Panelists will discuss Canada from different perspectives: What does it mean to be Canadian? What is the role of religion in a modern Canada? What immediate and future steps need to be taken to build a truly inclusive Canada?
Robert Daum is Advisor, Office of Vice-President Students, at The University of British Columbia. At UBC, he also is a Faculty Associate with the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, a Faculty Member of the Common Room at Green College, an Adjunct Faculty Member in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies, and Project Lead for Student Diversity Dialogue. At Simon Fraser University's Centre for Dialogue he is a Fellow in Diversity and Innovation. He is a Director of The Laurier Institution and a Founding Director of Reconciliation Canada. For the City's Citizenship and Immigration Canada-funded Vancouver Immigration Partnership, he co-convenes the Intercultural and Civic Engagement Strategy Group. With another UBC colleague, he co-leads an international research consortium of eight interdisciplinary teams of 33 scholars at 21 universities in nine countries.
Jack Jedwab is the President of the Association for Canadian Studies and the Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration. Holding a Ph.D. in Canadian History from Concordia University, he taught courses on the history of immigration in Quebec, ethnic minorities in Quebec, official language minorities in Canada and sport in Canada at Université du Québec à Montréal and McGill University. He also authors essays for various publications on issues of immigration, multiculturalism and official languages.
Kerlande Mibel currently heads Zwart Communication, an agency that specializes in multicultural marketing in Quebec. As Zwart Communication’s founder, she believes strongly in the power of diversity. Zwart Communication mandate is to work with its clients to strategically tap into that power.
Before launching her own business, Mibel was a political advisor for the Cabinet of Montreal’s Mayor. For over 10 years, she has worked passionately in economic development.
Marina Nemat was born in 1965 in Tehran, Iran. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, she was arrested at the age of 16 and spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran, where she was tortured and came very close to being executed.
Marina 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 in 2007, has been published in 28 other countries, and has been an international bestseller.
In 2007, Marina received the inaugural Human Dignity Award from the European Parliament, and in 2008, she received the prestigious Grinzane Prize in Italy. She was the recipient of the Morris Abram Human Rights Award from UN Watch in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2014. In 2008-2009, she was an Aurea Fellow at University of Toronto's Massey College, where she wrote her second book, After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed, which was published in 2010.
Maurice Switzer is a citizen of the Mississaugas of Alderville First Nation, and a member of the Sons of Jacob Congregation in North Bay, Ontario. He was the first Indigenous student at Trent University and the first Indigenous publisher of a daily newspaper in Canada. A lifelong journalist, he served as director of communications for the Assembly of First Nations and the Union of Ontario Indians, and has been a professor of Indigenous issues at a number of post-secondary institutions. Earlier this year he was appointed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.