The Walrus Announces the 2023 Justice Fund Writer in Residence

Connor Garel is the second recipient of the writer’s residency created jointly by Justice Fund Toronto and The Walrus.

Justice Fund and The Walrus are pleased to announce that the second winner of the Justice Fund Writing Residency for Emerging Black Journalists has been selected. Connor Garel, a culture writer with bylines in The Walrus, the Globe and Mail, Vice, Vanity Fair, and Huffington Post, will be joining The Walrus to produce art features for publication.

The residency was launched in 2021, and Julia-Simone Rutgers was selected as the inaugural candidate. Rutgers’s story on the housing crisis, “No Place to Live,” was the cover story of the September/October 2022 issue of The Walrus. Following the completion of the residency, Rutgers went on to join The Narwhal as their Manitoba Environment Reporter.

The one-year program provides an early career journalist who identifies as Black with funding and mentorship to develop a long-form story idea at The Walrus. The residency allows the candidate to focus on research and writing while receiving support from an experienced editorial team.

“I’m elated to be returning to The Walrus this year as the Justice Fund Writer in Residence. Much of the writing that I’ve done in the past has taken the form of essays and short profiles, so it’s been a dream of mine to spend several months focusing on a deeply reported story that matters to the communities that I identify with. I’m beyond excited to work with the brilliant team at The Walrus to hone my skills as a long-form writer and reporter.”—Connor Garel, Justice Fund Writer in Residence, The Walrus

As part of the program, Garel will work closely with the editors at The Walrus and produce two long-form feature stories, one of which will be diving into Toronto’s ballroom scene and how it has become a lifeline for many young queer and trans people. The second story will look at the complicity of Canadian museums and collectors in the theft of African art and the process being developed for the repatriation of those objects.

“We are thrilled to announce Connor Garel is Justice Fund’s second Black Writer in Residence at The Walrus. This is an exciting opportunity to amplify diverse voices from the often-unheard Black communities in Canada. Through his writing, Connor will bring a fresh perspective and shed light on issues that matter. We cannot wait to see his debut long-form feature, which promises to be a significant contribution to the Canadian literary scene.”—Yonis Hassan, CEO and Co-founder, Justice Fund Toronto

The Walrus thanks Justice Fund Toronto for partnering with the organization to continue supporting emerging Black journalists. The program is an essential part of The Walrus’s commitment to creating a more inclusive and representative tomorrow.

Connor Garel is a twenty-five-year-old award-winning journalist and editor based in Toronto. Formerly, he was a Cannonbury Fellow at The Walrus. In that role, he fact-checked long-form articles and contributed essays on visual art and culture. He has spent time writing daily news as an associate editor at HuffPost Canada and got his start writing about entertainment, film, and internet behaviour as an editorial intern at Vice. His essays, profiles, and reviews tend to foreground Black cultural production and have appeared in domestic and international publications such as the Globe and Mail, Gagosian Quarterly, Dazed & Confused, Canadian Art, and Xtra, among many others.

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For more information, contact: 

Monita Mohan, Marketing Manager, The Walrus, at

For more information around Justice Fund Toronto, contact:

Amanda Blair Roberson, Director of Community, at

About The Walrus

The Walrus provokes new thinking and sparks conversation on matters vital to Canadians. As a registered charity, we publish independent, fact-based journalism in The Walrus and at; we produce national, ideas-focused events, including our flagship series The Walrus Talks; and we train emerging professionals in publishing and nonprofit management. The Walrus is invested in the idea that a healthy society relies on informed citizens.

About Justice Fund Toronto

Justice Fund Toronto is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting communities in conflict with the law through three strategic priorities: supporting community-led initiatives, reforming philanthropy, and creating community infrastructure.

The Walrus Staff