Founder, Director – Lee Anna Osei
Lee Anna Osei is a Ghanaian-Canadian university varsity athletic basketball coach and educator at St. Francis Xavier University (StFX). Lee Anna was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario and credits basketball as the vehicle that inspired her towards educational pursuits as a first generation Canadian citizen. After a notable HS career at Eastern Commerce C.I, Lee Anna went on to play at the University of Miami, Trinity Valley C.C, and finally at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she was finished her career a a 3-time Academic All Canadian, an OUA All Star, and was the recipient of the prestigious OWL Award in 2015. She graduated with an Honours BA in 2015 and went on to complete her Masters of Arts in History at Laurier.
Lee Anna is a 2-time Team Ontario U17 Provincial Coach, and has spent countless hours volunteering as a community basketball coach, particularly as a player development coach for men’s and women’s basketball teams and players at the grassroots, high performance, and professional levels. In 2012 she founded Canletes Basketball, an organization devoted to supporting the Ontario basketball sport community, and specifically females through running showcase events, tournaments, and offering mentorship and recruitment consulting services.
In 2017 Lee Anna coached at TRC Academy (OSBA), a high performance program located in Brantford Ontario, where she led her team to the Championship title game. In 2018-2019, Coach Lee was hired as the first female Head Coach in StFX university’s athletic history. Lee Anna is the first Ghanaian – Canadian Head Coach at the Canadian University level, and the only Black female Head Coach in the history of the Maritimes. In addition, Lee Anna is a member of StFX’s Professional Teaching Staff, instructing in the skills component of the Human Kinetics Department.
Assistant Director, BFCC President – Corey Grant
Corey Grant is a former Canadian Football League football player and current varsity football coach at McMaster University. Corey Grant re-joined McMaster’s coaching staff on January 31, 2019 assuming the role of Offensive Coordinator after a 6 year tenure with the Hamilton-Tigercats CFL).
As Offensive Coordinator Corey was able to help guide the 2019 McMaster Marauders football team to the 2019 Yates Cup championship. The Offense finished 2nd in the OUA and 3rd in USports in total passing yards. Corey helped guide the starting QB to 2nd in USports in passing yards per game and 3rd in USports in touchdown passes.
His move to McMaster in 2019 marked the end of a six-year coaching tenure for Grant with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where he was elevated to Assistant Offensive Coordinator and Running Backs Coach on March 1, 2018. He originally joined the organization as Running Backs and Offensive Quality Control Coach on March 21, 2013, and served solely as Running Backs Coach from 2015-17.
Prior to joining the Tiger-Cats, Grant served as McMaster University’s Wide Receivers Coach for one season (2010). His coaching career began in 2005 in the Ontario Varsity Football League while he was still playing in the CFL. He served as Offensive Coordinator of the Niagara Spears for six seasons (2005-10), and Head Coach of the Halton Cowboys for two seasons (2012-13). Grant was also the Wide Receivers Coach for the Golden Horseshoe All-Star Football Showcase in 2010.
Grant, who was selected seventh overall by Hamilton in the 1999 CFL Draft, enjoyed an 11-year CFL career with the Ticats (1999-2001, 2009), Montreal Alouettes (2002), and Saskatchewan Roughriders (2002-08). He would earn two Grey Cup rings in his playing career, his first with the Tiger-Cats in 1999 followed by another with the Kent Austin-led Roughriders in 2007. Grant was also the CFL’s East Division’s Most Outstanding Rookie in 1999.
Corey continues to be active in his community as the Co-Chair for the Hamilton Black History Council (HBHC) who organize events such as the John C. Holland Awards. The awards were established in 1996, these awards celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the community, with a particular focus on the contributions of African Canadians to the social, economic, and cultural life of our entire city. Each year the Hamilton Black History Council joins with the wider community to celebrate the achievements of youth and acknowledge the contributions of community members. These awards have become one of the premier events in the Hamilton community and a valued symbol of achievement. The purpose of the HBHC is to promote, celebrate and honour the history of People of African Descent through targeted programming, education and strategic partnerships aimed at building our capacity to strengthen our collective impact. Corey was a previous award winner in the Sports category. He also supports other associations which advocate for positive change in the community. Corey continues to reside in the Hamilton area with his wife Jennifer and their two lovely children; daughter Qiawna and son Devonn.
Secretary, BFCC Co-Chair – Tara Mrakic
Tara Mrakic is currently the Head Coach of the Vanier College Cheetahs Flag Football team in Montreal, Quebec. Coach Mrakic, known by her players as Coach T, re-built the Cheetahs program in 2011 and led her team to a division championship title during the 2012-2013 season. She is 3-time recipient of the RSEQ (Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec or Quebec Student Sports Network) Coach of the Year award in her respective division (2014, 2015, 2018). During the 2018-2019 season, her team was undefeated and finished second, earning silver in the Division Finals. Coach T is knowledgeable and passionate about football and coaching and is dedicated to the evolution of young athletes on and off the field. Her commitment to offering a wide variety of opportunities that allow other black female athletes to develop themselves and their abilities is illustrated in the mentoring of a former athlete who is now part of her coaching staff as an assistant coach.
Coach T was introduced to the football world when she herself played for Vanier College from 1990-1994. In both her junior and senior years, she was named MVP and Co-MVP as a quarterback, an honour that spoke to her elite level of play on the field.
Upon earning her diploma in Business Administration, she continued her playing career at an elite level, playing tournaments within Touch/Flag Football Ontario (TFONT). Coach T then decided to transition and become a touch and flag football referee at the elite level for the next 17 years. Since 2013, she has been an official in The Flagplus Football League, the largest indoor league in North America, where she was the first female recipient of the Leader of The Herd Award in 2019 as a standout official.
Coach T is an advocate for gender diversity and equity; she is currently the only black female Head Coach for Women’s Flag Football in Canada. Having played baseball, volleyball, and football, and now officiating and coaching flag football, Coach T considers herself having been ”confined” in a male-dominated milieu her whole life, which is why she envisions a future of Canadian sport that is as diverse in gender as it is in race. Coach T is a Mentor in the BFCMP and Co-Chair of the Black Football Coaches of Canada.
Director of Research – Dr. Janelle Joseph
Dr. Janelle Joseph is an award winning Assistant Professor in in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto. Dr Joseph’s current research focuses on the intersection of three areas: 1. education (learning and leadership), 2. sport (athletics, martial art, dance, and fitness), and 3. race (anti-racism and Black excellence) in Canada, the US and the Caribbean.
Dr. Janelle Joseph is the founder and director of Canada’s first research laboratory devoted to issues of race and movement cultures, the Indigeneity, Diaspora, Equity and Anti-racism in Sport (IDEAS) Research Lab.
A leader in advancing social justice and anti-racism through physical culture research, the IDEAS Research Lab aspires to explore issues a wide range of global and local movement experiences. The IDEAS Lab is committed to transformational, theoretical, and ethnographic research using critical race theory in sport, dance, and education.
Dr. Joseph is the Director of Research for The Black Canadian Coaches Association, heading the Anti-racism practises and policies development, and the Lead Contact on race-based data projects for The BCCA.
Program Manager and Administrative Assistant – Lysa Lowe
Lysa Lowe is an OCAA All Academic Sport Management student at Niagara College, who plays on the women’s varsity basketball team. Growing up in a sport-loving family, she has developed a passion for Canadian football, hockey and basketball, with a large appreciation for women in sport. Lysa has always been passionate about social justice and has grown her knowledge through participating in leadership camps and organizing fundraisers like Socktober, an initiative to help the homelessness during the winter months. Through enrolling in a service – learning program at her high school. Lysa had the opportunity to partake in a mission trip to Kenya to help build schools and wells in the Masai Mara. She continues to follow her passion for bringing the community together through sport. Currently, Lysa is interning at BCCA as Program Manager for the Black Female Coach Mentorship Program (BFCMP) and Administrative Assistant. Lysa is devoted to creating spaces where BIPOC athletes and coaches are supported and can be celebrated by all.
BIPOC Student Liaison – Taijon Eccleston-Graham
Taijon Eccleston-Graham is a third year Business Administration student at Nipissing University where he is a member of the Men’s Basketball team. Taijon is the Co-Founder & President of the newly founded group on campus called NUBASE (Nipissing University Black Association for Student Expression). Taijon is co-host of Nipissing Athletics The Lakers LockerRoom. Recently, Taijon founded of the newly created student-athlete alliance called Athletes for Change Association (ACA). The ACA is comprised of newly formed BIPOC-student-athlete-led groups at universities across the country, where the slogan is: “Using the game to create the change.” As the BCCA BIPOC Student Liaison, Taijon’s will recruit, connect, and empower BIPOC student-athletes across Canada.
To learn more about Taijon’s work at www.athletesforchange.net.
Manager, Media and Marketing – Dashawn Stephens
A graduate of the University of Waterloo, Dashawn Stephens is the current Head of Media and Marketing for the Black Canadian Coaches Association. The Toronto-native spent 5 years at the University of Waterloo where he majored in Speech Communication and Business. He is also a former university athlete as he played 4 years of football for Waterloo and 1 year of rugby. Throughout his years at Waterloo, Stephens worked closely with the Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation, a non-profit organization that is aimed at growing the sport of rugby in Toronto by teaching the game to youth directly in schools.
In January of 2019, Stephens founded PRSVRE, an athlete-empowerment brand, and platform that seeks to deliver athlete-driven storytelling while showcasing Canadian university sports. Currently Canada’s fastest-growing sports-media platform, Stephens aims to use PRSVRE as a tool for social growth in low-income communities. Stephens brings 4 years of media and brand development experience to the BCCA as well as an energetic passion for empowerment through sport.