Strengthening our Democracy with Newcomer Communities
Discussion on the importance of engaging newcomers in politics and democracy and the need to re-conceptualize newcomer civic engagement in ways that go beyond electoral politics and voting.
John Beebe: is Senior Advisor on Democratic Engagement to the Faculty of Arts and leads the Democratic Engagement Exchange. Prior to joining Ryerson, John led community based outreach programs for Samara Canada. At Samara, John developed the Democracy Talks and Vote PopUp programs that have been adopted by national and regional community organizations across the country and showcased as an example of programs that work by the Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer in his report to Parliament. John began his career working for the US Congress where he served as Chief of Staff to a US Congressman and worked on several political campaigns. He has also worked as an educator and served on the board of the organization that successfully campaigned for the first system of public financing for state elections in the United States. Since immigrating to Canada in 2008, John led the development of national tutoring initiatives for Pathways to Education. He also served as founding board member and chair of Park People. John earned his BA from Tufts University and MA from John Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies.
Dr. Harald Bauder
Harald Bauder is a professor of geography and the director of the Graduate Program in Immigration and Settlement Studies at Ryerson University. He is also the founder of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement. His books include Migration Borders Freedom and Immigration Dialectic: Imagining Community, Economy, and Nation. Bauder is also a recipient of the Konrad Adenauer Research Award and a senior research fellowship from the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies.
Check out our Conference Summary Report here
The paper will discuss the representation of racial difference in the archive, and about the ways visual culture tells both a story of migration and of belonging to the nation.
Presented by Dr. Cheryl Thompson: In 2018, Dr. Cheryl Thompson joined the School of Creative Industries as Assistant Professor, Faculty of Communication & Design at Ryerson University. She earned her PhD in Communication Studies at McGill under the co-supervision of Dr. Will Straw and Dr. Charmaine Nelson. Her first book, Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture will be published with Wilfrid Laurier Press in March 2019. Prior to her position at Ryerson, Cheryl was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-2018) in the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto and the Dept. of English and Drama at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Cheryl's essays have appeared In The Ward Uncovered: The Archaeology of Everyday Life(2018), Emergent Feminisms: Challenging a Post-Feminist Media Culture(2018), the Journal of Canadian Studies, Canadian Journal of History Annales canadiennes d'histoire (CJH/ACH), and Feminist Media Studies. In 2017, Cheryl also gave a TEDx Talk, titled “Why Positive Thinking is Not Enough.”
Bhutila Karpoche is the Member of Provincial Parliament for Parkdale– High Park. She is passionate about many issues affecting Ontario today, including social justice and public health. She is a longtime advocate of affordable housing, workers' rights, and improved healthcare. Before joining politics, Bhutila was a public health researcher, focusing on the social determinants of health. As MPP, Bhutila represents her community's and Ontarians' needs and interests at Queen's park and within her constituency.
Dr. Shahrzad Mojab
Dr. Shahrzad scholar, teacher, and activist, is internationally known for her work on the impact of war, displacement, and violence on women's learning and education; gender, state, migration and diaspora; Marxist feminism and anti-racism pedagogy. She is professor of Adult Education and Community Development and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto. She is the Equity Director of New College at University of Toronto, former Director of the Women and Gender Institute, University of Toronto and the recipient of the Royal Society of Canada Award in Gender Studies in 2010. Her books include Youth as/in Crisis: Young People, Public Policy, and the Politics of Learning (co-edited with Sara Carpenter, 2017); Revolutionary Learning: Marxism, Feminism and Knowledge (co-authored with Sara Carpenter, 2017); Marxism and Feminism (editor, 2015); Educating from Marx: Race, Gender and Learning (co-edited with Sara Carpenter, 2012) and Women, War, Violence, and Learning (editor, 2010); Violence in the Name of Honour: Theoretical and Political Challenges (co-edited with Nahla Abdo, 2004); Of Property and Propriety: The Role of Gender and Class in Imperialism and Nationalism (c-edited with Himani Bannerji and Judith Whitehead, 2001); and in 2001 edited the first anthology on Kurdish women, Women of a Non-State Nation: The Kurds. A unique feature of Shahrzad's work is making knowledge accessible to public through the use of arts such as story-telling, dance, drama, painting and film. She has been the guest editor of the special issue ofComparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East Journal and International Journal of Lifelong Education. Her most recent Social Science and Humanities Research Council research projects are Youth in Transition: War, Migration, and ‘Regenerative Possibilities’ and The Pedagogy and Policy of Refugee Youth Resettlement. The Ontario Arts Council has funded her project with Roshanak Jaberi and Doris Rajan, No Woman’s Land, which is a dance project to capture the experience of refugee women of sexual violence.
Senator Ratna Omidvar
Ratna Omidvar is an internationally recognized voice on migration, diversity and inclusion. In April 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau appointed
Ms. Omidvar to the Senate of Canada as an independent Senator representing Ontario. As a member of the Senate’s Independent Senators Group she holds a leadership position as the Scroll Manager. Senator Omidvar is also the Deputy Chair of the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector. Senator Omidvar is the founding Executive Director at the Global Diversity Exchange (GDX), and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University. Previously, Senator Omidvar was the President of Maytree, where she played a lead role in local, national and international efforts to promote the integration of immigrants. Senator Omidvar serves as a Councillor on the World Refugee Council and is also a director at the Environics Institute, and Samara Canada and is the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council’s Chair Emerita. She was formerly the Co-Chair of the Global Future Council on Migration hosted by the World Economic Forum and the Chair of Lifeline Syria. Senator Omidvar received a Honorary Degree, Doctor of Laws, from Ryerson University in 2018 and from York University in 2012. Senator Omidvar was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2005 and became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011, with both honours recognizing her advocacy work on behalf of immigrants and devotion to reducing inequality in Canada. In 2014, she received the Cross of he Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of her contribution to the advancement of German-Canadian relations.
Youth, War and Migration funded by SSHRC
Dr. Denise O'Neil Green
Dr. Denise O'Neil Green, whose leadership and advocacy have helped to establish Ryerson University’s reputation for excellence in equity, diversity and inclusion, was recently appointed Ryerson’s first Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion. Dr. Green has a deep-rooted passion for the advancement of diverse classrooms and inclusive campus climates and has championed organizational change on university campuses, both in the
USA and in Canada, for over 25 years. She is an inclusive, strategic leader, under whose direction Ryerson has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for each of the past three years. She migrated to Canada from the United States in 2012 and joined Ryerson as the inaugural
Assistant Vice-President/Vice-Provost EDI. She holds extensive academic and administrative experience and has served as Associate Vice President for Institutional Diversity, a professor, and director for student success programs. She has published and presented many book chapters, journal articles, papers, and is the Executive Editor of InstitutionalDiversityBlog.com. She is the co-author of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women – 2016. A frequent speaker on issues of equity and inclusion in higher education, she has received several awards including the 2016 Pioneers for Change Award for Excellence in Women in Leadership, President’s Blue and Gold Award of Excellence, 2017 and named a “Woman Worth Watching” by Profiles in Diversity Journal, in 2015. Dr. Green earned her PhD from the University of Michigan, a Master’s from Princeton and a Bachelor’s from the University of Chicago.
- Unifor National Chair in Social Justice and Democracy
- Immigration and Settlement Studies Graduate Program
- Office of Vice President Equity and Community Inclusion
Senator Ratna will engage in a fireside chat moderated by Sara Asalya around diversity, inclusion, migration and refugee empowerment. Audience will have the opportunity to engage in this discussion and ask any questions.
Sara Asalya: is a Palestinian immigrant, mother, community organizer, and a student leader. Sara is the Founder of the Newcomer Students' Association of Ryerson. She is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Higher Education with a collaborative specialization in International, Comparative and Development Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at University of Toronto. She holds a bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, and a post-graduate certificate in Community Engagement, Leadership and Development; and in Immigration and Settlement Studies. Sara has a passion for community development and social justice issues, with a particular interest in migration issues and diaspora communities. She believes in immigrants' rights in just and equitable opportunities in the community regardless of their immigration status and was recently named as one of Canada's top 25 Canadian immigrants.
9:00am - 9:30am Registration and Breakfast
9:30am - 10:00am Welcoming Remarks, Equity Statement & Land acknowledgement
10:00am - 11:00am Keynote - Dr. Denise O'Neil Green & Dr. Harald Bauder
11:00am - 12:30pm Panel Discussion: Living Under the Same Roof
12:30pm - 1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm - 2:15pm Fireside Chat with Senator Ratna Omidvar
2:15pm - 2:30pm Health break
2:30pm - 4:00pm Panel Discussion: Is Canada a Safe Haven?
4:00pm - 4:15pm Health break
4:15pm - 5:00pm Conference Paper: Stories of Migration from the Archives
Living Under the Same Roof (Co-organized & sponsored by The Jack Layton Chair)
Panel discussion on building solidarity between newcomers and indigenous communities and bridging understandings of Canada’s ongoing colonial legacy. Bridging the dialogue between indigeneity and immigration. This is the second installation of Living Under the Same Roof Series
Ken Moffatt: is the Jack Layton,Chair, Faculty of Arts/ Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University. His research and practice interests include critical reflective practice and pedagogy; the effects of neoliberalism and new managerialism on education; community-based, culturally-focused social interventions; arts and symbol creation; as well as the mechanisms of power contributing to social inclusion and exclusion. He is working on a book about reflective practice and education.
Is Canada a Safe Haven?
A discussion on Refugee claimants' and asylum seekers' laws and policies. This discussion will also include precarious status migrants such as undocumented people, temporary foreign workers and other uninsured folks. The panel will shed the light on the policies that hiders those migrant integration and prevent them from accessing essential services.
Anver Saloojee: is the Assistant Vice-President (AVP) International, Dr. Anver Saloojee, provides university-wide strategic direction to Ryerson’s international activities and guides Ryerson’s evolution into a global urban university. A member of the Ryerson community for almost 30 years as sessional instructor, lecturer and professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration, Anver has earned a number of teaching awards including Ryerson Professor of the Year. In 2005 he took on the role as special advisor to the presidency of the Government of South Africa, returning to Ryerson in 2008 and in 2014 was named special advisor to Ryerson’s president and provost. Anver has an extensive record of service including a number of roles at the Canadian Association of University Teachers including vice-president as well as chair, equity committee. He has also served as president, Ryerson Faculty Association; president, Laidlaw Foundation; and president, Community Planning Council of Toronto.
A World on the Move: Building Solidarity Beyond Borders
A panel discussion on refugee inclusion in policy making and economic empowerment. What are the political, social and economic trends influencing policy positions regarding refugees and asylum seekers. Assess the impact of policies on health and well-being of refugees and asylum seekers and discuss the stance and actions taken by Canada and policy makers to respond to the global refugee crisis
Kike Roach: is the Unifor National Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University. She has served as an Executive Member of: the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, the Women’s Coalition for Employment Equity, and Mpenzi: Black Women’s International Film and Video Festival. As a civil rights lawyer, she has advocated for accountability and reform in policing for many years, representing community organizations. She was a regular commentator on current and legal affairs for CTV News and has appeared as a spokesperson on a variety of issues. She is co-author of the book Politically Speaking. Kiké has designed and led workshops for the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, and the United Steel Workers. She has addressed audiences across Canada and in the United States on issues of anti-racism, feminism, and progressive change.
On The Front-lines: Sustaining and Strengthening Newcomer Settlement Services
Panel discussion on the role settlement services have in the lives of newcomers, particularly the need for support to be oriented towards newcomer empowerment and self-determination. The importance of training workers on being responsive to the diversity and intersectionalities of clients and their needs are also emphasized, as well as the accessibility and quality of services.
Dr. Usha George: is professor of Social Work and Director of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement. She served as Interim Vice-President, Research and Innovation at Ryerson University after completing her ten year term as the Dean of the Faculty of Community Services. She came to Ryerson from University of Toronto's Faculty of Social Work, Usha's research and scholarship is in the area of post-migration studies- specifically on the settlement and integration of newcomers to Canada. she is a highly funded and well published researcher , who has had impact on policy and program changes at the federal and provincial levels. Her 1998 article” To stay or not to stay: characteristics associated with newcomers planning to stay in Canada” was used by the parliamentary committee on family reunification and Dr George appeared before the committee on Oct 6, 2016. Dr. George received the Errol Aspevig Award for Outstanding Academic Leadership in 2015.
9:00am – 10:00am Registration & Breakfast
10:00am – 12:00pm Panel Discussion: A world on the Move: Building Solidarity Beyond Borders
12:00pm – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00pm – 2:30pm Panel Discussion: On the Front Lines: Sustaining and Strengthening Newcomer Settlement Services
2:30pm – 3:00pm Honorary Guest Speaker (MPP Bhutila Karpoche)
3:00pm – 4:15pm Panel Discussion: Strengthening our Democracy with Newcomer Communities
4:15pm – 4:30pm Health Break
4:30pm – 5:00pm Closing Plenary - Dr. Shahrzad Mojab "Settling in the Land of Settler Colonialism”