Human Rights Forum
The Human Rights Forum presented by TD has been offered since 2007 as part of GlobalFest's programming to promote diversity, cross cultural respect, and equality in our community. Our annual Human Rights Forum topics are structured around the UNESCO's Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination.
Recognized as an excellent platform for sharing experiences, knowledge, and practical solutions necessary to address issues of racism and discrimination, the Human Rights Forum presented by TD encourages systemic change across the Canadian community in a positive and safe environment.
Monday, August 11 - Friday, August 15
|Time:||Doors open at 11:30AM. Presentation runs from 12:00PM-1:30PM.|
|Location:||The Calgary Public Library - John Dutton Theatre, 616 Macleod Trail SE|
Free (Complimentary lunch is also provided on a first-come, first-served basis)
MONDAY, AUGUST 11
Theme: A NEW ERA OF GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS LEADERSHIP
- Stuart Murray - President and CEO, Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Stuart Murray - President and CEO, Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Stuart Murray was appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) in 2009. He leads the organization responsible for Canada’s first-ever national museum to be built outside the National Capital Region, and the first national museum created in the country in over 40 years.
Mr. Murray served as President and CEO of the St. Boniface Hospital and Research Foundation from 2006-2009. He served as Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba from 2000 to 2006. He also served as President and CEO of DOMO Gasoline Corporation Ltd. from 1989 to 1999. His past roles include that of Director within the Prime Minister of Canada’s office (1985-1989), Media Director and Fundraiser for the Canadian Opera Company, and Road Manager for the rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears.
Mr. Murray has also been very active in his community. He was Manitoba Co-Chair of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Sustaining Applause Campaign, raising more than $10 million. As Volunteer Chairman of the 1999 World Junior Hockey Championships in Winnipeg, Mr. Murray and his team organized what was the most successful tournament in its twenty-year history. In recognition of their contribution, they were each awarded the Order of the Buffalo Hunt, one of Manitoba’s highest honours.
Because of his significant contributions to Canada, Mr. Murray has received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal commemorating the 50th anniversary of her ascension to the throne, as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal commemorating the 60th anniversary of her ascension to the throne.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 12
Theme: EDUCATION MATTERS FOR AN INCLUSIVE SOCIETY
- Dr. Valerie Pruegger- President, Intercultural Interactions Inc.
Dr. Valerie Pruegger- President, Intercultural Interactions Inc.
Valerie Pruegger earned a M.Sc. Degree in Psychology from the University of Calgary specializing in Organizational Psychology and a Ph.D. in Cross-Cultural Psychology from Queen’s University.She teaches in the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary and was employed as a Research Social Planner at the City of Calgary for 15 years where she developed policy to address diversity and inclusion.She has also serves as an advisor on a number of committees including the Alberta Provincial Hate and Bias Crime Committee. Currently, she is the President of Intercultural Interactions Inc., a consulting business that works with organizations on training and strategic planning needs around inclusion and organizational change. She is a 2005 recipient of the Alberta Centennial Medallion award for her outstanding work, achievements and volunteering efforts for the people, communities and province of Alberta.
- Doug Jones - Member, Alberta Hate Crime Committee
Doug Jones - Member, Alberta Hate Crime Committee
Mr. Jones began his policing career in 1981; he has worked in several policing units with the Calgary Police Service (CPS). In 1999, he joined the Diversity Resources Unit and began working with a number of diverse communities and was the portfolio holder for the South Asian and GLBT communities for several years. During this time he realized that there was not a systematic and coordinated police response to hate crime and incidents for the Calgary Police Service or other Police Services across Alberta. Doug has initiated several new programs addressing hate crime and incidents within the communities of Calgary which are still in place today. One initiative, is the “Hate – Don’t Buy In” program which empowers youth against hate and discrimination. Doug received the Solicitor General of Alberta award for this initiative and the program has gone on to win an international Policing award. In 2003, Doug recognized the lack of an appropriate, consistent and coordinated response for hate in the Province and co-founded the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee. Doug has worked as a mediator within communities and on behalf of the Calgary Police Service. He has presented nationally and internationally on Hate Crime and trained Police recruits for several years. In 2005, Doug retired from the CPS and is currently the Director of Development for the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary.
- Constable Ray Wilson - Edmonton Police Service Hate Crimes Unit
Constable Ray Wilson - Edmonton Police Service Hate Crimes Unit
Constable Wilson has been a member of the Edmonton Police Service for 14 years; during this time, he has participated in the following units: South Division Special Projects Team (targeting known offenders within the division in a plain clothes capacity); Public Safety Unit (crowd control and public order); Police Dispatch/911 (evaluating complaint and emergency calls); radio dispatch to patrol units; EDGE (Edmonton Drug and Gang Unit); PST (Patrol Support Team as an acting detective); UCO (Undercover Operations); and his current assignment in the Hate Crimes Unit (monitoring supremacist groups and extremist ideology believers).
- Constable Dan Woodall - Edmonton Police Services Hate Crimes Unit
Constable Dan Woodall - Edmonton Police Services Hate Crimes Unit
Constable Woodall is an 8 year member of the Edmonton Police Service, with 6 years of experience with the Greater Manchester Police (UK). Dan worked in the Source Management area prior to transferring to the Organized Crime Branch – Hate Crimes Unit. Within the Hate Crimes Unit, Dan and his partner actively monitor and target supremacist groups and extremist ideology believers. Recently taking the lead position on Freemen of the Land, HCU is expanding into a Hate Crime/Extremism Unit where all aspects of Hate/Bias/Prejudice/Extremism will be reviewed and investigated.
- Judy Shapiro - Associate Executive Director, Calgary Jewish Federation
Judy Shapiro - Associate Executive Director, Calgary Jewish Federation
Judy Shapiro is the Associate Executive Director for Calgary Jewish Federation (CJF) and is responsible for community relations. Having been the target of discrimination for centuries, the Jewish community takes its responsibility to combat racism and antisemitism very seriously. CJF operates a number of programs which teach the importance of human rights and understanding through the lens of Holocaust education. Judy frequently speaks to school, church and community groups about Judaism, the Holocaust and respect for diversity. In her view, it isn’t enough to tolerate difference, it is important to celebrate the diversity of culture, race and religion that makes Canada unique.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13
Theme: JUSTICE- FIGHTING INEQUALITY BY ENGAGING THE MARGINALIZED
- Umashanie Reddy- Diversity Services at Calgary Public Library
Umashanie Reddy- Diversity Services at Calgary Public Library
Umashanie Reddy was born and raised in South Africa and lived in a culturally diverse community, serving the multicultural communities. As a young astute scholar living in a restricted society where organizational cultures were mono-cultural, she obtained her professional librarian qualifications. She practiced as an academic librarian at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal for 18 years, focusing on serving the information needs of the diverse academic community. In 2005 Umashanie began on a new road when she brought her family to Canada. In 2013 her innovative initiatives and her passionate work in the immigrant community was recognized when she was the successful recipient of the Hadassah Ksienski Distinguished Services Award. Being a daughter of Africa, her social compass can be characterized in the African idiom Ubuntu: “I am because you are,” a word which embodies her philosophy of interconnectedness, togetherness and diversity.
- Robert Philp - Chief of the Commission & Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission
Robert Philp - Chief of the Commission & Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission
Mr. Robert A. Philp was appointed Chief of the Commission and Tribunals of the Alberta Human Rights Commission, effective July 1, 2014. Mr. Philp has an extensive legal background and judicial experience, which include 29 years in the practice of law, nine years as an Alberta Provincial Court Judge and seven years as a Deputy Judge of the Northwest Territories, Territorial Court. In addition, he has held notable professional appointments in various associations and memberships in many professional organizations, has an abundance of community leadership experience and has extensive experience as a lecturer at the University of Alberta.
Born in Ontario and raised in Edmonton, Mr. Philp earned his bachelor and law degrees from the University of Alberta. He was called to the bar in Alberta in 1976, as well as called to the Northwest Territories Law Society in 1989 and the Law Society of Nunavut in 1999. He was appointed to the Edmonton Provincial Court Criminal Division in 2005.
Mr. Philp has been the general counsel for the Alberta Labour Relations Board, the Alberta Human Rights Commission and the Alberta Board of Industrial Relations, representing them at all levels of the court. He earned a Certificate in Labour Relations from Queen's University in 1978.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 14
Theme: THE ABORIGINAL EXPERIENCE- CATALYST FOR CHANGE
- Leonard Bastien – Elder
Leonard Bastien – Elder
Mr. Bastien has been employed on a contractual basis with Region 3, Calgary and Area, Child and Family Services for the past 12 years, as their in-house traditional Elder providing support and consultation in all areas of child care.
Leonard provides traditional Elder Services for the Mount Royal University of Calgary and the Calgary Board of Education. He is also a member of the Traditional Elders Advisory Committee for Human Services, Province of Alberta, while he continues to provide traditional and advisory services for the Blackfoot Confederacy (Piikani Nation, The Blood Tribe, Siksika Nation, Blackfeet Nation of Browning, Montana, U.S.A.), as well as traditional and cultural support for The City of Calgary. In addition, Mr. Bastien is a Former Chief of the Piikani Nation.
He is married to Audrey and together they have four beautiful daughters and five wonderful grandchildren.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 15
Theme: TEMPORARY FOREIGN WORKERS PROGRAM
- Avnish Mehta - Vice-Chair of the Calgary Public Library
Avnish Mehta - Vice-Chair of the Calgary Public Library
Avnish is the Principal at Stand and Command, a Calgary based strategic consulting and presentation firm. Avnish had a successful career in the corporate sector as a currency trader, in the risk management industry, and then finally as an owner and operator of a recruitment company dedicated to recent post-secondary graduates from all across Canada. This experience, combined with his voluntary work, shifted his career towards the non-profit sector.He developed the Temporary Foreign Worker program at CCIS (Calgary Catholic Immigration Society) and subsequently helped to build a refugee health clinic located in Bridgeland.
He is currently the Vice-Chair of the Calgary Public Library, the Chair of the New Central Library Committee, and the Vice President of the Alberta Library Trustees Association; he has also participated as the Board Chair for Youthlink Publications Society, a non-profit group that focuses on children's literacy, and on the Board of the HR Council for the Non-profit Sector.Avnish also sits on the fundraising committee for the Calgary Folk Festival and this year, his company is proudly sponsoring the "Great Spirit' Aboriginal Series.
- Albert Johnson - President, United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Local 1118
Albert Johnson - President, United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Local 1118
Albert Johnson grew up on a Mixed family farm in Central Alberta. In 1982, he started working at the Fletchers Fine Foods Limited plant in Red Deer, Alberta.
Albert became active with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and was elected President in May of 1985. He continues to hold this position. As President, Albert negotiates collective agreements, deals with grievances, and oversees the administration of the local business for approximately 4,000 members. He also deals with the many other duties that come with the job. One of his major accomplishments has been to negotiate, with all of the employers, regarding the use of Foreign Workers and the inclusion of provisions that require them to nominate and support their workers for permanent residency in Canada. This provision has been successful for approximately 1,500 employees who have been able to bring their families to Canada. There are several hundred additional employees on the pathway to permanent residency.Albert’s passion for improving the lives of local members and society as a whole drives him to lead a successful team.
- Gil McGowan – President, Alberta Federation of Labour
Gil McGowan – President, Alberta Federation of Labour
In 2013, Gil McGowan was re-elected to his fifth term as president of the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL), Alberta’s largest union organization, representing more than 155,000 workers in both the public and private sectors. Raised in rural north-central Alberta, Mr. McGowan received degrees from both the University of Alberta in Edmonton (Bachelor of Arts in History) and Carleton University in Ottawa (Master of Journalism) before embarking on a career in journalism.He worked for the Alberta labour movement as a researcher, communications officer and community organizer for a decade before being first elected as AFL president in 2005. As a union staff member and communications coordinator for the group Friends of Medicare, McGowan helped lead the broad public opposition to privatization in Alberta’s health care system.
As president of the AFL, McGowan has presided over the substantial growth of his organization and has been instrumental in putting many important issues on the agenda for public discussion in Alberta, including workplace safety, the use (and abuse) of temporary foreign workers and the loss of jobs due to the increasing export of raw bitumen (as opposed to creating value-added jobs in the province by doing the upgrading and refining here). McGowan is the author of several award-winning studies on the Alberta economy including Crumbs From the Table, Missing Out on the Boom and Lost Down the Pipeline. He appears regularly in the Alberta media as a spokesperson for labour issues and is a frequent author of guest columns in Alberta’s major newspapers. McGowan is a member of the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) Local 445.
- Rezzy De Los Reyes - Temporary Foreign Worker
Rezzy De Los Reyes - Temporary Foreign Worker
Originally from the Philippines, Rezzy came to Canada in 2009. Rezzy’s migration was due, in part, to his need to support his family and his ailing partner who were still in the Philippines.His journey has been a very difficult one; he has experienced irregular employment which has required new work permit applications for each new position. During this time, Rezzy lost his partner to her illness. Currently, Rezzy has found fulltime employment in Calgary and is working toward his permanent resident status.