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Conversations for Social Change
Conversations for Social Change
The Conversations for Social Change speaker series invites the Centennial community to engage in critical dialogue around pressing social issues. The purpose of the series is to raise awareness, empower and offer resources/expertise to the community. This program includes the wider Scarborough/Toronto community and industry to strengthen connections between students, staff, community and experts to address social concerns.
The speaker events typically run during the last week of every other month. Events are approximately 2 hours with opportunities for the speaker to present and then engage in a discussion and networking session with students. We also encourage alternative formats that will involve the audience in different ways (e.g. using art based activities).
We encourage faculty to apply for CSC funding for their classes and programs. We encourage speaker sessions with multiple classes given the interdisciplinary nature of global citizenship and equity education. If you are interested in participating or would like to know more about the program, please contact Tatiana Wugalter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Centre held four highly successful Conversations for Social Change events this past year including Displaced Persons Awareness Week, We RISE by Lifting Others to mark International Women’s Day, Black Lives Matter to mark Black History Month and Faith in Education to address the updated OHRC document on religious accommodations.
Date: Monday June 21, 2021
The Place of Reconciliation for All Our Relations, The Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Inclusion and Solv are excited to celebrate the launch of Centennial College’s first Virtual Indigenous Marketplace. We invite you to join us for a dynamic panel where we will hear from Indigenous business owners and artisans about their unique journeys to entrepreneurship. From what inspired them to start their own businesses to advice for new entrepreneurs, the guest speakers will enlighten the audience with key insights and valuable experiences. In sharing their personal entrepreneurship stories and the impact of the important work they do, the guest speakers will reinforce the importance of celebrating and supporting Indigenous artisans and businesses.
- Chef Joseph Shawana, Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations
- Audrey Medwayosh, Waawaate Beads
- Destiny Seymour, Indigo Arrows
Date: Wednesday June 16, 2021
Queer communities often experience unique social, political and economic conditions underpinned by systemic oppression that prevent access to safe, accessible and inclusive healthcare. Join us for a critical conversation on the health disparities experienced by 2SLGBTQQIA communities (Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual). The event brings together public health practitioners to address 2SLGBTQQIA experiences as they relate to the social determinants of health, reproductive health, sexual health, mental health, racism and colonialism. Panelists will highlight the ways that 2SLGBTQQIA health inequities have deepened as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic while emphasizing the importance of healthcare practices, policies and spaces that are queer inclusive.
- Ellie Reyes, EDI Consultant & Founder of the Inclusive Care Project
- Jake Farr, Mental Health Counsellor/Educator
- Emily Percival–Paterson, LGBTQ+ Sexual and Reproductive Health Researcher
- Adria Kurchina–Tyson, Sex Educator, Native Youth Sexual Health Network
- Emma Allan, Sex Educator, Native Youth Sexual Health Network
- Gavin Bejaimal, Gay Men’s Sexual Health & Harm Reduction Coordinator, ACT
Date: Monday, May 17
If “we’re all in this together,” why have some communities been forced to endure greater consequences as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic than others? Join us for a critical conversation about the rise and spread of anti-Asian hate during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring expert guests from diverse fields, the event will situate contemporary anti-Asian hate crime and discrimination within the historical context of anti-Asian racism across Canada. Panelists will expose the historical precursors of anti-Asian hate, share recent data on anti-Asian hate crimes, and offer resources to address these issues in a higher education context.
- Dr. Laura Ishiguro, Associate Professor of History, University of British Columbia
- Justin Kong, Community and Labour Organizer, lead author of "A Year of Racist Attacks: Anti-Asian Racism Across Canada One Year into the COVID-19 Pandemic"
- Stephanie Cheung, Educator, Toronto District School Board, co-author of "Addressing Anti-Asian Racism: A Resource for Educators"
Date: Wednesday March 10, 2021
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”― Arundhati Roy
Women have long been leading the fight for a better world. From individual acts of resistance to international movements, women are pushing to dismantle systemic oppression and build communities grounded in justice, equity and dignity. To honour their work, and celebrate International Women’s Day, this event will feature dynamic women who are breaking boundaries, leading meaningful change in their communities and building a better world for us all.
- Amrita Kumar-Ratta, Founder & Creator, Shades of Brown Girl
- Emily Percival-Paterson, LGBTQ+ Sexual and Reproductive Health Researcher
- Ian Mangenga, Founder and CEO of Digital Girl Africa
Date: Tuesday February 16, 2021
ACCEL and the Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Inclusion invite you to join them in celebrating Black women in entrepreneurship. On Tuesday February 16th, they will bring together four dynamic entrepreneurs who will share their unique journeys to entrepreneurship as Black women. From what inspired them to start their own businesses to the advice for new entrepreneurs, the guest speakers will enlighten the audience with key insights and valuable experiences. In sharing their personal entrepreneurship stories and the impact of the important work they do, the guest speakers will reinforce the importance of celebrating and supporting Black women’s entrepreneurship.
- Cola Bennett, Unforgivingly Pur
- Melissa James, East End Vegan
- Asia Clarke, Wild Moon Jewelry
- Sandra Anderson, The Amazing Tea Company
Date: December 3, 2020
Featuring the unique perspectives of gender-based violence practitioners, this event will examine the many ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened gender-based violence for historically marginalized communities.
- Iehente Foote, Native Youth Sexual Health Network
- Karine Silverwoman, Barbara Schlifer Clinic
- Martha Ocampo, Care Workers Connections, Education and Support Organization
- Melissa Simas, Scarborough Women’s Centre
Date: November 13, 2020
Join us for a dynamic conversation on accessibility and inclusion in the classroom and in the workplace to redefine academic and career success for students with disabilities.
- Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai, Head of Research and Chief Accessibility Officer, Canadian National Institute for the Blind
- Danny Smith, Professor, School of Marketing in the Centre for Business, George Brown College
- Melissa Simas, Program Coordinator, Scarborough Women’s Centre
Date: October 15, 2020
How do our everyday decisions impact communities around the globe? How has COVID-19 exacerbated these impacts and amplified global inequities? Join us for a conversation on globalization, COVID-19 and sustainable change.
- Vandana Juneja, VP Global Facilitation and Client Impact, Catalyst
- Marina Quierolo, Senior Lead, Future Cities Canada Hub, Evergreen
- Naku Wayne, Founder and CEO, Fete by Her and Made by Her
Date: Tuesday September 29, 2020
The Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Inclusion (GCEI) and the Office of Strategic Initiatives and External Relations (SIER) merged two of their signature events – Conversations for Social Change and Solv. Sector Sessions (SX3) to coordinate and host STEM Reimagined: Fostering Inclusion and Cultivating Success. The event explored how distinct STEM industries can actively remove systemic barriers to strengthen the engagement and success of historically marginalized communities in STEM.
- Vanessa Raponi, Founder, EngiQueers
- Doina Oncel, Founder and CEO, hEr VOLUTION
- Angela Wojtyla, P.Eng., Director of Consulting at CGI Group Inc., Secretary of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) Board and Chair of WE ACT
Date: December 3, 2019
Gender based violence is a global concern, affecting diverse communities the world over. This panel will explore the intersections between race, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability and gender based violence. It will also include a discussion on embedding the principles of equity and inclusion in initiatives which address gender based violence and support survivors
- Audrey Huntley, No More Silence
- Grissel Orellana, Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, Multicultural Women Against Rape
- David Garzon, White Ribbon
- Melissa Simas, Scarborough Women’s Centre
Date: Wednesday October 30, 2019
Join us during Thrive Week for a screening of Kiskadee’s Shadow, a documentary exploring mental health in Guyana. The film will be followed by a discussion about the global factors underlying mental health issues, the connections between mental health in Guyana and diverse communities in Canada and innovative approaches to addressing mental health concerns.
- Huma Saeedi, Outreach Manager, Naseeha
- Shrenik Parekh, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Grand River Hospital and Member of Mental Health Without Borders
- Cheryl McPherson, Coordinator and Faculty, Addiction and Mental Health Worker Program, Centennial College
Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Event Centre, Progress Campus
This Conversations for Social Change will focus on challenging toxic masculinity in social marketing. Featuring panellists from organizations which engage men in addressing toxic masculinity and gender-based violence, the event will catalyze conversations on the various ways marketing can be used to advance gender equity, dismantle toxic masculinity and foster social good. This event is open to all Centennial College students and staff. Lunch will be provided.
David Garzon, Community Engagement Manager, White Ribbon
Husayn Symonds, Program Coordinator, Next Gen Men
Brian Jackson, Outreach and Operations Manager, Moose Hide Campaign
Aaron Lakoff, Host, Changing on the Fly podcast
Date: Thursday, March 14, 2019
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Event Centre, Progress Campus
Join us in an engaging discussion on the importance of women’s leadership in social entrepreneurship. This event is open to all Centennial College students and staff. This event is part of our larger Conversations for Social Change Speaker Series, which engages the Centennial College community in critical dialogue around pressing social issues to create positive social change.
Andrea Bryan, Business Coach and Facilitator, ACCEL
Monica Da Ponte, Founder and Principal Consultant, Shift & Build: Monica is both an intrapreneur and entrepreneur, with 20 years of experience and proven success in creating social and economic value. She is the principal consultant at Shift & Builds and the Founder of Strive.
Carolynne Crawley: Carolynne is a Mi'kmaw woman with mixed ancestry from the East Coast. She is dedicated to social and environmental justice and supporting Indigenous led community work related to food sovereignty and food security. Carolynne is passionate about sharing ways to decolonize current interactions with the land to build healthy and reciprocal relationships based upon Indigenous teachings.
Date: Monday, February 11, 2019
Moderated by Natashia Deer (Acting Chair, Nursing Programs, Health Sciences) and featuring panelists Everdene Francis (Program Manager, Across Boundaries), Kimberley Moore (Enhanced Youth Outreach Worker, TAIBU Community Health Centre) and Marcia Glasgow (Community Development Coordinator, Malton Neighborhood Services) this event examined racism as a determinant of health and wellbeing while facilitating meaningful discussion on concrete ways to address systemic health inequities. Specifically, it focused on the barriers to equitable healthcare experienced by Black Canadians and members of the African diaspora in the Greater Toronto Area.
Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2018
This event explored the global forces that shape our communities through the perspectives of individuals affected by global change. The conversation was moderated by Shayma Saadat, Founder of Spice Spoon, and featured panelists Naku Wayne, Founder of Fete by Her and Made by Her, Michael Sacco, Founder and Owner of Chocosol and Tzazná Miranda Leal, a community organizer with Justice for Migrant Workers. By engaging in critical conversations on the globalization of agriculture, goods and services as well as the feminization of labour, Everyday Decisions, Global Impacts encouraged participants to reflect on the many ways their individual actions impact communities across the globe.
Centennial College is proud to celebrate Black History Month throughout February to honour and reﬂect on the diverse histories of Black Canadians and people of the African diaspora. Each campus will feature events and information to engage the College community in critical reﬂection as well as in celebration that highlights histories, contributions and achievements of Black people.
"Best workshop I've attended" –Staff participant
"More workshops of this nature should occur" – Faculty participant
“I am happy to be in this Conversation for Social Change. I must say the speakers were motivational… it was very inspirational for me as a young individual pursuing a career.” – Student participant
“Thank you for helping me process my own thoughts and desires to make a difference in my surroundings for my children who are girls.” –Student Participant
“[Black Lives Matter is ] one of the very few events I attended at Centennial that I truly enjoyed and learned from.” – Student
Participant “[Black Lives Matter] was very powerful & eye-opening, also very useful and helpful for everyone” – Student Participant
At Ashtonbee Campus, the College Community was invited to share their Stories of Displacement through an art installation featuring the stories of displaced people from around the world, students and employees are invited to add their reflections and comments to the art.
On Thursday, January 21 at Progress Campus hosted an event: Soup4Syria through the Conversations for Social Change Series. Guest panelists from community organizations spoke on the topic of "What is Canada’s role and responsibility in addressing issues of displacement?"
Soup was made be available for free or by optional donation to refugee relief. The main purpose of Soup 4 Syria was to give students a taste of Syrian culture while they listened to the speakers, and participating students learned of real-life experiences from displaced people from various regions. In total just under 500 students and employees engaged in learning about relevant issues about displaced persons globally.
Chef James Smith from Centennial College’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts stated, "The soups were all made by our students in our Culinary program, and [were] served by students in our Hospitality program, so we're supporting our community, supporting our college, and supporting people in need, but also giving them experiential learning opportunities. It's a moral thing we like to put out to our students, saying we support this, and so should you, but this is also a learning opportunity, a chance to reinforce their skills on what they do, which is hospitality."