KDocs Talks 2018


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KDocs Talks 2018


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Welcome to the 2018 edition of KDocs Talks.

Adapted from this year's KDocs Documentary Film Festival and led by experts in the field, these 11 keynote addresses and 7 panel discussions create dialogue around some of our most pressing social justice issues: indigenous rights and governance, genocide/war, institutionalized racism, climate change, environmental justice, migrant labour, housing rights, prison justice, Big Data/surveillance, the illegal arms trade, and GM foods/food justice. KDocs Talks represents an entry point for discussion, debate, and social change. Designed as a resource to be shared, these videos carry a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

We encourage faculty to use KDocs Talks as part of their curriculum and for students to consult the video series as part of their social justice research.

Special thanks go out to the production team of Greg Chan (KDocs Outreach Director and executive producer), Manon Boivin (KDocs board member and producer), Marina Dodis (editor), and Janice Morris (KDocs founder and Festival Director). This project was made possible through the support of the 0.6% PD fund, KPU Marketing, and the KDocs board.

 

 

 

 

Gordon Laxer is the founding Director and former head of Parkland Institute (1996-2011) at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Parkland is a non-corporate institute that conducts policy research in the public interest. When the Conservatives ruled Alberta, the Globe and Mail called Parkland Alberta’s unofficial opposition. Gordon received the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 in recognition of his achievements that benefited fellow citizens, his community, and the province. Gordon is a Political Economist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta where he taught from 1982 to 2013. He is author of After the Sands: Energy & Ecological Security for Canadians. It won the 2016 Errol Sharpe book award and was a finalist for the 2016 John W. Dafoe prize for non-fiction books. Gordon is author or editor of five other books, including Open for Business: The Roots of Foreign Ownership in Canada (Oxford University Press), which received the 1992 John Porter Award for best book about Canada. He has published over 40 journal articles and refereed book chapters and reports. Gordon is a socially-engaged, public intellectual. His op eds have appeared often in mainstream newspapers. He has been interviewed frequently on broadcast media. Gordon was at the very first meeting of the Council of Canadians at Mel Hurtig’s publishing company’s office in Edmonton in January 1985. He was first chair of the Council’s Edmonton chapter and served on the Council’s board from 2004 to 2009. He was also the first chair of the Toronto chapter of the Waffle movement for an independent socialist Canada. gordonlaxer.com


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Aube Giroux is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, part-time organic farmer, and food blogger who works on food and sustainability issues. She has directed two short documentaries for the National Film Board and several independent productions. Her work has been shown on CBC and at international film festivals. Aube is the creator of Kitchen Vignettes, an acclaimed online farm-to-table cooking show on PBS with a large social media following. The show received the 2012 Saveur Magazine Best Food Blog Award and is a two-time James Beard Award nominee. Aube holds an MFA in Film Production from York University. Modified is her first feature-length documentary.


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Jay Aubrey joined the BCCLA as staff counsel in 2016. Prior to joining the BCCLA, Jay worked for the Toronto law firm of Ruby & Shiller. Jay is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School’s Criminal Intensive Program, where she was awarded the Dean’s Gold Key in 2013. Jay worked to establish the Wendy Babcock Social Justice Award, administered yearly to Osgoode graduates engaged in legal work that honours Ms. Babcock’s fierce legacy of harm reduction for sex workers and other socially marginalized people. Jay holds a Masters degree in Women’s Studies and Feminist Research, which informs her ongoing learning to dismantle, and stop the reproduction of, social oppressions.

Ashley Lexvold is a fourth-year Criminology student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and a volunteer with Correctional Services of Canada. After studying the many different aspects of criminology, she has found a passion in prison justice and prisoner rights. She collaborated with colleagues to organize a campaign advocating for the abolishment of solitary confinement. Ashley aspires to be a parole officer and advocate for the support of offenders reintegrating back into society.

Professor Debra Parkes joined the Allard School of Law in July 2016. Prior to that, she was a member of the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba from 2001 to 2016 where she served a term as Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) from 2013-2106. She has also been a visiting researcher at the University of Woollongong and the University of Sydney. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law from 2009-2013 and President of the Canadian Law & Society Association from 2007-2010. Professor Parkes' scholarly work examines the challenges and possibilities of addressing societal injustices through rights claims, with a focus on the criminal justice, corrections, and workplace contexts. The lens she brings to this work is feminist, intersectional, and socio-legal. Professors Parkes takes a particular interest in the incarceration of women, the limits of prison reform, and the framing and adjudicating of prisoners’ rights claims. With funding from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Professor Parkes has examined mechanisms for oversight and accountability of imprisonment in Canada, and she is collaborating on a new SSHRC-funded research partnership to develop participatory-action research methods for prison research that bring academics, former prisoners, and community agencies together to systematically collect and document prisoner experiences. In 2015, she guest-edited a special volume of the Canadian Journal of Human Rights on solitary confinement and human rights. Before beginning her academic career, Professor Parkes worked as a law clerk to justices of the BC Supreme Court (1997-1998) and practiced with the litigation group at Gowlings LLP in Toronto (1998-2000). She maintains strong connections with the bench and bar, welcoming opportunities to present at judicial education conferences and at continuing professional development workshops for the practicing bar. Professor Parkes supervises graduate students in the fields of sentencing, penal policy, and the criminalization of women.

Jeff Shantz is a writer, poet, photographer, artist, and activist who has decades of community organizing experience within social movements and as a rank-and-file workplace activist. He currently teaches social justice, critical theory, state and corporate crime, and community advocacy at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Metro Vancouver, Canada. He is project lead on Anti-Poverty/Criminalization/Social War Policing at the Social Justice Centre in Surrey, British Columbia (Unceded Coast Salish territories). See: thesocialjusticecentre.org/anti-poverty-criminalization-social-war-policing. Shantz is the author of numerous books, including Crisis States: Governance, Resistance, and Precarious Capitalism (Punctum 2016), Commonist Tendencies: Mutual Aid beyond Communism (Punctum 2013), Green Syndicalism: An Alternative Red/Green Vision (Syracuse University Press 2012), and Constructive Anarchy: Building Infrastructures of Resistance (Ashgate 2010). Shantz is co-founder of the Critical Criminology Working Group (radicalcriminology.org) and founding editor of the journal Radical Criminology (journal.radicalcriminology.org/index.php/rc). Samples of his writings can be found at jeffshantz.ca. Follow Jeff on twitter @critcrim.


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Stephanie Farrior is a prominent academic and activist in the field of international human rights whose work includes addressing issues at the intersection of human rights and the environment. She is a Professor of Law at Vermont Law School and the director of its Center for Applied Human Rights. Previously, she was the Legal Director of Amnesty International, based at its International Secretariat in London. She has conducted human rights missions to India, Malawi, Pakistan, and Yemen, and has participated in policy-making conferences on international human rights in Cape Town, Geneva, Ljubljana, London, Oslo, Paris, and Yokohama. Professor Farrior’s work has been published in Oxford, Harvard, Columbia, and Berkeley law journals and has been cited by UN experts in their studies and reports to the United Nations. She has been a Visiting Fellow of the University of Oxford, Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University Law Centre, and member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law.  Born in Bangkok, Farrior grew up there and in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, and Washington, DC; she has also lived in Athens, Avignon, and London.  She holds a JD from The American University, Washington College of Law, and an LLM from Harvard Law School.

Alex Neve believes in a world in which the human rights of all people are protected. He has been a member of Amnesty International since 1985 and has served as Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada’s English Branch since 2000.  In that role, he has carried out numerous human rights research missions throughout Africa and Latin America, and closer to home to such locations as Grassy Narrows First Nation in NW Ontario and Guantánamo Bay.  He speaks to audiences across the country about a wide range of human rights issues, appears regularly before parliamentary committees and UN bodies, and is a frequent commentator in the media.  Alex is a lawyer, with an LLB from Dalhousie University and a Master’s Degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex.  He has served as a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board, taught at Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Ottawa, been affiliated with York University's Centre for Refugee Studies, and worked as a refugee lawyer in private practice and in a community legal aid clinic.  He is on the Board of Directors of Partnership Africa Canada, the Canadian Centre for International Justice and the Centre for Law and Democracy.  Alex has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Trudeau Foundation Mentor. He is a recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He has received honorary Doctorate of Laws degrees from St. Thomas University, the University of Waterloo and the University of New Brunswick. 

Jeff Shantz is a writer, poet, photographer, artist, and activist who has decades of community organizing experience within social movements and as a rank-and-file workplace activist. He currently teaches social justice, critical theory, state and corporate crime, and community advocacy at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Metro Vancouver, Canada. He is project lead on Anti-Poverty/Criminalization/Social War Policing at the Social Justice Centre in Surrey, British Columbia (Unceded Coast Salish territories). See: thesocialjusticecentre.org/anti-poverty-criminalization-social-war-policing. Shantz is the author of numerous books, including Crisis States: Governance, Resistance, and Precarious Capitalism (Punctum 2016), Commonist Tendencies: Mutual Aid beyond Communism (Punctum 2013), Green Syndicalism: An Alternative Red/Green Vision (Syracuse University Press 2012), and Constructive Anarchy: Building Infrastructures of Resistance (Ashgate 2010). Shantz is co-founder of the Critical Criminology Working Group (radicalcriminology.org) and founding editor of the journal Radical Criminology (journal.radicalcriminology.org/index.php/rc). Samples of his writings can be found at jeffshantz.ca. Follow Jeff on twitter @critcrim.

Professor Stepan Wood’s research relates to corporate social responsibility, sustainability, globalization, transnational governance, voluntary standards, climate change, and environmental law. He leads the interdisciplinary Transnational Business Governance Interactions (TBGI) project, an international research network that examines the drivers, dynamics, and impacts of competition, cooperation, coordination, and conflict among transnational initiatives to regulate global business. His co-authored book, A Perilous Imbalance: The Globalization of Canadian Law and Governance (UBC Press, 2010), was shortlisted for the Donald Smiley award for best book on Canadian politics. Professor Wood is founding co-chair of the Willms & Shier Environmental Law Moot, Vice-Chair of the Canadian national committee on environmental management systems standards, and a lead Canadian negotiator of the ISO 14001 and 14004 standards. Professor Wood holds an LLB from Osgoode Hall. Before obtaining his SJD from Harvard Law School, he was a law clerk to the late Justice John Sopinka of the Supreme Court of Canada and practised law with White & Case in New York. Prior to joining the Allard School of Law in 2017, Professor Wood was Professor and York Research Chair in Environmental Law and Justice at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he was also Editor-in-Chief of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Coordinator of the York University JD/Master in Environmental Studies joint program, and founding co-director of Osgoode’s Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinical Program. He has also held visiting appointments around the world, including at the University of Verona, Bar-Ilan University, the European University Institute, and Northwestern University.


Nathan Edelson is a Senior Partner with 42nd Street Consulting, which supports inclusive planning for diverse communities. He has worked on projects linking government and community organizations in a variety of settings including Delta, Fort Saint John, Haida Gwaii, Johannesburg, Regina, Sao Paulo, Toronto, and Vancouver. He is also an Adjunct Professor with the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning and a Bousfield Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto. He was Planner with the City of Vancouver Planning Department from 1983 to 2008. For 15 years, he was the senior planner focusing on the many challenging issues facing the Downtown Eastside – including historic Chinatown, Gastown, Strathcona and Victory Square. Prior to that, he was the planner for Downtown South, Granville Street, and the Joyce Station SkyTrain Area (Collingwood Village). He also led initiatives on the Central Area Plan, Secondary Suites, and Liquor Licensing Policy. Before joining the City, Nathan was the founding Executive Director of Little Mountain Neighbourhood House, a community-based social service agency. Through this work, he has managed the development of innovative Community Building policies and programs involving Arts and Culture, Economic Revitalization, Health Care and Social Services, Heritage Conservation, Housing, Public Safety, and Public Realm Improvements and Programming. On many initiatives, this has involved extending the municipality’s zoning, permitting, policing, and purchasing powers to support community identified objectives.

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Lenée Son is the Coordinator of the Carnegie Community Action Project, where she brings extensive experience as a freelance multimedia journalist with experience producing content in various mediums, including online digital content, audio, and video. A recent graduate from Kwantlen Polytechnic University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism (Hons.) and a minor in Sociology, Lenée is enthusiastic about gaining new professional and personal experiences. Especially as a second-generation survivor of genocide, Lenée is passionate about promoting and supporting human rights through her work. She is committed to intersectional social justice principles and is interested in exploring under-reported social, environmental, economic, and political issues within her community. She has developed skills in storytelling, photojournalism, videography, social media marketing, and research. Lenée has contributed her skills to organizations such as rabble.ca, the United Nations Association of Canada Vancouver Branch, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, Sher Vancouver, and Tourism Vancouver. Lenée was the recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Student Journalism Award, South Asian Business Association Student Journalism Award, PIPS Lorem Ipsum Student Journalism Award, and Jal & Threaty Award for her community service.

Jean Swanson has volunteered at the Carnegie Community Action Project since 2006, working for more and better housing, higher welfare rates, and an end to gentrification in the Downtown Eastside. She has also worked with End Legislated Poverty, the BC Coalition against Free Trade, and the National Anti-Poverty Organization.  She is the author of Poor Bashing: The Politics of Exclusion, and, last October, she ran for Vancouver City Council, coming in second.

Charles Wilkinson is a multi award-winning documentary and dramatic film and television director and published author. His more recent titles from the last five years include documentary features Peace Out, Oil Sands Karaoke, and Haida Gwaii: On The Edge of the World, which won best Canadian Feature Documentary in 2015. Charles’s newest feature documentary, Vancouver: No Fixed Address, takes an uncompromising look at the Vancouver drama: multi-ethnic citizens fighting for living space versus the global corporate forces turning entire cities into financial commodities.


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Arjun Chowdhury is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of The Myth of International Order, which explains why most states in the world are weak states, i.e., states that do not monopolize violence or tax at a high rate of GDP. His classes cover topics like war, trade, and development.


Born in Moose Factory, Ontario, Jules Arita Koostachin was raised by her Cree-speaking grandparents in Moosonee, and also with her mother in Ottawa, a survivor of the Canadian Residential School System.  Jules is a band member of the Attawapiskat First Nation, Moshkekowok territory, and she currently resides in Vancouver. She is a PhD candidate with the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, where her research focus is Indigenous Documentary. In 2010, she completed graduate school at Ryerson University in Documentary Media, where she was awarded the Award of Distinction for her thesis work, as well as the Graduate Ryerson Gold Medal for highest academic achievement.  While pursuing her Masters, Jules finished her first feature-length documentary film, Remembering Inninimowin, about her journey of remembering Cree. After graduation, Jules was one of six women selected for the Women in the Director’s Chair program at the Banff Center in Alberta, where she directed a scene from her feature script Broken Angel, currently in development. Jules’ television series AskiBOYZ (2016), co-produced with Big Soul Production, about two urban Cree youth reconnecting with the land, is currently being aired on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. Over the years, Jules has established herself within the film and television community. Her company, VisJuelles Productions Inc., has a number of films and other media works in development. In 2017, she released her short documentary, NiiSoTeWak, with CBC Short Docs and also The Butterfly Monument with her co-director/producer, Rick Miller.  Jules was also the 2017 Aboriginal Storyteller-in-Residence with the Vancouver Public Library.  In the spring, Planet in Focus invited Jules as the lead filmmaker to work with Cree youth in the Attawapiskat First Nation, where they made over twenty films. She’s presently working on a book of poetry entitled Unearthing of Secrets, as well as manuscripts Soul Kept and Moccasin Souls about intergenerational resilience. Jules carries extensive experience working within Indigenous communities in several capacities, providing support to Indigenous women and children who face barriers. These community experiences continue to feed her advocacy and arts practice.

Raven Sinclair is Nehiyaw-Cree from George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan. She is an Associate Professor of Social Work and Researcher with the University of Regina, Saskatoon Campus. Raven is a survivor of the Indigenous child welfare system. Her professional areas of interest include Indigenous mental health and trauma recovery, Indigenous child welfare and youth suicide, transracial adoption and cultural identity, interpersonal and non-violent communication, and group process and facilitation. Raven is a chess addict, and she has a 12-year-old daughter who keeps her on her toes.

Tamara Starblanket is a Cree (Nehiyaw) from Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation in Treaty Six Territory. Tamara holds an LLM from the University of Saskatchewan and an LLB from the University of British Columbia. She teaches and coordinates the Aboriginal Justice Studies Program at the Native Education College. She is the Co-Chair of the North American Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus (NAIPC).  She is author of the forthcoming book Suffer the Little Children: Genocide Indigenous Nations and the Canadian State.

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Cicely Blain is writer, facilitator, and activist originally from London, UK. They are a founder of Black Lives Matter-Vancouver as well as a columnist for Daily Xtra and The Body is Not an Apology. They are also a sub-editor at Beyond the Binary, a UK-based magazine for trans and non-binary people. Cicely is the 2017 winner of the CCPA Power of Youth Leadership Awards in Social Movement Building for their contributions to LGBTQ rights and the Black liberation movement.

Abubakar Khan is a young American, Canadian, Pakistani Muslim. He is the founder of The Chosen Khan, an online platform that highlights diversity, interfaith, and creative dialogue. He is the chairman of Social Sport, a charity that helps to integrate refugee youth through the power of team sports. He is also a member of Vancouver Helping Hands, a group that helps members of the DTES by providing them with care packages and conversations. He has planned multiple rallies such as the Love Over Fear Rally against Islamophobia and the Love Over Fear Rally against Racial Discrimination, which in turn led him to co-founding the Love Over Fear clothing line. He hopes to connect as many people as possible during the short time that he's blessed to be on this planet.

Naveen Zafar is passionate about helping others learn and develop. As a community organizer, TEDx speaker, and mentor for students, she uses her education and skills to empower, uplift, and motivate those around her. Naveen works with non-profits and educational institutions to host workshops, organize events, and drive initiatives to increase social impact. She’s joined the KDocs board as a Community Outreach Facilitator, hoping to challenge mainstream narratives of minority groups while engaging local youth. Most recently, Naveen was awarded the “Young Woman of Distinction Award” for her work in the Muslim community.


Andrew Feinstein is the author of the critically-acclaimed The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, which reveals the corruption and malfeasance at the heart of the global arms business, both formal and illicit. The book is already in its 9th edition across a number of languages. The Shadow World was short-listed for the Alan Paton Prize for Non-fiction. The book was the first account of the global arms trade written since the late 1970s, due to the difficulties of investigating this notoriously secretive business. The Washington Post described the book as “the most complete account of the trade ever written,” while the Independent praised its combination of “amazing storytelling … with a level of detail that may well be unique.” A documentary feature film of the book premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in April 2016 and was awarded Best Documentary Feature at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Valladolid International Film Festival, and the Belgian Ensor Award. Andrew was an ANC Member of Parliament in South Africa for over seven years where he served under Nelson Mandela. He served on the Finance and Public Accounts Committees and as Deputy Chair of the country’s Audit Commission. He also served as Economic Advisor to Gauteng Premier, Tokyo Sexwale. He resigned in 2001 in protest at the ANC’s refusal to countenance an independent and comprehensive enquiry into a multi-billion dollar arms deal that was tainted by allegations of high-level corruption. His first book, the best-selling After the Party: Corruption, the ANC and South Africa’s Uncertain Future, was published in 2007 and focused on this deal and its impact on South Africa’s young democracy. He is Executive Director of Corruption Watch – an NGO that details and exposes the impact of bribery and corruption on democracy, governance, and development – and an investigative writer, broadcaster, and campaigner. Andrew was named amongst the 100 most influential people in the world working in armed violence reduction. Along with two colleagues, he was voted South Africa’s anti-corruption hero of 2014. Andrew was an Open Society Institute Fellow in 2010/11. He appears regularly in a range of print and broadcast media. These include, most often, the BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, Sky, NPR, the Guardian, the New York Times, Die Zeit and the New Statesman. He co-authored the lead article in the Sipri Yearbook 2011, a chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Organised Crime 2014, and in 2015, he contributed chapters on the arms trade to Reconstructing Atrocity Prevention, Advocacy in Conflict: Critical Perspectives on Transnational Activism, and Indefensible: The Seven Myths that Sustain the Global Arms Trade. He was also a contributor to the iBook The Night Manager: The Insider’s Guide to accompany the BBC series. Andrew was educated at King’s College Cambridge, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Cape Town. He has also spent time at the London School of Economics as a participant in that university’s Distinguished Visitors Programme. He has lectured at universities around the world, including the New School, Harvard, Princeton, Cambridge, Oxford, UCT and the Free University Brussels.

Johan Grimonprez’s critically acclaimed work dances on the borders of practice and theory, art and cinema, documentary and fiction, demanding a double take on the part of the viewer. Informed by an archeology of present-day media, his work seeks out the tension between the intimate and the bigger picture of globalization. It questions our contemporary sublime, one framed by a fear industry that has infected political and social dialogue. By suggesting new narratives through which to tell a story, his work emphasizes a multiplicity of realities. Grimonprez's curatorial projects have been exhibited at museums worldwide, including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; and MoMA. His works are in the collections of Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa; and Tate Modern, London. His feature films include dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y (1997) and Double Take (2009) and Shadow World (2016). Traveling the main festival circuit from the Berlinale, Tribeca to Sundance, they garnered several Best Director awards, the 2005 ZKM International Media Award, a Spirit Award and the 2009 Black Pearl Award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, and were also acquired by NBC Universal, ARTE, and BBC/FILM 4. He published several books, including Inflight (2000), Looking for Alfred (2007) and a reader titled It's a Poor Sort of Memory that Only Works Backwards (2011) with contributions by Jodi Dean, Thomas Elsaesser, Tom McCarthy, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Slavoj Žižek. He has lectured widely, among others at the University de Saint-Denis (Paris 8), Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University's Institute of Politics, Tate Modern, MoMA (New York), Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the Parliament of Bodies of Documenta 14, and he participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (New York). His recent film project (with investigative journalist Andrew Feinstein), Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, awarded a production grant from the Sundance Institute, premiered at the 2016 Tribeca IFF (New York). It went on to win the Best Documentary Feature Award at the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival, and will premiere its US broadcast on Independent Lens on PBS in autumn 2017. His artwork is represented by the Sean Kelly Gallery (New York), and the gallerie kamel mennour (Paris). See johangrimonprez.be for more info.

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Alex Neve believes in a world in which the human rights of all people are protected. He has been a member of Amnesty International since 1985 and has served as Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada’s English Branch since 2000.  In that role, he has carried out numerous human rights research missions throughout Africa and Latin America, and closer to home to such locations as Grassy Narrows First Nation in NW Ontario and Guantánamo Bay.  He speaks to audiences across the country about a wide range of human rights issues, appears regularly before parliamentary committees and UN bodies, and is a frequent commentator in the media.  Alex is a lawyer, with an LLB from Dalhousie University and a Master’s Degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex.  He has served as a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board, taught at Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Ottawa, been affiliated with York University's Centre for Refugee Studies, and worked as a refugee lawyer in private practice and in a community legal aid clinic.  He is on the Board of Directors of Partnership Africa Canada, the Canadian Centre for International Justice and the Centre for Law and Democracy.  Alex has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Trudeau Foundation Mentor. He is a recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He has received honorary Doctorate of Laws degrees from St. Thomas University, the University of Waterloo and the University of New Brunswick. 

Jeff Shantz is a writer, poet, photographer, artist, and activist who has decades of community organizing experience within social movements and as a rank-and-file workplace activist. He currently teaches social justice, critical theory, state and corporate crime, and community advocacy at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Metro Vancouver, Canada. He is project lead on Anti-Poverty/Criminalization/Social War Policing at the Social Justice Centre in Surrey, British Columbia (Unceded Coast Salish territories). See: thesocialjusticecentre.org/anti-poverty-criminalization-social-war-policing. Shantz is the author of numerous books, including Crisis States: Governance, Resistance, and Precarious Capitalism (Punctum 2016), Commonist Tendencies: Mutual Aid beyond Communism (Punctum 2013), Green Syndicalism: An Alternative Red/Green Vision (Syracuse University Press 2012), and Constructive Anarchy: Building Infrastructures of Resistance (Ashgate 2010). Shantz is co-founder of the Critical Criminology Working Group (radicalcriminology.org) and founding editor of the journal Radical Criminology (journal.radicalcriminology.org/index.php/rc). Samples of his writings can be found at jeffshantz.ca. Follow Jeff on twitter @critcrim.


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Ronald J. Deibert is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. He is a former founder and principal investigator of the OpenNet Initiative (2003-2014) and a founder of Psiphon, a world leader in providing open access to the Internet. Deibert is the author of Black Code: Surveillance, Privacy, and the Dark Side of the Internet (Random House: 2013), which has been turned into a feature-length documentary by Nick De Pencier, as well as numerous books, chapters, articles, and reports on Internet censorship, surveillance, and cyber security. He was one of the authors of the landmark Tracking Ghostnet (2009) and Great Cannon (2015) reports, and co-editor of three major volumes with MIT Press on information controls (the “Access” series). The reports of the Citizen Lab are routinely covered in global media, including 22 separate reports receiving exclusive front-page coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post, Globe and Mail, and Toronto Star over the last eight years. He is on the steering committee for the World Movement for Democracy, the board of advisors for Pen Canada, Access, and Privacy International, and on the technical advisory groups for Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. In recognition of his own work or that of the Citizen Lab, he has been awarded the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer award (2015), the Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity (2014), the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada Award from the Canadian Library Association (2014), the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression Vox Libera Award (2010), and the Northrop Frye Distinguished Teaching and Research Award (2003). In 2013, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, for being “among the first to recognize and take measures to mitigate growing threats to communications rights, openness and security worldwide.”

 


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Chaumtoli Huq founded Law@theMargins in 2013 and serves as its Editor-In-Chief.  Huq is a social justice innovator with extensive experience in movement lawyering, litigation, public policy, management and creation of programs from emerging trends in law, teaching, and assisting non-profits and individuals with strategic direction and governance issues, mainly in areas of labor and human rights, both in the United States and South Asia. From August 2014 to June 2015, she was a Senior Researcher with the American Institute for Bangladesh Studies (AIBS) based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has produced two short documentaries on her work in Bangladesh called Sramik Awaaz: Workers Voices, and a video on Bangladeshi women organizing in New York called Naree Shongotok. Huq has taught courses in legal practice, immigrant rights, employment law, and legal issues facing Asian Americans at BMCC, New York Law School, City College/CUNY, and Rutgers University. Along with holding leadership roles at Legal Services of NYC and MFY Legal Services, she also served as Director of the first South Asian Workers’ Rights Project at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, as a Skadden Fellow, and as the first staff attorney to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a multi-ethnic, immigrant- and worker-led labor organization. Huq is a contributor to the anthology Voices of Resistance: Muslim Women on War, Faith and Sexuality, co-author of “Laying the Groundwork for Post 9-11 Alliances: Reflections Ten Years Later on Desis and Organizing” (Asian American Literary Review), and has authored Op-Eds in Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, and Daily Star, the largest English daily in Bangladesh. You can follow her on Twitter @lawatmargins.


Raj Chouhan was elected as the MLA for Burnaby-Edmonds in 2005 and re-elected in 2009, 2013, and 2017. He currently serves as Deputy Speaker. Raj has previously served as the Official Opposition Critic for Multiculturalism, Immigration and Human Rights and as Assistant Deputy Speaker. Before immigrating to Canada in 1973, Raj was involved in student union activities in India. On his arrival in Canada, Raj was impacted by the plight of immigrant workers and developed a passion for community and social justice work. Raj is the founding president of the Canadian Farmworkers’ Union, and he served as the Director of Bargaining for the Hospital Employees Union for 18 years. Raj has also served as a member of the Labour Relations Board of BC and the Arbitration Bureau of BC. A founding member of the BC Organization to Fight Racism, Raj has worked in promoting human rights and racial equality. He has served as the Vice President of BC Human Rights Defenders since 2003. Raj has taught courses on Human Rights, the BC Labour Code, and collective bargaining since 1987. He has traveled across Canada to give seminars and attend conferences that raise awareness of issues regarding racism, poverty, worker rights, and discrimination. In addition, Raj supports many programs offered through community organizations, including neighbourhood safety, refugee assistance, and health and wellness programs for seniors.

Pablo Godoy is a life-long social justice activist. As a child, he began his activism with Free the Children, and as an adolescent, he launched Y.C.H.A.N.G.E., a non-profit aimed at using creative arts to engage and motivate at-risk youth. By 15, he was heavily involved in his community and workplace. Today, Pablo is known as a spoken word poet and an arts educator with extensive background in community and youth engagement. He is currently a Vice President for the Ontario Federation of Labour, the founder and former National Coordinator for Students Against Migrant Exploitation (S.A.M.E.), as well as a National Representative for UFCW Canada.

Chaumtoli Huq founded Law@theMargins in 2013 and serves as its Editor-In-Chief.  Huq is a social justice innovator with extensive experience in movement lawyering, litigation, public policy, management and creation of programs from emerging trends in law, teaching, and assisting non-profits and individuals with strategic direction and governance issues, mainly in areas of labor and human rights, both in the United States and South Asia. From August 2014 to June 2015, she was a Senior Researcher with the American Institute for Bangladesh Studies (AIBS) based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has produced two short documentaries on her work in Bangladesh called Sramik Awaaz: Workers Voices, and a video on Bangladeshi women organizing in New York called Naree Shongotok. Huq has taught courses in legal practice, immigrant rights, employment law, and legal issues facing Asian Americans at BMCC, New York Law School, City College/CUNY, and Rutgers University. Along with holding leadership roles at Legal Services of NYC and MFY Legal Services, she also served as Director of the first South Asian Workers’ Rights Project at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, as a Skadden Fellow, and as the first staff attorney to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a multi-ethnic, immigrant- and worker-led labor organization. Huq is a contributor to the anthology Voices of Resistance: Muslim Women on War, Faith and Sexuality, co-author of “Laying the Groundwork for Post 9-11 Alliances: Reflections Ten Years Later on Desis and Organizing” (Asian American Literary Review), and has authored Op-Eds in Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, and Daily Star, the largest English daily in Bangladesh. You can follow her on Twitter @lawatmargins.

In June 2017, Kari Michaels was elected as Executive Vice President of the BCGEU, making her the second-youngest person to ever hold that position and one of the youngest labour leaders in Canada. Kari joined the BCGEU as a member when she and her co-workers at the Kwantlen Student Association formed a union at their worksite. She quickly became active, first as a steward and subsequently stepping up as bargaining committee member.Besides being an active leader in her workplace, Kari has  been deeply involved with the larger union as the young worker representative on both the Local 704 and the Component 7 executives, the Local 704 first vice-chairperson, a member of the BCGEU Young Workers Committee, and a member of the joint labour management committee. Kari has long been a passionate advocate for social justice—having founded the women's collective at her university in 2010—and believes in building workers’ capacity to take action to improve their working conditions through education and training.

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Hessed Torres was a registered nurse from Manila, Philippines who came to Canada in 2014 through the Live-In Caregiver Program. The lack of nursing opportunities led her to migrate to Canada in order to financially provide for her daughter back home. After experiencing the exploitative nature of the Caregiver Program, she sought advice from Migrante BC, a non-profit, grassroots organization. Upon her assertion of her rights as a worker, she was unjustly terminated by her employers. It was then that she realized that this is not an isolated case but a systemic problem that migrants struggle with on a daily basis. Hessed began volunteering her time and eventually became a core member Community Organizer after seeing that the only way to gain rights for the migrant community is to educate and organize them. She currently serves as the Arts Facilitator for P.A.N.C.I.T.  Arts Collective (Pilipino Artists Network for Community Integrative Transformation) and heads the Caregivers Committee under Migrante BC.


 
 

KDOCS TALKS 2017

 

KDocs talks with Lekeyten

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One of 20 Kwantlen First Nation Elders, Lekeyten grew up within a very large family in Chehalis First Nation near Harrison Lake. Here, Lekeyten attended day school. Similar to residential schools, day schools did not require students to stay overnight and they returned home at the end of every day. But the teachings were the same, said Lekeyten, and he and his classmates were taught to be quiet. As a result, Lekeyten spent more time in nature than in school, and he soon found his voice. Fast-forward to adulthood, and Lekeyten has been avidly involved for more than 20 years as a guest speaker and presenter at all levels of elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education, as well as trades and conferences in the Lower Mainland. His talks are about the environment, land and water use, fishing, and issues of conservation and its traditional importance. Lekeyten is a proud father of three daughters and two sons. He is also extremely proud of being a grandfather of nine. Lekeyten and his wife, Cheryl Gabriel, have been together for forty years. He loves and respects his family wholeheartedly. His advice at the Elder in Residence installation ceremony: “Never shut up.” Lekeyten is honoured to be an Elder in Residence at KPU. He will share with the university, faculty, staff, and students the best of himself. He believes that every person deserves the best for their life and educational journey.  kpu.ca/aboriginal/elder


KDocs talks with William Rees

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Dr. William Rees is a human ecologist, ecological economist, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) in Vancouver, Canada, where his research and teaching focused on the biophysical prerequisites for sustainability in an era of accelerating ecological change. Within this envelope, he developed a special interest in ecologically-relevant metrics of sustainability and their interpretation in terms of complexity theory and behavioural ecology. Professor Rees is perhaps best known in ecological economics as the originator and co-developer of “ecological footprint analysis.” His book on eco-footprinting, with then PhD student Dr. Mathis Wackernagel, has been translated into eight languages including Chinese. Widely adopted for sustainability assessments by Governments, NGOs and academics, the human “eco-footprint” has arguably become the world’s best-known sustainability indicator.
Professor Rees’ most recent writing focuses on neuro-biological, cognitive, and cultural barriers to sustainability, including humans’ well-developed capacity for self-delusion. He has authored (or coauthored) more than 150 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, and numerous popular articles on humanity’s (un)sustainability conundrum. Active across disciplines, Dr. Rees is a long-term member of the Global Ecological Integrity Group, a Fellow of the Post-Carbon Institute, a founding member and past President of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics, and founding Director of the OneEarth Initiative. The influence of Dr. Rees’ work is widely recognized and awarded. He
has lectured by invitation throughout North America and 25 other countries around the world; the Vancouver Sun named Professor Rees one of British Columbia’s top public intellectuals in 2000; in 2006, he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada, and in 2007, he was awarded a prestigious Trudeau Foundation Fellowship. Laval University in Québec recognized Professor Rees with an honorary doctorate in 2012, and he is the recipient of both the 2012 Boulding Prize in Ecological Economics and a 2012 Blue Planet Prize (jointly with Dr. Wackernagel).
 


KDocs talks with faith bodnar

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Faith Bodnar is the Executive Director of Inclusion BC, a provincial federation working with partners to build community and to enhance the lives of children and youth with special needs, adults with developmental disabilities, and their families by supporting abilities, promoting action, and advancing rights, responsibilities, and social justice. Faith started her career more than 25 years ago doing grassroots advocacy with the Lloydminster ACL. Over her career, she has worked locally, provincially, and nationally with families, people with intellectual disabilities, agencies, and government to advance full citizenship and human rights for all people.  inclusionbc.org


kdocs talks with min sook lee

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An award-winning filmmaker with a diverse and prolific portfolio of multimedia work, director Min Sook Lee has directed numerous critically acclaimed social documentaries, including My Toxic Baby, Donald Brittain Gemini winner Tiger Spirit, Hot Docs Best Canadian Feature winner Hogtown, Gemini nominated El Contrato, Badge of Pride, and Canadian Screen Award winner The Real Inglorious Bastards. Min Sook is also an Assistant Professor at OCAD University where she teaches Art and Social Change. Min Sook is a recipient of the Cesar E. Chavez Black Eagle Award for El Contrato’s impact on the rights of migrant workers, and Canada’s oldest labour arts festival, Mayworks, has named the Min Sook Lee Labour Arts Award in her honour. More recently, in 2016, she was awarded the Alanis Obomsawin Award for Commitment to Community and Resistance. In 2016, Min Sook released Migrant Dreams, a powerful feature documentary that exposes the undertold story of migrant agricultural workers struggling against Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), where foreign workers are treated as modern-day indentured labourers. Its premiere at the 2016 Hot Docs festival garnered numerous praises, elicited standing ovations, and was ultimately selected as a coveted Top 10 Audience Choice film at the festival.  migrantdreams.ca


kdocs talks with Tamara Herman

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Tamara Herman is a community organizer, researcher, and filmmaker based in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories. Tamara's interest in resource extraction was sparked when she did environmental work for an indigenous community opposing oil extraction in the late 1990s. Since then, she has spent time working with communities living beside mines in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Tamara has made several short films on poverty and environmental issues since she first picked up a camera in 2010. We Call Them Intruders is her first feature film.


Kdocs talks with Saleem Spindari

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As a member of a minority group and a former refugee, Saleem Spindari has a passion for social justice and strives to support those in need. Since his arrival in Canada in 1997, Saleem has been very active in advocating for refugees, immigrants, temporary foreign workers, and other marginalized groups. Saleem has presented on refugee issues at various conference and forums. Saleem is now the Manager of Refugee Settlement Support Projects at MOSAIC and manages Metro Vancouver’s Refugee Response Team. He is also the volunteer co-chair of the Multi Agency Partnership (MAP), a partnership comprised of representatives of 40+ government and non-government refugee claimant-serving agencies in BC.  mosaicbc.org


Kdocs talks with Wade Deisman

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Dr. Wade Deisman is a social scientist, scholar, educator, media pundit and provocateur, and all-around public advocate. He is the past Chairperson of the Criminology Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and currently serves as Associate Dean of Students in the Faculty of Arts. Dr. Deisman’s research interests range from a fascination with all things theoretical to a more substantive focus on policing and intelligence, terrorism and violent extremism, surveillance, and virtual vigilantism. Prior to moving to the Lower Mainland, he was a professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa and the Director of the Ottawa-based National Security Working Group. He worked for the Law Commission of Canada in Ottawa and for the Atlantic Institute for Criminology in Halifax. Dr. Deisman has conducted research for the RCMP and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and is a Senior Research Affiliate with the Network on Terrorism, Security and Society. He is a passionate teacher and proponent of community based education, an outspoken advocate of criminal justice reform, and an incorrigible interlocutor of the public good. A frequent commentator in the news and television media, Wade has appeared in a range of programs including CBC’s Canada Now, Question Period, The National, Canada AM, CTV Newsnet, The Current, Dispatches, BC Today, Ontario Today, Ottawa Morning, Global National, A-Channel, and CPAC. He is also the creative producer and co-host (with Dr. Minelle Mahtani) of his own weekly radio show entitled “Intersections” on Roundhouse Radio.


 
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