Human Rights Forum

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.

Dates: Tuesday, August 7 – Saturday, August 11
Location: The Calgary Public Library – John Dutton Theatre, 616 Macleod Trail SE
Admission: Free

Event receptions daily. Weeknight speaker series begin at 5pm nightly.


August 7 – 10

Receptions: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Tuesday, August 7: 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Take Shelter: safe and dignified solutions to homelessness, disrepair, overcrowding, and landlord/tenant problems for Indigenous people and new Canadians. How access to housing solutions can break through the barriers to healthy living.

Chantal Chagnon, Indigenous Artist and Educator (Panelist)
Harvey Voogd, Alberta Network of Public Housing Agencies (Panelist)
Louise Gallagher, Inn from the Cold (Panelist)
Amery Calvelli, d.talks (Moderator)

Wednesday, August 8: 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Good Work: understanding our labour rights in Alberta and the path to citizenship for foreign workers. This panel discussion will break down laws and policies that affect us all.

Anila Umar Lee Yuen, Centre for Newcomers (Panelist)
Elise Ahenkorah, Alliance PR & Strategy (Panelist)
Ricardo de Menezes, United Food and Commercial Workers (Panelist)
Fariborz Birjandian, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (Moderator)

Thursday, August 9: 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Food Dignity: how access to healthy food in a holistic community system can dissolve the barriers of difference and nourish future generations. Emphasis on nutritional education and Indigenous food sovereignty.

Imam Syed Soharwardy, Sayyidah Fatemah Food Bank (Panelist)
Lourdes Juan, Leftovers and Community Mobile Market (Panelist)
Syma Habib, Alex Community Food Centre (Panelist)
Braden “Troo Knot” Lyster, GlobalFest Urban Arts Crew (Moderator)

Friday, August 10: 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Learning Together: how education and the urban arts can bring youth from all backgrounds together and activate collaboration for a brighter tomorrow.

Carolyn Wallington, Beakerhead (Panelist)
Dwight Farahat, Antyx Community Arts (Panelist)
Stefan Lewis, Wiseguyz (Panelist)
Ryan “Rubix” De Guzman, GlobalFest Urban Arts Crew (Moderator)

Saturday, August 11: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Reception: 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM

Future Generations: an action-packed session of live entertainment on the topic of youth voices, Indigenous knowledge and speaking our truths.
1-hour presentation by Indigenous Hip Hop duo Lightning Cloud, featuring Crystle Lightning and MC Red Cloud whose recent adult colouring book entitled “Indigenous Legends” became a best-seller on Amazon in 2018.
1-hour presentation by the GlobalFest Urban Arts Crew entitled “Truth”, a theatrical production featuring urban and traditional Indigenous stories.



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