient of the 2022 Artist Prize by the Toronto Biennial of Art. Her artworks are held in museums and public and private collections including: National Gallery of Canada, Art Museum at University of Toronto, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Canada Council Art Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Museum London, The Wedge Collection and The Rooms.

Rev. Dr. Elias M. Mutale

The Reverend Dr. Elias M. Mutale, Moderator of the African United Baptist Association

Rev. Dr. Elias M. Mutale is a native of Zambia, in Africa where he grew up as one of seven children. Rev. Elias and wife Sheena have four grown children and are grandparents of three. Rev. Mutale came to saving faith in 1975 during his final year of high school in Zambia leading to a strong call to the Christian ministry.  The couple immigrated to Canada for studies with three children aged five and under in 1988.   

In 1976, Rev. Elias began Christian ministry leadership duties in a military training camp later continuing as an Intervarsity fellowship chair.  He became team leader of the young people’s fellowship at Lusaka Baptist Church in 1979 becoming an established Christian and community leader by end of the seventies.


After high school, Rev. Elias studied Journalism and worked in the print media before turning to Human Resources and Operations Management. He became the first Director of Operations for World Vision Zambia in 1983. Rev. Elias entered Theological school in 1987 in Zambia and completed the bachelor of theology degree in 1990 at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville Nova Scotia. Ordained to the Christian ministry in 1991, he completed the Master of Divinity in 1995 and the Doctor of Ministry in 2014.


Rev. Elias brings over twenty years of pastoral ministry experience in Canada and ten years on the senior leadership team of the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada (CBAC).  In his role as Regional Minister of the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia, he strengthened the Association through a strategic planning process and transformed the African United Baptist Ministerial into a solid leadership team.

Rev. Elias and wife Sheena have a long history of Christian and community service which has resulted in senior leadership roles. Rev. Elias is the current moderator of the African United Baptist Association (AUBA). He is also the chairperson of the African Nova Scotia Policy Advocacy Collective (ANSPAC) for African immigrants in Nova Scotia. Service on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association team (2003-04) and preaching the farewell service for former Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, her Honor Mayann E. Francis in 2013 are examples of major leadership roles Rev. Elias has provided. Rev. Elias and lady Sheena also run an international host ministry for many African international students and families.

In 2013, Rev. Elias and lady Sheena opened a new ministry front as missionaries with Serving In Mission Canada.  In this role, Mutales developed a Culture Connections portfolio in Halifax and pastoral leadership and community development work in Zambia. Rev. Elias gets some of his ministry energy from playing and officiating soccer while Sheena enjoys photography, running a home-based sewing business and grand parenting. Rev. Elias is currently pastor at South End and Timberlea Baptist churches in Metro.

Rev. Elias has been an award-winning leader from a wide variety of organisations.

  • An award for mentoring young African men and women from Big Brothers Big sisters in 2011
  • A leader of leaders award from the African Jazz Festival committee in 2014
  • An award from the Department of Seniors recognizing work done on care of seniors in 2014
  • The Senate 150 award for community bridge building work to promote harmony among the various people groups of African Descent in 2017
  • A special invitation and award at the Zambia Ophthalmology Scientific Conference in 2019.

It is a high privilege for Rev. Elias and lady Sheena to serve God and his people building on the work of numerous giants who have provided hallowed service on the continent and in the diaspora.


Imam Mohamed Yaffa is a member of the Nova Scotia Imam Council with expertise in diversity and development

Imam Mohamed Yaffa is a member of the Nova Scotia Imam Council and a prayer lead at the Centre for Islamic Development in Halifax. He has a Master’s Degree in Islamic Studies and in Arabic Language and Translation. Imam Yaffa has been in the field of Islamic teaching for over two decades in Canda and abroad.

In conjunction with his work in the Islamic community, Imam Yaffa has been involved professionally in advocacy for equitable services and resources for immigrants, African Nova Scotians and Frist Nations People. He leads workshops and training in mediation, education design and community development. He enjoys working with youth from the Muslim and other communities to develop self-confidence, belonging and leadership capacity.

From 2000 to 2007, Imam Yaffa worked with Nova Scotia Immigrant Settlement Association, helping newcomers’ integration into life in Canda. From 2007 to 2018, he worked for Nova Scotia Health, supporting organizational development in the areas of Cultural and structural Competence; and until the end of 2023, he worked for the government of Nova Scotia as Senior Advisor for Planning, Development and Research in the Division of African Nova Scotian Affairs.

Imam Yaffa spends time teaching the Seerah, (the life history of the prophet Muhammad), and the Hadith, which is the sayings and teachings of the prophet (on whom be peace).

Dr. Gabrielle Donnelly, Associate Professor of Community Development at Acadia University

Dr. Gabrielle Donnelly (she/her) is a scholar, educator, and change practitioner. Her work focuses on bridging social change theories and practices to support leaders and communities engage with the complex issues of our times, toward more compelling, equitable, and creative futures. Gabrielle is Associate Professor of Community Development at Acadia University and recently co-edited The International Handbook for Creative Futures (2023) published by Routledge. Originally from the UK and raised in Moh’kinsstis (Calgary) in Treaty 7 Territory, Gabrielle currently lives in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia).


Dr. Shelley Price, Associate Professor with the Manning School of Business, Acadia University

Dr. Price’s teaching, research and service work relates to expanding trauma-informed and culturally humble approaches to management and management education with a keen interest in advancing the missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIAP+ (MMIWG2S) Calls for Justice and the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Calls to Action. She works with Indigenous storytelling methodologies, collective storytelling practices, community-led and participatory action research, trans-local learning, and art-based ways of connecting with wisdoms from the lands.

Dr. Inna Viriasova is an Instructor in the Department of Politics at Acadia University.

Her areas of teaching and research include contemporary political philosophy, the history of political theory, non-Western political thought, critical theory, and political psychology. She is the author of At the Limits of the Political: Affect, Life, Things (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2018) and Roberto Esposito: Biopolitics and Philosophy (SUNY Press, 2018).