The Human Rights Forum presented by UNACanada-Calgary Branch 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 UNAC Calgary encourages systemic change across the Canadian community in a positive and safe environment.
Our theme for 2019: “Breaking the Cycle of Hate”
The 2019 Human Rights Forum will explore HATE from a number of perspectives: those who have participated in hate-based organizations, who have incited hate, have been impacted by hate and have been victims of hate. We’ll look at how each person came to and through their experiences and what were the motivating factors for them to break the cycle of hate.
Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2019
He is not white. He’s not even light-skinned. Make no mistake about it; he is Black. Yet, Klan-Destine Relationships author and Accidental Courtesy film star Daryl Davis has come in closer contact with members of the Ku Klux Klan than most White non-members and certainly most Blacks — short of being on the wrong end of a rope. What’s more? He continues to do so, making him one of the most unique race relations experts and activists today.
Originally from Chicago, but currently residing in Maryland, Daryl Davis is a musician, actor, author and lecturer. He earned his Bachelor of Music Degree from Howard University and is an accomplished Blues, Rock’n’Roll, Country, and Jazz musician, performing and touring regularly with his own Daryl Davis Band.
After a performance in a Country music bar, a man told Daryl he’d never seen a Black man play piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. Daryl explained, both he and Lewis learned from Black Blues and Boogie Woogie pianists. The man didn’t believe in the Black origin of the music but became a regular fan of Daryl’s. Turns out, he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. This experience led to Daryl becoming the first Black author to travel the country interviewing KKK leaders and members, all detailed in his book, Klan-Destine Relationships, the first book written by a Black author interviewing KKK members.
Over the last thirty-five years in between gigs, Daryl Davis has walked on the edge with one foot dangling over the precipice, setting up meetings with Klan leaders and attending KKK rallies. He has been one man who successfully has been taking on the oldest (150 years) and most racist and organization in the United States, by himself.
Location: Delta Hotels by Marriott – Calgary Downtown
Date & Time: September 25, 2019, 7:15 – 8:45am
Cost: $50.00 Pre-registration required.
Continuing the discussion started with Daryl Davis at breakfast, the Human Rights Forum has a new structure for 2019 with a one-day format. Join us as we begin listening to a panel of speakers who have personal experiences with hate. Learn where they draw their strength and resolve to break the cycle to change attitudes and actions.
Location: Calgary New Central Public Library
Date & Time: September 25, 2019, 9:15am – 3:30pm
Cost: $50.00 (includes lunch) Pre-registration required.
9:15am Panel discussion
10:45am Morning breakout sessions
11:45am Brown bag lunch & networking
12:45pm Afternoon breakout sessions
2:00pm Closing keynote speaker
3:00pm Closing Remarks
3:30pm End of Forum
Elizabeth Moore was born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario. While attending high school, she was introduced to the white supremacist group, The Heritage Front. Moved by feelings of anger and ignorance about the racial, cultural and economic tensions in her school, she embraced the racist-right. From 1992-1995, Elizabeth rose among the ranks to become one of the few prominent female spokespeople in The Heritage Front. She regularly wrote for the group’s magazine, Up Front, recorded “hate-line” messages on one of their telephone hotlines, and conducted media interviews, culminating in her participation in the Canadian documentary “Hearts of Hate: The Battle for Young Minds.” However, once Grant Bristow was found to be a CSIS agent, and all of the Front’s dirty laundry was aired in public, her view of the racist movement slowly began to change. After much soul searching, and with the assistance of Bernie Farber and the Canadian Jewish Congress, Elizabeth cut ties with the racist right. Since then, Elizabeth has participated in numerous anti-Fascist education initiatives, reaching millions.
Minoo Homily spent four years in prison and was tortured in Iran in the early 1980’s. She was a 16 year old youth working as a paramedic who commited a crime of carrying a leaflet from an opposition party organization. During her time in prison she was whipped, tortured and forced to watch friends and cellmates being executed. Years later, after coming to Canada, Minoo now assists other refugees as a volunteer.
Anush Margaryan is an internationally trained human rights lawyer, with extensive experience in human rights advocacy, shaping public policies, implementing rights-based social programs in the European region. Anush was the adviser of the Human Rights Commissioner of Armenia and led large-scale projects in a non-profit sector on promoting anti-discrimination and religious tolerance. Her specific areas of expertise include anti-discrimination, freedom of religion or belief, rights of women, children, youth, minorities, refugees, asylum seekers, persons with disabilities. Anush is also a certified trainer on hate crimes. Anush immigrated to Calgary, Canada in September, 2018 and driven by her natural passion for leading positive change in her new home she instantly immersed herself in volunteering for public and non-profit organizations. She is currently the Vice President of the United Nations Association in Canada – Calgary Branch, aiming to connect Calgarians to the work of the United Nations, with a focus on the Sustainable Development Goals and how they are realized locally. She also works at the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, a non-profit and a community leader, which provides settlement and integration services to all immigrants and refugees in Southern Alberta. She will however be presenting today in a capacity of the Vice President of the UNAC.
TM Garret was born as Achim Schmid in Mosbach, Germany and raised in a small nearby town. He was raised by his mother, who was a cook, after his parents divorced. His father, a boatman died later when Garret was just 8 years old. He became attracted to Nationalist groups at the age of 13 and radicalized in the years after. He then joined the White Supremacist movement and founded a Series of Skinhead Bands with names like Celtic Moon, Wolfsrudel (Wolfspack) and Höllenhunde (Hounds of Hell). Later he became a member of a German Ku Klux Klan faction and formed his own KKK group which he later left and disbanded in 2002. Today, Garret is an anti-racist activist and lives in Horn Lake, Mississippi, a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee. He legally changed his name to TM Garret Schmid in 2018.
Daryl Davis will be available as a breakout speaker for those who also attend the breakfast.
Closing Keynote Speaker – Doug White, Director, Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation, Vancouver Island University
Doug White, B.A., J.D., is a member and former Chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo, BC. His Coast Salish name is Kwul’a’sul’tun and his Nuu-chah-nulth name is Tlii’shin.
After completing his B.A. in First Nations Studies (with distinction) from Malaspina University-College, he graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria in 2006. He was called to the Bar of British Columbia in January 2008. He has been a director of the Indigenous Bar Association of Canada and an associate lawyer at Mandell Pinder.
From June of 2010 to June 2013, he was elected by Chiefs of British Columbia to lead the First Nations Summit as a member of the FNS Task Group. In that capacity, he advocated for First Nations seeking resolution of outstanding issues with the Crown. In that role, he was also a member of the BC First Nations Leadership Council working on common issues with BC First Nations, particularly the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate, and advocated on their behalf with the governments of British Columbia, Canada and internationally at the United Nations.
Doug was appointed to the BC Aboriginal Justice Council by the First Nations Summit in April, 2016. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation at Vancouver Island University and practices as a lawyer and negotiator across the country for First Nations governments. He is an also legal counsel for First Nations across the country.