From talk to action: challenging racism in Canada today

Panel discussion and Q&A

November 3, 2022

Tags for From talk to action: challenging racism in Canada today

A crowd of people facing away from the camera. Some in the crowd are holding signs above their heads that say: “I can’t breath #BLM”, “Canada is not immune to racism”, and “Justice for all: end violent, subtle and systemic racism now!!!”

Photo: GoToVan, Black Lives Matter, Anti-racism rally at Canada Place, CC BY 2.0

Event details




C300 Theatre, UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver, British Columbia


Thursday, November 3, 2022, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. PST
Doors open – 6:00 p.m. PST
Panel – 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. PST
Reception – 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. PST

Language & Accessibility: 
The program will be presented in English. ASL interpretation will be provided.

Join panelists June Francis and Daniel Panneton alongside moderator Niigaan Sinclair for a conversation about systemic racism in Canada today.

Drawing from their personal and professional experiences, panelists will focus on the actions needed to build anti‐racist cultures in education, justice and social media. They will invite attendees to challenge conscious and unconscious racism and take action to uphold human rights for all.

An additional panelist from the community of young leaders in Vancouver will be present. The panel will include a Q&A session with attendees.

This event is the fourth annual Simces & Rabkin Family Dialogue on Human Rights, hosted in partnership with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and Equitas.

About the participants

June Francis is Cofounder of The Co‐Laboratorio, Special Advisor to the President of Simon Fraser University on Anti‐Racism, Director of the Institute for Diaspora Research and Engagement, co‐founder of the Black Caucus at SFU and an Associate Professor in the Beedie School of Business. June advocates for equity, diversity and inclusion for racialized groups and for human rights. She has been recognized by the Province of British Columbia and the National Congress of Black Women as a Trailblazer and was recently named to Vancouver Magazine’s 2022 Power 50 list.

Daniel Panneton is the Director of Allyship and Community Engagement at the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies. He is on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Ward Museum and previously managed the Online Hate Research and Education Project and Hatepedia at the Toronto Holocaust Museum. Daniel was the recipient of the 2018 Ontario Historical Society’'s Russell K. Cooper Programming Award and his work has appeared in several Canadian and American publications.

Niigaan Sinclair is Anishinaabe (St. Peter’s/Little Peguis) and Acting Head of the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. He is a regular commentator on Indigenous issues on CTV, CBC, and APTN regarding current Indigenous issues. An activist as well as a writer, he has helped organize Idle No More Winnipeg events and has co‐edited three award‐winning collections: Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories, Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water, and The Winter We Danced: Voices of the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement.

About the event partners

Zena Simces has had a keen interest in human rights for many years. She has been involved in organizing a lecture on human rights with the Atlantic Human Rights Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick for over 30 years. She has also dedicated many years to addressing issues of hatred and prejudice as a leader with the Canadian Jewish Congress in British Columbia and with the National Committee. Her professional career as a consultant in the health, social policy and education areas has included advocating and enhancing the rights of minority groups.

Dr. Simon Rabkin devoted some of his early career to providing health care to underserviced areas in Northern Canada and in Kenya. His experiences there and subsequently caring for disadvantaged individuals fostered his commitment to human rights. In various committees, in the private and public sectors, he has advanced the cause of human rights as well as issues of equity and diversity.

The Equitas Regional Office in British Columbia works closely with community to support the growth and sustainability of Equitas’ programs in Western Canada. Since 2009, the team has worked in over 10 communities and with 80 community partners to identify emerging issues impacting young people and, to develop innovative tools, educational resources and training to help build leadership skills of diverse children and youth in communities. Please note that this program is subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Please note that this program is subject to change or cancellation without notice.