Speakers

Keynote: Dinner Celebration

The Honourable Ratna Omidvar, C.M., O. Ont. Independent Senator for Ontario is an internationally recognized voice on migration, diversity and inclusion. In April 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau appointed Ms. Omidvar to the Senate of Canada as an Independent Senator representing Ontario. As a member of the Senate’s Independent Senators Group she holds a leadership position as the Scroll Manager.

Senator Omidvar is the founding Executive Director and currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Global Diversity Exchange (GDX), Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University. GDX is a think-and-do tank on diversity, migration and inclusion that connects local experience and ideas with global networks.

Senator Omidvar is the current Co-Chair of the Global Future Council on Migration hosted by the World Economic Forum and serves as a Councillor on the World Refugee Council. She is also a director at the Environics Institute, and Samara Canada and is the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council’s Chair Emerita and was formerly the Chair of Lifeline Syria.

Senator Omidvar is co-author of Flight and Freedom: Stories of Escape to Canada (2015), an Open Book Toronto best book of 2015 and one of the Toronto Star's top five good reads from Word on the Street.

Senator Omidvar was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2005 and became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011, with both honours recognizing her advocacy work on behalf of immigrants and devotion to reducing inequality in Canada. In 2014, she received the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of her contribution to the advancement of German-Canadian relations.


Summit Keynote: Organizing for Community Benefits

Matthew Green was elected in 2014 to serve Ward 3 (Hamilton Centre) in Hamilton, Ontario.

Councillor Green is a graduate of Political Science from Acadia University. He has also attended McMaster University and received a certificate of Executive Education and Governance for Non-Profits from Harvard University. He has quickly earned a reputation for his fiery speeches on social justice delivering his keynotes internationally for organizations including the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Broadbent Institute, the International AGM of Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the Global African Governance Conference hosted at Pan African Parliament in South Africa.

 

Matthew has been awarded the inaugural Friends of Labour Award from Hamilton District Labour Council, a J.C. Holland Award from Hamilton's Black History Committee, and a community appreciation award from the Hamilton Native Womens' Centre.

As a City Councillor, Matthew's advocacy has made a meaningful difference for residents. Matthew passed the Blue Dot Motion, making Hamilton the first city in Ontario to adopt an environmental bill of rights. Matthew's advocacy opposing police carding and racial profiling had a direct impact on provincial policy resulting in more stringent regulations on how local police interact with our community. He is a strong advocate for affordable, dignified housing, and serves as Vice Chair and Treasurer for City Housing Hamilton, and firmly believes that Hamilton should be a welcoming and inclusive home for newcomers.

He currently lives in Ward 3, the community he serves, with his incredible spouse Jayde and the pride of life...his son Langston.


Special Guest Speaker: Equity and Diversity in the Workplace

Anthony Morgan is a graduate of McGill University, Faculty of Law’s bilingual program in which he earned degrees in both civil law and common law. Prior to joining Falconers LLP in 2016, he practiced at the African Canadian Legal Clinic and Humber College. He completed his articles at the Occupational Health and Safety Tribunal Canada.

Since being called to the bar in Ontario in 2013, Anthony has appeared at various levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also appeared before two United Nations human rights committees. He is regularly sought out by media, human rights and community-based organizations and academic institutions to provide analysis on racial justice issues in Canadian law and policy, particularly in the areas of policing and the criminal justice system.

While at law school, Anthony was a Research Assistant for Justice Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré of the Court of Quebec and Professor Adelle Blackett. He also worked at the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations, volunteered at various community legal clinics, and served as National President of the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada.

Anthony currently sits on Legal Aid Ontario’s Test Case Committee which is a committee that provides LAO with expert, independent advice on applications for legal aid assistance for public interest matters.

Anthony is also the recipient of numerous leadership and advocacy awards from organizations such as, Volunteer Toronto, the Black Ontario Public Service Employees Network, the Jamaican Canadian Association, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, and the Black Community Action Network of Peel. In 2016 Anthony was awarded a Lexpert Zenith Award for his contributions towards achieving diversity and inclusion, both within the legal profession and in society. In 2016 and 2017, Anthony was shortlisted as a nominee for Canadian Lawyer Magazine’s annual survey of Canada’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers.