Salina Abji is a Sociologist who studies the politics of gender, race and immigration status. She has published extensively on migrant rights activism in Canada in response to border enforcement, immigration detention, and access to citizenship for migrant women survivors of gender-based violence. Dr. Abji currently provides strategic research support to NGOs primarily in the immigration and anti-violence sectors. She has also been an active member of the Rights of Non-Status Women's Network, a grassroots advocacy network, for the past ten years. Yasmeen Abu-Laban is Professor of Political Science and Canada Research Chair in the Politics of Citizenship and Human Rights at the University of Alberta, and a Fellow at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Her published research addresses themes relating to: ethnic and gender politics; nationalism and globalization; immigration policies and politics; surveillance and border control; multiculturalism and anti-racism; and human rights. She served as President of the Canadian Political Science Association (2016-2017) and Vice-President of the International Political Science Association (2018-2021).
Eric Adams is Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta. Professor Adams publishes widely in the fields of constitutional law, legal history, employment law, human rights, and legal education. He has won multiple awards for his research, including several article prizes for his legal historical work. He is the lead legal historian on the SSHRC-funded Partnership Grant, Landscapes of Injustice, investigating the internment, incarceration, dispossession, and exile of Japanese Canadians during the mid-twentieth century. He is currently working on a manuscript on the history of Canadian constitutional law, politics, and culture.
Roxana Jahani Aval is a third year law student at the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law where she is pursuing her Juris Doctorate degree. As a young Iranian woman, Roxana continuously advocates for young voices to be heard in the disability rights movement. Roxana is the Chairperson of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, a national cross-disability not-for-profit organization that advocates the rights of persons with disabilities both nationally and internationally. This work includes decades of litigation work in public interest law reform. As the Past-Chair and Member-at-Large of the National Educational Association of Disabled Students, she works closely with post-secondary students to acquire accommodations, to promote accessibility on campus, and to aid students in accessing resources. Roxana received two Bachelor of Arts degrees from York University in Psychology, as well as Human Rights and Equity Studies, graduating with the highest distinction. She received the Marilyn Nearing Award for Outstanding Community Service from the York Support Network in York Region, Ontario. In addition to her volunteer work and education, Roxana is an artist, photographer, and active Iranian community member in Toronto, Ontario. She has developed an eight part series of podcasts about human dignity for the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice. The podcasts can be accessed here: https://ciaj-icaj.ca/en/podcasts/?cn=dignity&ci=31
Reem Bahdi is Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor. Her current research focuses on the human rights dimensions of national security laws and policies in Canada and access to justice in the Palestinian context. Professor Bahdi is Co-Director of KARAMAH, The Project on Judicial Independence and Human Dignity, a multi-million dollar initiative which aims to support access to justice in Palestine through research, continuing judicial education and directed civil society engagement. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice.
Charlene Campo is a passionate advocate for social justice and human rights, who recently relocated to Victoria, BC. She is currently serving as the Executive Director of the University of Victoria Students' Society and recently completed a Master of Arts in Gender and Social Justice at the University of Alberta. Described by her colleagues as a change agent, Charlene is fascinated with the preconditions that are necessary for sustained social change. In the past, she was a member of the National Youth Working Group on gender equality with Women and Gender Equality Canada, has volunteered for front line services for the Women’s Centre of Calgary, and was a contributor to the award winning Anti-Racist Organizational Change working group in Calgary. Linda Cardinal is Professor in the School of Political Studies and holder of the Research Chair in Canadian Francophonie and Public Policies at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests are language and politics, linguistic policies and linguistic minorities. She is an international expert on Canada’s francophone minorities in Canadian politics and is the co-editor of books such as State Traditions and Language Regimes (McGill-Queen’s University Press 2015) and Managing Diversity: Practices of Citizenship (University of Ottawa Press 2007).
David Carpentier is currently completing his PhD in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa. His research interests include nationalism, immigration, and public policy, with a focus on local dimension and multilevel governance dynamics. His thesis focuses on the representations of the host society conveyed by municipal immigrant integration policies in plurinational states.
Keith Cherry holds a Killam Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alberta and a Center for Global Studies fellowship at the University of Victoria, and is a co-founder of the Cedar Trees Institute. His doctoral research explored legal pluralism in two contrasting settings, settler/Indigenous relationships in Canada and member-state/Union relations in the European Union. His current research focuses on pluralism among non-state actors, focusing in particular on the relationship between Indigenous land defenders on their territories and allied activists in faraway urban centers.
Vasant Chotai:Immigrating to Canada from Kenya, Vasant pursued undergraduate degree in psychology and graduate studies in policy planning. He has 29 years experience with Government of Alberta as senior manager. Vasant was Director of Social Policy and led a team of research staff. He initiated cross-ministry coordination on social programs and a policy advisory body consisting of community leaders, businesses, academics and senior government officials. He was policy expert to the MLA Committee to review low-income programs that developed the new model for supports to low-income Albertans, crossing program and ministerial boundaries. He was recognized as analytic thinker, visionary and leader. Vasant is President of Canadians for a Civil Society. Before that, he was Vice-President of Public Interest Alberta; President of Edmonton Social Planning Council; Board Member of Christmas Bureau; Vibrant Communities Edmonton; and Quality of Life Commission. Vasant’s mission: To help those who have been left behind; to support those who need to move up; and to build a compassionate community based on human rights.
Lynda Collins is Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. Professor Collins is one of Canada’s leading experts in the domestic and international law of environmental human rights. She has published on a range of issues in this area including constitutional environmental rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Aboriginal environmental rights, and the environmental rights of future generations. She has testified in environmental hearings at the Canadian House of Commons and Senate and at the European Parliament, and has consulted with a number of domestic and international organizations, including various UN organs, on the development and implementation of environmental human rights. She is the author of The Ecological Constitution (Routledge, 2021).
Zachary (Zakaria) Jericho Couture is a playwright, director, and artist from Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta). He is of Palestinian and French descent. Inspired by his work with Teesri Duniya Theatre and the Islamic Family and Social Services Association, Zachary is committed to using theatre and art for human rights and community development. He is currently an undergraduate student at McGill University in political science and Islamic/Middle East studies.
Satya Brata Das is a grandfather blessed with an open heart and an open mind. He is a writer, mentor, guru, storyteller, and community volunteer. His fourth book Us, which delegates are receiving as part of their registration package, summons Gandhi's philosophy to meet the challenges of our time.
Alexandra Dobrowolsky is Professor of Political Science at St. Mary’s University. Her research explores theories and practices of representation, mobilization, citizenship, and democratic governance. She is the author of The Politics of Pragmatism: Women, Representation and Constitutionalism in Canada (University of Toronto Press 2000) and the co-editor of multiple collections, including Women Making Constitutions: New Politics and Comparative Perspectives (Palgrave MacMillan 2003) and a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Political Science titled “Finding Feminisms in Canadian Political Science Scholarship: Diversity and Resistance in an Era of Global Uncertainty” (2017).
Dax D’Orazio is the Skelton-Clark Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University. D’Orazio’s research asks how ideas about freedom of speech are changing in the contemporary university. His current research project examines the law and politics of extending constitutional protections for expression (i.e. the Charter) to university campuses. Additional research projects include the history of stand up comedy in battles over free expression and a book about the politics of free expression on campus (under contract with the University of Toronto Press). He blogs at the Centre for Free Expression at Ryerson University and is a member of its Working Group on Academic Freedom.
Mustafa Farooq is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). He previously served as a senior political staffer to a provincial cabinet minister in which role he worked on various legislative and policy initiatives. He was also a visiting scholar at Osgoode Hall Law School researching countering violent extremism policy in Canada. His book entitled Law, Politics, and Countering Violent Extremism (Routledge) is forthcoming.
Rajvir Gill is a lawyer working in the area of international relations and pluralism with the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa, Canada. Prior to this position, Rajvir worked for the New Brunswick Office of the Child, Youth and Senior Advocate in law and individual case advocacy. Rajvir has extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector in Canada, where she led projects addressing gender-based violence and human trafficking and was named as one of the top 30 under 30 by the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation for her work in 2013. Her international experience involves studying and working in various countries, including volunteering in the Philippines on projects combating child poverty and an internship with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Bangkok. Rajvir has a Bachelor of Commerce Cooperative Education Degree from the University of Alberta, a Masters of Political Science from Uppsala University, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Calgary. Rajvir is also a member of the New Brunswick Law Society.
Rebeca Macias Gimenez is a PhD candidate at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. She is affiliated with the Water, Innovation, and Global Governance Lab, at the Centre for Global Studies, and a graduate student fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). Rebeca has an LL.M from the University of Calgary and Bachelor degree from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil. Rebeca’s research interest focuses on environmental decision-making about energy infrastructure projects and on ways to address adverse effects on Indigenous communities. Through her PhD dissertation, entitled “Searching for Equitable Treatment in Environmental Impact Assessment of Hydropower Projects”, she examines the environmental injustices towards Indigenous peoples caused by the dismissal of their worldviews, and their complex relationship with the land, in environmental decisions about infrastructure projects. This research project has a community-centered focus, seeking insights from Indigenous community members whether environmental impact assessment of and decision-making about hydropower dams could better integrate cultural and ecological concerns of Indigenous peoples. She is interested in making visible the nuanced adverse effects of infrastructure projects on Indigenous peoples’ ways of life – impacts on sacred lands, fishing, hunting, and trapping practices. She applies an environmental justice approach to evaluate environmental impact assessment processes; investigating whether and to what extent they can promote equitable treatment of Indigenous peoples in environmental decision-making. The research is conducted through a comparative case study analysis of two large hydropower projects, one from Canada, BC (Site C dam) and the other from the Brazilian Amazon, Pará (Belo Monte dam).
Joyce Green is Professor Emerita (Political and International Studies) at the University of Regina. She has taught in the fields of Canadian politics, women and politics, and Native studies; and has been adjunct Professor in Women and Gender Studies. Her research interests focus on issues of decolonization in Canada, and issues of democracy in Canada. She has been preoccupied with Indigenizing the university and with reconciliation problematics. Most recently she has turned to research relating to Ktunaxa Nation matters, including its contemporary constitution, and its cultural and political problematics since colonialism. Her published work to date has dealt with Indigenous-state relations; Indigenous feminism; citizenship, identity, and racism in Canada’s political culture; Indigenous human rights and with reconciliation in Canada. She is the editor of Making Space for Indigenous Feminism (Fernwood Publishing and Zed Books, 2007; 2nd. ed 2017) and of Indivisible: Indigenous Human Rights (Fernwood Publishing 2014). Dr. Green is of English, Ktunaxa, and Cree-Scottish Metis descent, and her family’s experiences have provoked much of her scholarly and political work. She currently lives in ʔa·kiskaqⱡi?it, in ʔamak̓is Ktunaxa (Cranbrook, B.C., in Ktunaxa territory).
Lise Gotell is the Landrex Distinguished Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Alberta. Her teaching and research focus on law and feminism and on sexual assault law. She is the past National Chair of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund. She is the author of The Canadian Women’s Movement, Equality Rights and the Charter (CRIAW/ICREF 1990) and co-author of Bad Attitude(s) on Trial: Pornography, Feminism, and the Butler Decision (University of Toronto Press 1997).
Robert Hamilton is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. His primary research interests are in Aboriginal and Indigenous law, property law, legal history, and legal theory. In addition to publishing on Aboriginal rights and title issues, Robert has been involved in research projects focusing on Indigenous economic development, treaty education for primary and secondary students, the relationship between domestic and international law concerning Indigenous peoples, and the digital mapping of litigation involving Indigenous peoples.
Matt James is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Victoria. Professor James’ research areas include the politics of reparation and transitional justice, Canadian politics, constitutionalism, and social movement studies. He is the author of Misrecognized Materialists: Social Movements in Canadian Constitutional Politics (University of British Columbia Press). He has also published on reparation, memory, and political apology in journals such as the Canadian Journal of Political Science, Citizenship Studies, Human Rights Review, and the International Journal of Transitional Justice.
Jack Jedwab is the President of the Association for Canadian Studies and Metropolis Canada which oversees the country's largest conference on Immigration and Integration. He is also the co-chair of Metropolis North America. He is the founder and publisher of the review Canadian Diversity.
Catherine Kellogg is Professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta. She specializes in political theory, and is the author of Law’s Trace: From Hegel to Derrida (Routledge 2010). She has also published numerous articles and book chapters on Arendt, Hegel, Derrida, Malabou, Benjamin, Nancy, and Agamben. Her work has appeared in such journals as Law, Culture and the Humanities, Philosophy,Social Criticism, Law and Critique, Cultural Values, and Theory and Event. She is working on a book manuscript entitled Cruelty and Sovereignty: The Future of Abolitionism.
Jennifer Koshan is Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. Professor Koshan’s research interests are in the areas of constitutional law, equality and human rights, state responses to interpersonal violence, feminist legal theory, and public interest advocacy. She is the lead researcher on an SSHRC Insight Grant ($175,000 over five years) to study access to justice in domestic violence cases at the intersection of multiple legal systems. She is a member of the Equality Effect’s volunteer legal team, working with international human rights law to improve the lives of women and girls and is a founding member of the Women’s Court of Canada, a feminist judgment writing project.
Kiera Ladner is Canada Research Chair in Miyo we'citowin, Indigenous Governance and Digital Sovereignties, and Professor in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba, as well as former Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Politics and Governance. Her research focuses on Indigenous Politics and Governance; Digital Sovereignties and Archiving (MMIW, PARSD, and CLIP); gender (diversities); women and governance; and resurgence (in terms of both women and youth). Dr. Ladner’s publications include This is an Honour Song: Twenty Years Since the Blockades (Arbeiter Ring Press) co-edited with Leanne Simpson, and Surviving Canada: Indigenous Peoples Celebrate 150 Years of Betrayal co-authored with Myra J. Tait, as well as numerous articles and book chapters on a wide variety of topics. Currently, Dr. Ladner is working on projects with Dr. Shawna Ferris on a community centred digital archive project which is compiling three archives (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls database, Post-Apology Indian Residential Schools Database, the Sex Work Database). She is also working on project on including the comparative constitutional law and Indigenous peoples project (CLIP project), a digital sovereignties and a comparative treaty project focusing on Anglo-settler societies.
Trudo Lemmens is Professor and Scholl Chair in Health Law and Policy at University of Toronto, and is cross appointed to the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the Faculty of Medicine, and the Joint Centre for Bioethics. His research focuses on the interaction between law, governance tools, and ethical norms and values in the context of health care, biomedical research, pharmaceutical and other health product development, and knowledge production. Professor Lemmens’ publications include the co-authored book Reading the Future? Legal and Ethical Challenges of Predictive Genetic Testing, the co-edited volumes Regulating Creation: The Law, Policy and Ethics of Assisted Human Reproduction, and Law and Ethics in Biomedical Research: Regulation, Conflict of Interest, and Liability, as well as numerous chapters and articles in national and international law, policy, science, medicine and bioethics journals. François Larocque is Professor in the Faculty of Law and holds the Research Chair on Language Rights and is a member of the University of Ottawa’s Collège des chaires de recherche sur le monde francophone. His research is centered on the constitutional protection of the language rights of French-speaking minority communities in Canada. He is editor of the legal section of the Compendium of Language Management and the author of Civil Actions for Uncivilized Acts: The Adjudicative Jurisdiction of Common Law Courts in Transnational Human Rights Proceedings (Irwin Law 2010).
Emmett Macfarlane is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. Professor Macfarlane’s research explores the relationships between rights, governance, and public policy, with a particular focus on the Supreme Court of Canada’s impact on public policy and political discourse under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He holds a research grant from the SSHRC to study the role and policy impact of officers of Parliament (the auditor general, privacy commissioner, etc.) and the implications of their work for democratic accountability. Professor Macfarlane’s past research includes empirical and conceptual analyses of the idea that there is an inter-institutional “dialogue” about policies implicated by the Charter of Rights. He is the author of Governing from the Bench: The Supreme Court of Canada and the Judicial Role (UBC Press 2012), and he regularly writes op-eds on Canadian politics for Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail, National Post, and Ottawa Citizen.
Rebeccah Nelems is a PhD Candidate in the Sociology and Cultural, Social and Political Thought programs at the University of Victoria. She has 15+ years of experience working collaboratively with communities, NGOs, youth-serving, government, research and UN agencies, both locally and internationally. Her academic research explores eco-social connection, unsettling Western conceptions of knowledge, collaborative community engagement and relational leadership. Her work has been generously supported by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) and the SSHRC. Most recently, she co-edited the interdisciplinary volume Exploring Empathy (Brill 2018), and was a contributor to Rising Tides: Reflections for Climate Changing Times (Caitlin Press 2019).
Michael Orsini is Professor in the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies and the School of Political Studies. His main areas of research interest are in health politics and policy and the role of social movements in policy processes. His substantive areas of interest include autism, HIV/AIDS and illnesses that affect marginalized people. He is the author of Seeing Red: HIV/AIDS and Public Policy in Canada (University of Toronto Press 2017) and the co-editor of multiple books including Mobilizing Metaphor: Art, Culture and Disability Activism in Canada (UBC Press 2016) and Worlds of Autism: Across the Spectrum of Neurological Difference (University of Minnesota Press 2013).
Pablo Ouziel is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria and co-founder of the Cedar Trees Institute. He is also a visiting fellow at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain and the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. Dr. Ouziel’s research interests include public philosophy, collective presences, horizontality, nonviolence and civic democracy. The core of his work is centred on excavating networks of individuals governing themselves in numerous ways that supersede our current structures of representative government.
Parveen Parmar is a lawyer and human rights advocate from Alberta passionate about social justice and access to justice. She is currently working as a human rights officer and a research consultant with the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights. Previously, Parveen was a student-at-law at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, where she was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2021. She was selected in 2018 as a legal fellow for the Young Lawyers International Program, implemented by the Canadian Bar Association and Global Affairs Canada, which places lawyers and law graduates with various organizations around the world to work in the areas of human rights and development. She worked with the UN Women Programme Office and the Human Rights Team under the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in Belgrade, Serbia on initiatives related to ending violence against women in the region; strengthening protections for transgender health rights; and conducting research on the transparency and accountability of National Human Rights Institutions globally. Parveen previously interned with the Arlington Human Rights Commission in the Washington, D.C. area, and with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Bangkok, Thailand. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta, a Juris Doctor from the University of Calgary, and is a member of the Law Society of Ontario.
Jeremy Patzer (Métis, Saulteaux, and German) is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Manitoba. His research interests lie in Indigenous rights (particularly in settler state courts), the forms of legal-historical resolution and repair employed in the wake of colonial dispossession, transitional justice, sociology of law, and contemporary theory. With his recent research extending into international and comparative examinations of Indigenous rights, Jeremy is a member of the Global Indigenous Rights Research Network and is co-applicant, with colleagues from the network, on a three-year SSHRC Partnership Development Grant studying Indigenous rights in multiple countries.
Johanne Poirier is Professor in the Faculty of Law and the Peter MacKell Chair in Federalism at McGill University. Professor Poirier’s research explores various aspects of federalism, the protection of minorities (notably linguistic ones), and, more broadly, public law. She has co-edited multiple books, including Canadian Federalism and Its Future (McGill-Queen's University Press 2020) and Intergovernmental Relations in Federal Systems (Oxford University Press 2015).
François Rocher is Professor of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa. He is one of the founding members of the Groupe de recherche sur les sociétés plurinationales (GRSP). His research focuses on Canadian federalism, nationalism, issues related to citizenship and immigration policies and management of ethnocultural diversity. He is the co-editor of multiple books, including Trust, Distrust, and Mistrust in Multinational Democracies: Comparative Perspectives (McGill-Queen’s University Press 2018) and The State in Transition. Challenges for Canadian Federalism (Invenire Books 2013).
Ramprasad Sengupta is is an Emeritus Professor of Economics of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. His area of specialization is environmental and ecological economics, economics of energy, infrastructure and that of sustainable development. He was the Dean of the School of Social Sciences of the JNU and Sukhamoy Chakravarty Chair Professor of Planning and Development of the same university. He has been a visiting Scholar /Honorary Fellow/ Professor at various universities abroad. In the recent decade he was the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellow of the Government of India. Besides, he had also stints as advisor for energy policy Modeling at the Indian Planning Commission and as an Independent director on the Board of the Steel Authority of India. Prof. Sengupta has authored several books and large number of papers published in peer reviewed journals. His recent most book has been Entropy Law, Sustainability and Third Industrial Revolution published by Oxford University Press in 2020.
Colleen Sheppard is Professor in the Faculty of Law at McGill University. She recently completed a term as Director of the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. Her research focuses on systemic discrimination, equality rights, mental health in the workplace, Canadian and comparative constitutional law and feminist legal theory. She is the author of Inclusive Equality: The Relational Dimensions of Systemic Discrimination in Canada (McGill Queen’s University Press 2010) and co-editor of Human Rights and Diverse Societies: Challenges and Possibilities (Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2013) and Dialogues on Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (Springer Press 2013).
Stephanie Silverman is a researcher, consultant, educator, editor, and scholar based in Toronto, Canada. She holds a DPhil/PhD in Politics from the University of Oxford where she studied as a Commonwealth Scholar, and also served as the SSHRC Bora Laskin National Fellow in Human Rights (2015-2016) and on faculty at the University of Toronto for six years. An international expert in immigration detention, her collaborative, transnational research on migration, law, and human rights has been published widely across scholarly and popular venues.
Miriam Smith is Professor in the Department of Social Science at York University and the Coordinator of the Law and Society Program. Her research interests include Canadian and U.S. politics, public policy, public law, social movements, and sexuality and politics. She is co-applicant on the SSHRC Partnership Grant Savoirs sur l’inclusion et l'exclusion des personnes LGBTQ (SAVIE-LGBTQ). She is also the author of multiple books, including Political Institutions and Lesbian and Gay Rights in the United States and Canada (Routledge 2008) and Lesbian and Gay Rights in Canada: Social Movements and Equality-Seeking, 1971-1995 (University of Toronto Press 1999).
Adam Thurschwell is currently Resource Counsel for the Military Commissions Defense Organization in the United States Department of Defense. He has also served as the office’s General Counsel and represented various clients in military commission cases at trial (including the 9/11 conspiracy case) and on appeal (United States v. Hamdan, the successful appeal from the first trial held by military commission ). Prior to joining the office in June 2008, Thurschwell taught law for 14 years at several law schools, most recently at Georgetown University Law Center. While in teaching, Thurschwell also represented and consulted in numerous death penalty cases, including serving on the defense team for Terry Nichols in the Oklahoma City bombing case, United States v. McVeigh and Nichols. He is the author of numerous academic articles on Continental philosophy, capital punishment, feminist philosophy and other topics, and has spoken often at academic and professional conferences and seminars. Thurschwell is a graduate of Yale College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He has two children and currently lives in Washington, DC.
Jeanique Tucker is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. She studies the politics of violence, incarceration, race, ethnicity and statelessness. In 2017 she completed a MA in Political Science at the University of Victoria, where she was the 2016-2017 QEII Scholar. Her thesis, “Moralizing Violence,” focused on institutional violence trained on black and brown bodies. She considered the kinds of structures facilitating, even encouraging, human suffering. Her PhD research builds on this by: (i) focusing on the structures and processes capable of relieving some of this suffering; and (ii) asking what responsible citizenship looks like during moments of crisis.
Maigan van der Giessen is a facilitator, art-maker, mother and justice advocate with life-long roots in Edmonton- amiskwaciwâskahikan. Having worked with the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights for over a decade, she’s had the privilege to learn alongside diverse and talented community members, building projects based on experiential learning, cultural knowledge and lived wisdom. Maigan’s work and passion is dreaming up innovative ways to witness, document and reflect back human rights realities; Utilizing popular education practices, community arts exploration, truth-telling and laughter.
Rahul Varma is a playwright and the artistic director of Teesri Duniya Theatre (Hindustani for ‘Third World’), a company he co-founded in 1981, which is one of the first culturally-inclusive theatres in the country, dedicated to diversity and political theatre. In 1998, he co-founded the publication alt.theatre: cultural diversity and the stage, Canada’s only professional journal examining intersections between politics, cultural plurality, social activism and the stage. Born in India, Varma writes in both Hindi and English, a language he acquired as an adult. Author of over 20 plays, his later plays include Counter Offence, State of Denial, Bhopal and Truth and Treason. Unproduced new plays include My Father Would Have Killed Me (2020), Dad’s New Wife (2019) and Merchant of God (in-progress). Varma’s plays have been translated into French, Italian, Hindi and Punjabi. Books and publications: Published plays include Counter Offence (Playwrights Canada Press), Bhopal (Playwrights Canada Press), Bhopal French translation (Dramaturges Éditeurs) and Truth and Treason (Mawenzi House Publishers), as well as four drama anthologies containing a selection of his plays. Recent awards: Rahul received a Lifetime Honorary Membership Award from the Canadian Association for Theatre Research (2020) and the METAs’ (Montreal English Theatre Awards) Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award (2018) among others.
Zain Velji: As Partner and VP Strategy for Northweather, Zain brings a decade of experience in political, business, and non-profit communications, as well as marketing and engagement. Zain is a frequent public speaker and regular political commentator who appears weekly on CBC radio and television and co-hosting the 2019 federal election for CTV. In addition, Zain chairs the board of The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, serves on the board of the YMCA Calgary, and the Education and Lifelong learning committee of the Calgary Foundation. He is also the city co-chair of the Banff. Zain's consulting and political experience has allowed him to work for companies and non-profits as well as notable political campaigns, serving as campaign manager for Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi in 2017 and working on the campaigns for US Senator Elizabeth Warren and US President Barack Obama. Zain is also the host of the award-winning podcast The Strategists, where he dissects political strategy and public affairs issues of the day and the host of the Zain Velji show on Newstalk 1010. Zain’s writing has been published by the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and The National Post. Zain was named one of Calgary’s Top 40 under 40 by Avenue and was awarded the Horizon Alumni Award by the University of Alberta. Zain has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Alberta.
Pieter de Vos is a facilitator, documentary photographer, and Postdoctoral Fellow in the Evaluation Capacity Network. Prior to joining ECN, he facilitated over 400 projects with community-based and public sector organizations of varying sizes and complexities in Canada and abroad. His assignments ranged from leading strategic planning and change management sessions with executive teams throughout the provincial government; to stewarding human-centred design labs to prototype social innovations; to leading large-scale public participation processes on topics such as patient engagement, the opioid epidemic, suicide prevention, inclusion for LGBTQ+ communities, and affordable housing and homelessness.Pieter has a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Alberta as well as a MSc in Public Health. His previous research focused on using narrative and visual methods to explore social inclusion and spatial justice in an informal settlement in South Africa. Over the past several years, Pieter has enriched his practice by using participatory photography, digital storytelling, and arts-based methods to enhance dialogue and deliberation. He has facilitated workshops using these methods in Kenya, Sweden, Tanzania, Pakistan, Haiti, and the USA. Outputs from these projects can be found at: www.pieterdevos.ca
Tobias Wiggins is Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Athabasca University. His research centers transgender mental health, queer visual culture, clinical transphobia, community-based wellness, and psychoanalysis. Broadly, Wiggins’ work aims to address the continued psychiatric pathologization of gender variance and to support the efficacy of trans-competent medical care. He coordinates the University Certificate in Counselling Women, an interdisciplinary program which applies feminist theory to the practice of counselling. His upcoming article “Do Psychoanalysts Dream of Polymorphous Sleep?: Clinical Desiring with Transgender Subjects” (2021) will be published in Studies in Gender and Sexuality. Other recent writing can be found in Transgender Studies Quarterly and the anthology Sex, Sexuality and Trans Identities: Clinical Guidance for Psychotherapists and Counselors.