Registration & Breakfast
Pride and Prejudice: The State of the Global LGBTQ Community
Recent global developments such as India’s historic repeal of Colonial-era laws decriminalizing homosexuality or the Australian parliament’s unprecedented decision to legalize same-sex marriage speak to the gradual thaw of LGBTQ2+ injustice experienced by many disenfranchised individuals. And yet, for all the progress made around civil rights and social (in)equality, the global LGBTQ2+ community remains very much a target of prejudice and hate in both the developed and developing world. What is one to make of the current state of the global LGBTQ2+ nation? Do gathering storm clouds augur hardship or opportunity for LGBTQ2+ leaders within professional services to mobilize and unite?
Helen Kennedy, Executive Director, Egale
Curtis Lazar, HR Consultant, Global Talent Acquisition Operations, Projects and Technology, Sun Life Financial; Co-Chair, National Executive Committee, Sun Life Pride Network
A Map of Home: Addressing the Issues of LGBTQ2+ Asylum Seekers
In 2019, it is still a crime to be LGBTQ2+ in over 70 countries around the globe. Citing reasons such as physical and emotional abuse, forced heterosexual marriage, conversion therapy, or “corrective” rape, many in the community choose to flee their country and seek asylum in more accepting nations. This daunting and expensive process is only the first step in rebuilding the lives of those lucky enough to escape persecution. Given such staggering odds, what else can be done as a global community to assist these troubled individuals? What role can organizations play in promoting awareness and driving a global solution?
Jawad A. Kassab, Change Management Consultant
Nishan Bhaumik, Staff Attorney, Immigration Equality
Kelly Ernst, Director, LGBTQ+ Programs, Centre for Newcomers
Devon Matthews, Manager of Program Development, Rainbow Railroad
Adrienne Smith, Barrister & Solicitor, Battista Smith Migration Law Group
Breakout #1: In Cold Blood: Combating the LGBTQ2+ Homeless Epidemic (Breakout)
According to multiple studies, LGBTQ2+ minors comprise a disproportionate percentage of homeless youth across the world. Frequently the target of domestic abuse, harassment or violence, this particular demographic faces numerous challenges when it comes to access to justice, educational and economic opportunity, sexual well-being, or mental and physical health. This frank discussion examines various ways LGBTQ2+ and allied professionals can help rectify an escalating communal crisis with profound economic and emotional ramifications.
Dr. Alex Abramovich, Independent Scientist, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research; Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Kanaka Kulendran, Board Member, LGBT Youth Line
Shawn Monaghan, Vice President, Business Transformation, Medtronic
Breakout #2: Bad Education: Leading the Abolition of LGBTQ2+ Conversion Therapy (Breakout)
“Once you enter the group, you’ll be well on your way to recovery.” So, in a disturbingly sanctimonious tone, declares John Smid, the main antagonist of Garrard Conley’s Boy Erased: A Memoir, a riveting account of the author’s ill-fated journey through sexual orientation conversation therapy. Canadians are courageously pushing for the abolishment of the practice, but more is needed to address this issue worldwide. In this session, attendees are invited to take an active role in curtailing the harmful impact of this controversial treatment on the global LGBTQ2+ community.
Peter Gajdics, Author, The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir
Pamela Liversidge, Executive Director, Foundry
#MeQueer: The Forgotten Spotlight on LGBTQ2+ Workplace Inclusion
It is of little doubt that the #MeToo movement has blown wide open the doors on the sexual harassment of women in the workplace, but less is said about similar aggressions still wrought upon the LGBTQ2+ community. This session shines a welcome light on LGBTQ2+ experience in an era where awareness of and support for the historically oppressed has never been greater. From an organizational standpoint, how can professional services firms continue to enforce a healthy corporate culture inclusive of LGBTQ2+ employees? What practices or policies can other organizations adopt to recruit, develop and retain their LGBTQ2+ talent and the next generation of leaders?
Steeves Bujold, Partner, McCarthy Tetrault LLP
Colin Druhan, Executive Director, Pride at Work Canada
Laleh Moshiri, National Director, D&I, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Sandeep Tatla, Assistant Vice President, Global Head of Diversity + Inclusion, Manulife
Memento Mori: History, Memory & Mourning in the LGBTQ Community
In his landmark study of history and memory, French historian Pierre Nora described a lieu de mémoire (site of memory) as “any significant entity [….] which by dint of human will or the work of time has become a symbolic element of the memorial heritage of a [given] community.” Speaking specifically about the ability of objects or places (monuments, museums) to homogenize memory and transform it into a national narrative, Nora’s observations hold particular resonance for the global LGBTQ2+ community. For every triumph or victory afforded LGBTQ2+ constituents, painful setbacks—if not tragic developments—continue to underscore the importance of memory, resistance, unity and pride in helping push for ultimate equality. This closing conversation ponders individual and corporate responsibility in contributing to collective memory around the international LGBTQ2+ experience.
Jeremy Dias, Director and Founder, The Canadian Centre for Gender + Sexual Diversity
Peter Knegt, Series Producer, Canada’s a Drag, CBC
Patricia Salib, President, The Mint Media Group
Closing Remarks & the OutLaws Soirée
Please join us for cocktails and canapés as we wrap up the day’s proceedings.
– Canadian Centre for Gender + Sexual Diversity
– Rainbow Railroad
Bay Adelaide Tower
333 Bay Street, Floor 29
Toronto, ON M5H 2R2
The Thomson Reuters Customer Centre is a modern and dynamic event space for collaborative engagement and professional networking.
Please be advised, Thomson Reuters has not arranged a room block for this program. Interested parties are invited to consider several nearby hotels within walking distance of the Customer Centre.
The St. Regis Toronto
One King West Hotel
Chelsea Hotel - Toronto