Greg Frankson

Canadian Poet - Diversity & Inclusion Expert

Greg Frankson, OCT, B.Ed. is a Toronto-based poet, author, educator and community activist. As Founder & CEO of Voice Share, he helps clients become Inspired Communicators™ through customized coaching, mentorship and training programs and delivers creative services at public events as a performance artist, emcee, poet-in-residence, and professional speaker.

He has worked in the public, private and third sectors as a diversity, anti-discrimination and anti- racism facilitator and consultant, as well as a sales and corporate training professional, for over two decades. Previous partners and clients include Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada, Senate, House of Commons, Library of Parliament, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Department of Justice Canada, Ottawa Police Service, Combined Insurance, MPP Marketing Group, and Mercatus Technologies.

Greg Frankson has been facilitating and speaking at mental health, diversity and anti-discrimination events across Canada since the late 1990s. He has participated in gatherings in North America and internationally penning poetic reflections on the current state of global mental health systems. He served as the Poet Laureate of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership and has worked on projects with Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Services, Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (USA), among others.

He appeared on CBC TV’s Canada’s Smartest Person in 2012 and is the former resident poet on the CBC Radio One program Here and Now Toronto. Greg has published three poetry collections and his work appears in three poetry anthologies and numerous literary journals. He has also released four studio recordings and collaborated musically with several notable emcees, DJs and vocalists. In 2010, Greg was profiled by Who’s Who In Black Canada. In 2012, he won a national poetry slam championship. He was inducted to the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour in 2013 for his contributions to the literary arts in the capital. In 2014, Greg was nominated for a Black Canadian Award for Best Spoken Word.

In addition to his artistic achievements, Greg Frankson was the first African Canadian to serve as President of Canada’s oldest undergraduate student government at Queen’s University in 1996-97 and was a vocal advocate for the on-campus recognition of Robert Sutherland, Canada’s first Black university graduate and the first Black lawyer in British North America. In October 2009, Queen’s officially rededicated its Policy Studies Building as Robert Sutherland Hall.

A 1999 graduate of the Queen’s Concurrent Education program, Greg Frankson is an elected member of the Queen’s University Council and the editor of the upcoming AfriCANthology: Perspectives of Black Canadian Poets, scheduled for publication by Renaissance Press in February 2022.

Topic Presentations

How do you CONVERSE as a leader? This presentation explores the Eight Core Attitudes of Inclusion – a comprehensive effective communication skill set utilized by exemplary leaders to cultivate inclusion and foster a sense of belonging within their teams. Leaders skilled in this area motivate others through their example, efficiently and effectively solve problems, inspire unshakeable team unity, and have few issues with employee turnover – high-performing professionals who earn the respect and trust of their teams every day. In this presentation, learn about tools for building stronger team collaboration, improving cultural fluency, heightening self-awareness, and promoting self-efficacy for individuals at all levels of an organization.

At the height of his artistic success, Greg Frankson was publicly shamed via social media. Greg suffered severe reputational damage, a virtual halt to his career and profound negative impacts on his self-image and mental health. After suing the responsible individuals for defamation and negligence, and after nearly four years in personal limbo, he would eventually receive a public apology in July 2018. Ever since, Greg has dedicated himself to service in support of others who are struggling and who wish to find healing for themselves, their families, and their communities. He is driven by the desire to repair the way people treat each other in the digital commons so that no one else has to go through a real-life experience like the one he endured. In this presentation, Greg shared lessons, insights, and advice on empathetically working your way through discomfort to become inspired communicators and truly owning the voice you share.

“If you were the most ruthless CEO who cared only about maximizing profit and impact, your focus would be on soft skills and diversity and inclusion.” Numerous studies and reviews acknowledge that the most important soft skill in 2021 is communication. The data also tell us that profit and/or sociocultural impact is most plentifully and measurably created in inclusive workplace environments. How leaders set about the task of communicating inclusion will determine who wins, who profits, and who gets left behind. In this presentation, we explore the best ways for you to become a leader in a successful, ruthless organization.

The February 2022 release of AfriCANthology: Perspectives of Black Canadian Poets signalled a shift in tone and approach for Greg Frankson to his inclusive leadership and effective communication work as well as his anti-discrimination advocacy. Now that the murder of George Floyd is receding into history, Black activists, artists, social change agents, and everyday citizens will need to work even harder to keep the needs and issues facing Black Canadians at the forefront of public consciousness. Greg will discuss these social and historical dynamics, where the recent rush for workplace diversity and inclusion initiatives and staffing fits into the broader discourse, and what comes next for the movement for Black lives in the Great White North.

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AfriCANthology: Perspectives of Black Canadian Poets

Reimagine the Future of Blackness in Canada Truth spoken plainly and powerfully is difficult to dismiss and impossible to ignore. Edited with purpose by A. Gregory Frankson, AfriCANthology: Perspectives of Black Canadian Poets brings together some of Canada''s most influential dub, page, and spoken word poetic voices and gives them space to speak freely about their personal journeys in piercing verse and unapologetic prose.

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