Schedule

22 March

23 March

22 March

23 March

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Paul Mason

Journalist & Activist
Winner, Ellen Meiksins Wood Prize
Paul Mason is a journalist, playwright and film-maker based in London, UK. Born in Leigh, Lancashire in 1960, he graduated from Sheffield University. After an initial career in academic musicology, he switched to journalism, working for various UK business magazines before becoming business correspondent on BBC Newsnight, the UK's flagship current affairs programme. In this role, and later economics editor, he covered the Enron scandal, the underground Chinese labour movement, Hurricane Katrina, the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent social unrest. In 2013 he moved to Channel 4 News, covering among other things the Edward Snowden intelligence and the 2014 Gaza war. His 2012 book "Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere", about the Arab Spring and Occupy movement, was adapted for the stage in 2015 by the Young Vic Theatre; his second play "Divine Chaos of Starry Things", about the communard Louise Michel also gained its first performance in off-West End theatre this year. Mason's 5 books include the novel Rare Earth, and the bestselling Postcapitalism: A Guide To Our Future. He has presented numerous TV and radio documetnaries, including "Northern Soul: Keeping the Faith", "Wagner: Power, Sex and Revolution" and #ThisIsACoup (2015) - an inside account of Syriza's resistance to the IMF/ECB. He left public service broadcasting in March 2016. He writes a column in the Guardian and since leaving public service news reporting has become a strong public supporter of the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. His forthcoming book, to be published this year, is billed as a "defense of Marxist humanism".

22 March

22 March

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Valérie Plante

Mayor
Montreal
First elected as city councillor in Saint-Marie district in 2013, Projet Montréal members chose Valérie Plante to lead the party in 2016. Her contagious passion and energy has helped her rally people around her progressive vision. Deeply concerned about participatory democracy, Valérie Plante has a bold plan for Montreal centered on increased access to public transit, better urban planning and public services, the economy and the environment. Her commitment is to bridge the gap on these issues for all 19 city boroughs.

Before jumping into the political arena in 2013, Valérie Plante studied anthropology, museology, multiethnic intervention, and was actively involved with numerous community groups, such as Fondation Filles d’action.

She became Mayor of Montreal on November 5, 2017.

23 March

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Sandy Hudson

Activist, writer &
political strategist
Sandra Hudson is an award-winning community organizer and founder of Black Lives Matter – Toronto (BLM – TO). Sandy was among Toronto Life’s 50 Most Influential Torontonians in 2016, and Post City Magazine’s 12 Most Inspiring Women of Toronto. BLM – TO has won Now Magazine’s Best Social Justice Group and Best Activist Campaign awards and the City of Toronto’s William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations.

Sandy’s efforts to publicly address anti-Black racism have resulted in concrete government action. From the first review of the Special Investigations Unit in its history, to the ending of the targeted police officers in TDSB schools with high Black student populations, the work Sandy has accomplished with her team in its mere three-year existence has been formidable.

Born in Toronto to two Jamaican migrants, Sandy has always had a passion for community service. Sandy was the first Black woman to be elected President of the largest University students’ union in Canada, and the first Black woman to serve as the Ontario Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. Sandy is a burgeoning academic completing her MA Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto. Her academic work is published in New Framings on Anti-Racism, Vol. II and the recently published second edition of Race and Racializations. Sandy regularly provides workshops to community members to share her skills and has spoken alongside Dionne Brand, Dr. Angela Robertson, Dr. Rinaldo Walcott, Dr. Afua Cooper and Dr. George Dei, to name a few.

Sandy is a prolific media communicator and has appeared in the Toronto Star, The New York Times, CP24, and two documentaries. Sandy credits her accomplishments to her parents who raised her with a strong moral compass, the elders who came before her, and the team of inspiring people she is blessed to work with.

23 March

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Sarah Leonard

Executive Editor, In Justice Today
Editor-at-large, Dissent
Sarah Leonard is executive editor of In Justice Today and editor-at-large at Dissent. She has co-edited two books: The Future We Want: Radical Solutions for the 21st Century (Metropolitan) and Occupy!: An OWS-Inspired Gazette (Verso). She lives in New York City.

23 March

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Robyn Maynard

Author
Policing Black Lives
Robyn Maynard is a Black feminist author, community organizer and public intellectual based in Montréal. She has been a part of movements against racial profiling, police violence, detention and deportation for over a decade and has an extensive background in community work. She has presented before the United Nations, and made numerous presentations across Canada and the United States on anti-Black racism, gender, criminalization and the lasting legacy of slavery in Canada. Most recently, she is the author of Policing Black Lives: State violence in Canada from slavery to the present (Fernwood 2017), which has received praise in the Toronto Star, the Montreal Review of Books, and Maclean's magazines, and is already in it's second printing. Her written work has appeared in World Policy Journal, Canadian Women Studies Journal, Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture, and Social Justice, Upping the Anti, the Montreal Review of Books and numerous book anthologies.

23 March

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Max FineDay

Executive Director
Canadian Roots Exchange
Max FineDay is a citizen of Sweetgrass First Nation and comes from proud Norwegian farmers who settled in southern Saskatchewan. He is currently Co-Executive Director of Canadian Roots Exchange, a youth-led charity providing Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth with opportunities to engage in reconciliation dialogues, leadership development, and educational initiatives at a local and national level.

Max, who is learning nêhiyawewin, a Cree language, has contributed to the Globe and Mail, CBC, Briarpatch, Academica, and is asked regularly to comment on reconciliation, youth, and Indigenous issues.

In 2014, CBC Saskatchewan recognized Max as one of the top 40 change makers under 40 in Saskatchewan. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Studies from the University of Saskatchewan and has also studied in the Arctic Circle at the University of Nordland in Bodø, Norway.

23 March

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Simon Black

Professor of Labour Studies
Brock University
Simon Black is a professor of labour studies at Brock University and a scholar-activist who writes and speaks on issues of race, gender, work, social justice and social movements. He most recently co-produced a documentary film on the Yonge Street uprising of 1992, It Takes A Riot: Race, Rebellion, Reform, and is the author of the forthcoming book Social Reproduction and the City: Welfare, Child Care, and Resistance in Neoliberal New York (University of Georgia Press). Black also writes the sports column for Canadian Dimension magazine.

23 March

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Faiz Shakir

National Political Director
ACLU
Faiz Shakir joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in January 2017. As National Political Director, he oversees the ACLU’s National Political Advocacy Department, which houses the organization’s Washington Legislative Office and State Advocacy and Policy departments. In his role, Shakir develops and implements strategies to advance the organization’s priorities at the federal and state levels.
Prior to joining the ACLU, Shakir worked as one of the most senior advisers to former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. He directed policy and communications work for Senator Reid while also coordinating with Democratic members and staffs, key interest groups, and press to organize issue campaigns. Prior to that, Shakir served as Senior Adviser and Director of Digital Media for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, helping wage key fights on behalf of the LGBT and Muslim American communities.
Shakir, a graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown University Law Center, also spent seven years at the Center for American Progress, helping the organization establish its identity as the leading progressive think tank in the nation. At CAP, Faiz served as a Vice President for Communications and was a founding member and editor-in-chief of ThinkProgress.org, one of the top political news websites in the United States. He also advised CAP’s senior leadership on policy matters ranging from economic and domestic policy to national security and civil rights. He led a major campaign to take on Islamophobia which featured the production of a report titled "Fear, Inc."

23 March

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Michal Hay

Director
Broadbent Institute
Michal was 2017 Campaign Director for Jagmeet Singh’s successful NDP Leadership Campaign and she was one of Chatelaine's Top Women in Canada of 2017. Michal is on the Board of the Broadbent Institute, the Urban Worker Project, and the Toronto Environmental Alliance. She served as Chief of Staff to Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton for six years and in 2014 she was Field Director for Olivia Chow's Toronto Mayoral Campaign. Through work and activism she has had leading roles on a number of issue based and electoral campaigns at the municipal, provincial and federal levels across Canada.

23 March

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Armine Yalnizyan

Economist
Armine Yalnizyan is a leading voice in Canada's economic scene. She helped define the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' Inequality Project from 2006 to 2017. Armine is well-known for her weekly business commentary on CBC Radio's Metro Morning, and nationally on The Big Picture panel, a popular weekly feature of CBC TV's premier business show, On The Money. Armine is economic adviser to the federal government's foresight department, Policy Horizons, on the future of work and the economy. She is also President of the Canadian Association for Business Economics.

23 March

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Sara Mojtehedzadeh

Work and Wealth reporter
Toronto Star
Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on the changing workplace, including precarious work, labour issues, and workers' compensation. Previously, Sara worked for the BBC World Service, Sky News, and Al Jazeera. Her work at the Star has been recognized by the Hillman Foundation prize for social-justice oriented investigative journalism. She received the JHR/Canadian Association of Journalists Award for human rights reporting in 2017.

22 March

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Ausma Malik

Trustee
Toronto District School Board
Elected municipally to the Toronto District School Board in 2014, Ausma Malik brings expertise and experience in education policy and community organizing to representing her vibrant downtown community. She is the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman to be elected to public office in Canada.
From serving on the Board of the Toronto Environmental Alliance, the city's only social justice environmental organization, to volunteering with young people in Toronto's high needs communities, to labour organizing and leading equity initiatives on Ontario campuses, Ausma is a committed life-long human rights and social justice activist. She is also Director of Social Engagement at the Atkinson Foundation. Ausma is running for Toronto City Council in 2018.

23 March

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Sheila Block

Senior Economist
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Sheila Block is a senior economist and a public commentator with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Sheila’s research interests focus on labour markets, public finance, and inequality. She has worked as both a political advisor and a public servant in the Ontario government and as an economist in the labour movement. Sheila has an Honours B.A. in Economics from the University of British Columbia and a MA in Economics from the University of Toronto.

23 March

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Rachel Giese

Author and Journalist
Rachel Giese is the author of the forthcoming book Boys: What it Means to Become a Man, and is editor-at-large at Chatelaine. Her award-winning journalism has appeared in Toronto Life, the Walrus, the Globe and Mail, Today’s Parent and on the NewYorker.com.

23 March

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Jennifer Story

Toronto District School Board
Trustee
Jennifer Story is the Trustee for Toronto-Danforth at the Toronto District School Board.

She is a strong advocate for her community, and has a particular passion for the early years and childcare. She led the board’s fight against fee increases for school based childcare and advocated successfully for the creation of the board’s soon-to-be-launched extended day program.

In addition to serving as Trustee, Jennifer has worked for the past 25 years with a broad range of social, environmental and labour groups to make good things happen. These include Greenpeace (fighting climate change), the Greenbelt Foundation (promoting local food), The Council of Canadians, UNICEF, and more — always with the goal of making our City, our Province and our country a better, more equitable and greener place to live, learn and grow.

Jennifer lives with her spouse, two school age sons and their new puppy, in Leslieville.

23 March

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Judith Klose

SPD++
Germany
Judith Klose is one of the SPD++ initiators, a political initiative to renew the structures of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Its goal is to establish new ways of participation to activate all members. In her professional life Judith is Chief of Staff to Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel,, Deputy Chairman of the SPD. She is responsible for strategic communication planning, coordination of political initiatives and the strengthening of strategic networks for the topics economy, international relations, culture and financial markets. Prior to this position, she was the International Secretary of Jusos (Youth Organization of the SPD). Judith holds a masters degree in Political Management and Public Policy from the NRW School of Governance, University of Duisburg-Essen.

23 March

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Michael Hlinka

Economics Commentator
Michael Hlinka was born in Toronto and received an Honours B.A. from the University of Toronto and an M.B.A. from the same school. After developing property, then spending a decade in the Financial Services Industry, Michael decided to take early retirement and took a tenured Professor position at George Brown College. In addition, he has designed and runs two different programs for the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. He occasionally comments on business matters for CBC Radio, and his third book in the past five years is about to be published by Annick Press.

23 March

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Dusha Sritharan

Campaigner
Toronto Environmental Alliance
Dusha Sritharan is the Climate Change Campaigner with the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA). Dusha leads local environmental campaigns and projects to facilitate stronger community engagement and policy development. Currently, her work is focused on finding ways to leverage climate investments to create a range of community benefits including job creation and poverty reduction. Dusha also serves as a Steering Committee Member for the Toronto Climate Action Network and is an active member of many community coalitions. Dusha holds a Masters Degree in Tourism, Environment and Development from the University of London (UK). She is passionate about exploring the intersections between environmental and social justice issues, particularly at a grassroots level.

23 March

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Jessica Bell

Founding Executive Director
TTCriders
Jessica Bell is the NDP candidate for University Rosedale in the upcoming provincial election. She's the co-founder and founding executive director of transit advocacy organization, TTCriders, and formerly a lecturer in advocacy and government relations at Ryerson University.

23 March

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Ed Broadbent

Chair
Broadbent Institute

23 March

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Alejandra Ruiz-Vargas

Anti-poverty advocate
ACORN
Alejandra Ruiz Vargas is a National leader from ACORN Canada leading up their affordable housing campaigns in Toronto. She is a Toronto Community Housing tenant, non-profit housing support worker, and brings passion to any debate she enters into.

23 March

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John Cartwright

President
Toronto & York Region Labour Council
John Cartwright is the President of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, representing 210,000 union members in Canada’s largest urban centre.A carpenter by trade, he was formerly the Business Manager of the Building Trades Council and co-chair of the Metro Jobstart Coalition.John has served on a number of public Boards including the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, Toronto Economic Development Corporation and the United Way of Toronto and York Region.

Over the years he has helped develop the Campaign for Public Education, Public Transit for the Public Good, Toronto Waterwatch and Toronto Hydro campaigns to defend vital public services in Toronto. John has been deeply involved apprenticeship and training issues, as well as crafting the “Green Jobs Strategy” for the Canadian Labour Congress. In 2007 he led the successful fight for a $10 Minimum Wage. He is co-chair of the Toronto Community Benefits Network, focused on winning community benefits and equity hiring on major infrastructure projects.

23 March

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Andrea Horwath

Leader
Ontario’s New Democrats
Andrea Horwath is the Leader of Ontario’s New Democrats. From her early career in community development to today, she’s always believed that government should be about giving people the opportunity to build a good life no matter where in Ontario they live, or when this province became home.

Born and raised in Hamilton, Andrea was elected to Hamilton City Council in 1997, then as the MPP for Hamilton-Centre in 2004.

Andrea spends time travelling the province she loves, seeing and hearing first-hand the challenges Ontarians are facing – and proposing solutions.

23 March

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Souleik Kheyre

Activist
Souleik Kheyre is a recent Master’s of Industrial Relations & Human Resources Graduate at the University of Toronto. She is a fellow in the Muslim Youth Fellowship Program, non-partisan program where fellows work directly with elected officials in a range of different areas including research, advocacy, policy, communications, and case work. Through this program, Souleik currently works in Councillor Gord Perks’s office. She has worked as a Researcher and Outreach Worker on St. Stephen’s Community House, Youth Unemployment Research Project. Here, Kheyre focused on understanding the obstacles NEET (not in education, employment, or training) Youth from her community face when trying to gain meaningful employment. She has engaged a variety of audiences across Ontario at the local, provincial and federal level with the research findings. Kheyre has a genuine interest in labour market trends and has operationalized such an interest in her work with St. Stephen’s Community House, as a Summer Jobs Service Advisor and later as a Facilitator and Job Developer for the Youth Job Connection Summer Program.

23 March

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Registration Open

06:00 PM 07:00 PM Daniels Spectrum - Ada Slaight Hall

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Ellen Meiksins Wood Prize & Lecture

07:00 PM 08:15 PM Daniels Spectrum - Ada Slaight Hall

The inaugural prize recipient, Paul Mason, lectures.

An economy for the many, not the few: creating a near future where we all have a place

Opening remarks by Ed Broadbent

Paul Mason explores the causes and consequences of a failed global economic model, the rise of the alt right and the paralysis of the liberal centre. He argues that the left and progressives have to unite around a radical social democratic politics; saving globalization by doing less of it.

Followed by an “in-conversation” with Sara Mojtehedzadeh, Work and Wealth Reporter, Toronto Star

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Reception

08:15 PM 09:00 PM Daniels Spectrum - Ada Slaight Hall

Reception with a Paul Mason Book Signing and the musical stylings of DJ Lucie Tic

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Registration Open

07:30 AM 08:30 AM Toronto Reference Library - Appel Salon

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Opening Remarks

08:30 AM 09:00 AM Toronto Reference Library - Appel Salon

Welcome Greetings provided by Chief Stacey Laforme, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. Opening remarks by Broadbent Institute Chair, Ed Broadbent. 

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Better is possible: Paving the road for just and fair communities

09:00 AM 09:15 AM Toronto Reference Library - Appel Salon

Max FineDay, Co-Executive Director,
Canadian Roots Exchange, Broadbent Institute Director

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Featured Speaker: Sarah Leonard

09:15 AM 09:35 AM Toronto Reference Library - Appel Salon

Sarah Leonard, Features Editor, The Nation
and author of The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century

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What do progressives need to do to win?

09:35 AM 10:35 AM Toronto Reference Library - Appel Salon

What are the essential ingredients (where no substitutes will do) to winning progressive change?

Sandy Hudson, Activist, writer &political strategist
Judith Klose, SPD++
Ausma Malik, Trustee, Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Ward 10, and City Council Candidate

Moderator, Simon Black, Professor of Labour Studies
Brock University

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Break

10:35 AM 10:55 AM

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Andrea Horwath, Leader of Ontario's NDP

10:55 AM 11:10 AM Toronto Reference Library - Appel Salon

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Matching the movement to the moment

11:10 AM 12:20 PM Toronto Reference Library - Appel Salon

Five grassroots activists talk about how their movements are taking action on the issues of our day
Alejandra Ruiz-Vargas, on Housing, ACORN leader
Jessica Bell, on Transit, Founding executive director of TTCriders
Dusha Sritharan: on the Environment, Climate Change Campaigner, Toronto Environmental Alliance
John Cartwright, on Jobs, President, Toronto York Region Labour Council
Jennifer Story, on Education, Trustee, Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Ward 15

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Lunch

12:30 PM 01:30 PM

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Featured Speaker: Robyn Maynard

01:30 PM 01:50 PM Toronto Reference Library - Appel Salon

Featured Speaker
Robyn Maynard, author of Policing Black Lives

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The Great Debate

01:50 PM 02:35 PM Toronto Reference Library - Appel Salon

BIRT: “The government plays too big a role in the economy.”

Armine Yalnizyan, Economist
vs.
Michael Hlinka, Economist
Moderated by Rachel Giese, Journalist and Author

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Featured Speaker Faiz Shakir

02:35 PM 03:00 PM Toronto Reference Library - Appel Salon

Featured Speaker:Dispatch from the US

Faiz Shakir, National Political Director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

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Break

03:00 PM 03:15 PM

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Reality Check

03:15 PM 03:30 PM

Is our failing infrastructure and widening inequality gap due to the
supposed fiscal straight-jacket faced by cities, or by political choices
coming home to roost?

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Who builds Toronto? Who are we building Toronto for?

03:30 PM 04:00 PM Toronto Reference Library - Appel Salon

An interactive session exploring who has power, how power is used, and how we can change the balance.

With Michal Hay, Political Strategist and Organizer

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Featured Speaker: Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal

04:00 PM 04:25 PM Toronto Reference Library - Appel Salon

How progressive policies can solve the biggest challenges facing our urban communities

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Closing

04:25 PM 04:30 PM Toronto Reference Library - Appel Salon

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Reception with DJ Cozmic Cat

04:30 PM 06:00 PM Beeton Hall