From talk to action: challenging racism in Canada today

Panel discussion and Q&A

November 3, 2022

This event has passed.

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!!!” Partially obscured.

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

Video: From talk to action: challenging racism in Canada today

Join panelists June Francis, Daniel Panneton and Annecia Thomas 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.

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

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

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.

Annecia Thomas

Annecia Thomas is a leader in her community on social justice, anti‐racism, youth advocacy and human rights. She is an active member of the B.C. Minister of Education’s Youth Dialogue Series, where she provided guidance on the Ministry’s K‑12 Anti‐Racism Action plan. Annecia hosts the podcast Motion of Colour, where she creates space for a diversity of IBPOC voices and experiences to be heard. Annecia continuously makes efforts to make a difference and promote inclusion for all.

Niigaan Sinclair

Niigaan Sinclair is Anishinaabe (St. Peter’s/Little Peguis) and a professor at the University of Manitoba, where he holds the Faculty of Arts Professorship in Indigenous Knowledge and Aesthetics and is currently Head of the Department of Indigenous Studies. Niigaan is also an award‐winning writer, editor and activist who was recently named to the “Power List” by Maclean’s magazine as one of the most influential individuals in Canada. In 2018, he won Canadian columnist of the year at the National Newspaper Awards for his bi‐weekly columns in the Winnipeg Free Press and is a featured member of the Friday “Power Panel” on CBC’s Power & Politics. A former secondary school teacher, he won the 2019 Peace Educator of the Year from the Peace and Justice Studies Association based at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Albert St. Albert Smith

Albert St. Albert Smith has been a professional musician, performer and composer for over 45 years. He has performed, recorded and toured with choirs, theatre ensembles, orchestras and bands throughout the world. Albert taught in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. He is a dance accompanist who uses his voice to characterize and embellish the quality of movement combinations with his music. He taught the art of dance accompaniment using African drums and voice as instruments. Albert was also the founding director of Ghana Field School, a program that allowed many students, staff and faculty in Canada and Ghana to share and learn about the contemporary art, culture and history of both countries.

About the event partners

Zena Simces

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

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

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.

Change or cancellation

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