OutLaws Canada 2019 Advancing International LGBTQ2+ Leadership

Event Details

Jun 27, 2019

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Toronto, ON

$99 USD

Register Now

For questions about this event, please call 1-800-308-1700

Thomson Reuters is proud to present OutLaws Canada 2019 this June in Toronto, ON.  At a moment when LGBTQ2+ civil rights and public interest face considerable challenges at home and abroad, this timely and provocative program invites LGBTQ2+ professionals, allies, influencers, and leaders to come together and help divine solutions toward improving the lives of the LGBTQ2+ community worldwide.

Please save the date. Online registration now open.

Interested parties may inquire at lei@thomsonreuters.com or 1-800-308-1700 for sponsorship and speaking opportunities.

This program contains 5 hours and 30 minutes of EDI Professionalism Content.

Why You Should Attend

  • As one of the world’s most ethical companies, Thomson Reuters considers this event an honor and ethical obligation to connect passionate advocates for LGBTQ2+ rights and representation with key power brokers and influencers from across professional services
  • Our program pivots upon actionable opportunities for engaged individuals to help effect meaningful change at a moment of great unrest for the LGBTQ2+ community
  • Attendees will have ample networking opportunities to engage peers and form enduring alliances as part of a commitment to improving the lives of those in need around the world

    Who Should Attend

  • LGBTQ2+ professionals, allies, influencers and power brokers from across industries
  • Diversity & Inclusion professionals
  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Human Resources Professionals
  • Event Details

    Thursday, Jun 27

    8:30 AM
    Registration & Breakfast
    9:15 AM
    Opening Remarks
    9:30 AM
    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

    10:30 AM
    10:45 AM
    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

    12:00 PM
    Networking Luncheon
    1:00 PM
    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

    2:15 PM
    Afternoon Break
    2:30 PM
    #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

    3:30 PM
    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

    4:30 PM
    Closing Remarks & the OutLaws Soirée

    Please join us for cocktails and canapés as we wrap up the day’s proceedings.

    Guest Presentations:
    – Canadian Centre for Gender + Sexual Diversity
    – Rainbow Railroad

    Colin Druhan

    Executive Director, Pride at Work Canada

    View Faculty Page
    Laleh Moshiri

    National Director, D&I, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

    View Faculty Page
    Geoff Rawle

    Lawyer, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

    View Faculty Page


    The Thomson Reuters Toronto Customer Centre

    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.

    Nearby Hotels

    The St. Regis Toronto


    One King West Hotel


    Chelsea Hotel - Toronto


    Sponsors of This Event