Desmond Cole is an award-winning activist and freelance journalist in Toronto. His work appears in the Toronto Star, Toronto Life, Walrus, VICE, NOW Magazine, Torontoist, and Ethnic Aisle. Desmond has been documenting social justice in Toronto, and has written extensively about the black experience in this city. His work with the Black Lives Matter movement and more recently his successful effort to remove the Toronto Police presence from TDSB schools have pushed his voice to the forefront. Desmond has also worked to address housing, social support, integration, civic engagement and justice for youth.

Desmond Cole is the author of the national bestselling book The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power. The book details a year of Desmond’s life as a Black activist, Black journalist and Black civilian, exposing and dismantling the notion that Canada is post-racial or ‘race blind’. His book examines the ongoing fights for migrant justice, Indigenous sovereignty and against police brutality.

Author Alicia Elliott says “this smart, powerful, essential book is an act of radical generosity—one we should all be grateful to receive, hold, share and revisit.”  The Quill and Quire writes: “his prose contains the grace, clarity, caution and cadence of someone familiar with speaking up and standing tall.”

Desmond lives in Toronto.

Author Patron: Judith Brown


Appearing in: 13: Robertson Davies Lecture: Black Lives Matter