Avi Benlolo is a prominent Canadian human rights activist dedicated to promoting tolerance, freedom, democracy and human rights. He regularly publishes commentary in leading Canadian newspapers and is widely interviewed by media (print, television, radio) seeking his thoughtful perspective on a wide range of issues, including analysis of world events, foreign and national policy, human rights and social justice. He is among the top Canadian speakers and writers about empowerment for making our world a better place for everyone.
Cat Criger is an Aboriginal Elder, Traditional Teacher and Mentor from the First Nations People. He is Cayuga (Guyohkohnyoh), Turtle Clan of the Six Nations Haudenosaunee or People of the Longhouse.
Cat has worked as a Traditional Teacher and Healer for more than 20 years. He was taught in the old way, working for many years with the guidance of an Aniishnawbe Elder (Zaawawagaabo) and other First Nations Elders, and was taught to help all people to 'walk in a good way' though life.
Cat has worked as an Elder with numerous government and Aboriginal agencies in Ontario and Canada. Presently he holds the position of Traditional Elder for UTM, UTSC, UT Faculty of Law, UT Med Sciences, and the Indigenous Education Network at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He is also one of the standing Elders for the Council for Aboriginal Initiatives for the UofT, Elder with the Peel Aboriginal Network.
Dr. Alvin Curling
Dr. Alvin Curling was educated in Kingston, Jamaica and at Seneca College and York University in Toronto, Ontario. He began his career as an educator in 1972 and served as the Director of Student Services at Seneca College. He was also the President of the World literacy of Canada. During his political career he served as the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 2003-2005.
Marina Nemat was born in 1965 in Tehran, Iran. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, she was arrested at the age of sixteen and spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran, where she was tortured and came very close to execution.
She came to Canada in 1991 and has called it home ever since. Her memoir of her life in Iran, Prisoner of Tehran, was published in Canada by Penguin Canada in2007, has been published in 28 other countries, and has been an international bestseller.
Sadia has an extensive career history in media, cultural industries and not-for-profits.
Most recently, Sadia was Director, Original Program Development, CBC News and Centres. She led the development and acquisition of hundreds of hours of Canadian themed programming through an independent production fund tied directly to the President's regional mandate. Prior to joining the CBC, Sadia was the Executive Director of Women in Film and Television-Toronto, a high profile not-for-profit. Before she moved to WIFT-T, Sadia helped create hundreds of hours of original, critically acclaimed content for VisionTV and led many teams.
Hannah Sung (moderator)
Hannah Sung is a video and podcast producer at The Globe and Mail. She is the co-host and co-producer of Colour Code, a podcast about race in Canada by The Globe and Mail. It debuted at #1 on iTunes Canada.
The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell
The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell was invested as Ontario’s 29th Lieutenant Governor on September 23, 2014. Her eclectic public service career has spanned provincial, federal, and international borders, and has transcended disciplinary and sectoral lines. Ms. Dowdeswell began her professional career as a teacher and university lecturer. After serving as the Deputy Minister of Culture and Youth for the Government of Saskatchewan, she held increasingly senior positions in the Canadian public service, most notably as head of the Atmospheric Environment Service. Throughout this period, she managed several public inquiries and royal commissions.